Christmas Conversation #17: “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas”— Does it really matter?

By Stacey Tuttle

How important are the words we speak?  Does saying Merry Christmas really communicate the love of God?  Does saying Happy Holidays always mean a person is trying to take all things Christian out of the season?  Is saying Happy Holidays more sensitive and respectful to others of different beliefs?

There is power in the words we speak…so how powerful are these words?

They say you should pick your battles.  Is this a battle you think is worth fighting, or one better left alone?  Is it possible that the significance of this may be somewhat subject to circumstance?

And frankly, I think we might need to ask what is the primary purpose of the fight anyway?  What is really at stake…what are we really fighting over?  Is this really about our right to free speech?  Is it about defending Jesus?  Is it that we are offended when others don’t see Jesus as central to Christmas?  Is it that we are truly determined to use every avenue possible to bring others to Jesus, and feel that Merry CHRISTmas plays an important role in that?

OK everyone—weigh in.  It’s a simple question…but it’s loaded.

Check out our other Christmas Conversations:

We have 25 different “conversations” going online and we’d love to hear your thoughts!  See the list below and add your two cents when and where you can, and benefit from the collective think tank as you go!

  1. How do you keep the spirit of giving in your Cristmas shopping?
  2. How do you bring Jesus into your shopping experience?
  3. What do you think about Christmas music?
  4. What’s the worst Christmas song and why?
  5. What’s your best idea for using a Christmas movie to spark a conversation about Christ?
  6. What’s the worst Christmas movie and why?
  7. What’s the most meaningful Christmas tradition that your family has?
  8. How do you get your kids attention (or even your own) off of the gifts you get?
  9. How much is too much when it comes to giving your kids gifts for Christmas?
  10. What are your favorite service-oriented things to do during Christmas?
  11. Is Santa a naughty or nice Christmas tradition and why?
  12. What Christmas traditions have you chosen not to follow, and what have you replaced them with?
  13. If you’ve chosen to do Santa, how can you use him to point your kids to Jesus?
  14. Do lighting displays add to or detract from the real meaning of Christmas?
  15. What kinds of gifts can you give to non-Christian friends that make Jesus attractive?
  16. What are your best ideas for using Christmas to spur conversations about Jesus?
  17. Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas – Does it really matter?
  18. Should we boycott stores based on Christian principles during the Holidays?
  19. How do you deal with the Grinches in your life this Christmas?
  20. How do you deal with Christmas as a joyous family time when family is hard? 
  21. What do you know about the Biblical concept of hospitality and how do you apply that during the Christmas season?
  22. How do you find spiritual refreshment in the midst of an exhausting season?
  23. When do the excesses of Christmas cross the line from communicating the lavishness of God’s love for us to fostering excess, greed and pride?
  24. How do you respond to feeling like someone else “does Christmas better” than you?
  25. What is the most meaningful Christmas memory you have?