Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

The ongoing debate that is out there this time of year is whether to greet someone with Merry Christmas or with Happy Holidays. It has been my belief for the longest time that people should stick with Merry Christmas. After all, in the US, 88% of the population is Christian (all denominations), and only 1.4% of the population is Jewish (source). When the Christians are in such a majority, why should things change just because of us Jews? Yes, I know we’re special, but we have to remember that we’re living in golus.

I know that we’re living in an age of political correctness, but with the kind of Christian:Jewish ratio that we have, I think that this is just silly. I understand that some people only say Happy Holidays because they’re not sure if the person they’re talking to is Jewish or not, but if you know for sure, why not say the right thing for whatever holiday they’re celebrating. For example, I know that my mailman isn’t Jewish, so when I handed him my annual Christmas holiday tip, I said Merry Christmas. And of course he knows that I’m Jewish, so he responded with Happy Chanukah.

Reminds me of a funny story. A couple years ago, I was on some mailing list and when they sent out Holiday cards in the mail, it said, “Happy _______ (fill in the blank)”


See Yid with Lid’s post on this.  I agree with this a lot.


11 Responses to “Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays”

  1. nyfunnyman Says:

    i disagree. why give any credence to their holiday? to make them feel good? are they less happy when you tell them to have a happy holiday? besides, it’s common even among goyim to say happy holidays

  2. LN Says:

    Regarding the new colors: A bit bright, but easier to see the links…maybe a shade less on the purple, but I like the purple/blue thing… 🙂

    I think Happy Holidays is the way to go. I once made the mistake of wishing Merry Christmas to my J Witness neighbor. There are many Africans, Muslims, Jews, etc. around, and not everyone celebrates Xmas…Happy Holidays doesn’t deprive anyone of any good wishes, but Merry Christmas does. Just my 2 cents.

  3. AlanLaz Says:

    You didn’t say merry Kratzmach?

  4. Lanie Says:

    I thought that mail men aren’t allowed to accept cash gifts. Is that wrong?

  5. aishel Says:

    Lanie, it was my understanding that every year, the mailmen actually look forward to this season, as this is when they get their tips. I think its actually expected.

    I just looked it up, and legally, you can’t tip a mailman anything over $50 (who’s giving the mailman that kind of money?!?!).

    Doing a quick google, there’s a lot of controversy out there on whether or not to tip the mailman. This should be its own blog post.

  6. peninah Says:

    Loving the purple. No real opinions on the holiday matter although I think i agree with you.

  7. Verbiage Tipping the mailman; yes or no? « Says:

    […] Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays […]

  8. Lanie Says:

    According to

    Government workers

    Under United States federal law it is considered bribery to tip government workers. However, they are permitted to receive gifts less than or equal to $20.00. It is a common practice to tip federal employees (such as one’s mail carrier) $20.00 for the winter holiday; however it is not legal to do so. A non-monetary gift valued at $20 or less is appropriate. A potential tipper can donate money to a charity related to the government agency. For example, most National Parks have related “natural history associations,” in which case the worker that prompted the tip may appreciate hearing that their service prompted a donation.

  9. Rachel Says:

    I’m sure they’d be much happier to have $20 to spend than to know money was donated to the dinasoar bone history foundation in the honor

  10. LN Says:

    Yesterday, a non-Jewish woman wished me “Happy Hannukah”, and after a pause, I responded with a cheery “Happy Holidays” (I didn’t know if she celebrated Christmas or Kwanzaa or whatever), and she was so grateful 🙂
    I don’t think I would have thought to respond back differently than just “Thank you” if not for this post — so you get a zechus for the kiddush hashem 😀

  11. Ozymandias Says:

    Happy Holidays works well. Yawp!

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