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Christmas greeting not intended to offend

‘Tis the season to be jolly. At least for the obnoxious Christians, right?

As it is with every year, the approach of the holiday season calls for a fresh batch of the Christmas controversy. Apparently, in the United States, the land of the free, the land of a myriad of faiths and ethnicity, “Merry Christmas” is not politically correct.

Because not all of Americans can identify with the phrase and the meaning behind it, the phrase should be done away with in public places altogether until people can understand the true meaning behind it.

So now in department stores, workers and banners are required to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” even though most shoppers are pushing and shoving for only one reason: Christmas.

At superstores, where about 99.9 percent of merchandise consists of Christmas candies, Christmas stockings, Christmas ornaments – Christmas everything – their banners and workers are required to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

It just does not make sense.

Since when is it OK for the freedom of expression to be truncated because some people simply find it offensive or don’t wish to hear an expression? If that is in any way legitimate, pornography would be the first embracement of freedom of expression that America should get rid of. I think many would agree that is offensive to their morals as well as their sight – even more so than a jolly holiday greeting.

Christmas has been with America for centuries, and it should be honored for the sake of tradition and culture. Saying “Merry Christmas” or showing nativity displays is in no way disrespecting the followers of religions other than Christianity. Christians will celebrate Christmas – publicly and privately – and when a huge majority of a nation’s population is Christian, Christmas is bound to be the dominant theme at this jolly time of year.

Whether the greeting for the holiday season be “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” or “Happy Hanukkah,” the essence of these phrases is that they are all greetings, not a way to impose a certain religion or offend others. They hold cheerful spirit and express good will and nothing more. No mature person with a sense of manners would use such a greeting to be obnoxious – not until this obnoxious debate came about, anyway.

Merry Christmas, Shmistmas. Who cares? ‘Tis the season to be jolly, not take offense in harmless little phrases.

Saerom Yoo is a sophomore news-editorial journalism major from Pusan, South Korea. Her column appears every Thursday.

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