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Column: A Guide to Holiday Greetings

Ally Poss, Student of Journalism

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In recent years, a controversy has risen surrounding holiday greetings. Some claim a new era encouraging self-awareness or political-correctness suppresses the ability to say “Merry Christmas,” while the other side of the argument explains that “Happy Holidays” is a more inclusive term for the vast variety of celebrations in the winter months.

The constitution defends freedom of religion for all of citizens yet a hostility exists amongst those same Americans toward those celebrating less popularized religious celebrations. According to Desert News, as many as 28 major religions and even more minor faiths are practiced in  America, a country with no official religion.

Counting and calculating the number of religious belief systems and their followers is a difficult task. America’s population is often referred to as a “melting pot” encompassing different ethnicities, languages and religions.

Catholicism and the denominations connected to it remain to be the most popular religion in America, and the impact is seen in more than churches and private school districts. Most major Catholic holidays and celebrations are honored and even encouraged in American society

Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated holiday throughout the United States, but it is far from the only holy day worshipped in December.

Many of the major religions worshipped in the United States have holidays celebrated in the winter months.

Mawlid el-Nabi is celebrated Nov. 20 – 21. This Islamic holiday honors the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam.

Hanukkah is a more well-known Holiday in America. The United States is home to one of the largest population of Jewish people, second only to Israel. This holiday is Dec. 2 – 10 to celebrate the Maccabean revolt in Egypt.

Rohatsu (Bodhi day) is a buddhist holiday celebrated on Jan. 24 to honor Buddha’s decision to sit beneath a Bodhi day until he reached spiritual enlightenment

The “Christmas season” is also the “Hanukkah season” and the “Kwanzaa season.” With as many as 14 religious celebrations from November to January, “Happy Holidays” is an efficient and respectful greeting to honor all faiths and ethnicities.

The holiday season truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Regardless of religious beliefs or ethnicity, this is a time for families and friends of all genders, races and backgrounds to come together to celebrate.

The term “Happy Holidays” is not suppressing the spirit of Christmas, but rather, embracing all celebrations in one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world.

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Column: A Guide to Holiday Greetings