Dear A Leftist™,
I celebrate Christmas and I love it. Can I just say… “Merry Christmas”?
Dear Happy Holidays,
Well, of course you can, and actually, please do! Let’s be honest, when people say “happy holidays” we all know what they mean. Given the institutional nature of Christmas in America, a country where around 70% of Americans celebrate Christmas, your (and anyone’s) “happy holidays” really doesn’t really cut through the hundreds of Christmas songs blaring through every store, radio and TV ad to make those who don’t celebrate or revere Christmas somehow feel less excluded.
The “happy holidays” conversation as well as other annual Fox News discourse related to the “War on Christmas” function to scare liberals, centrists and the right wing alike into thinking the “woke left” is after their white cultural norms* and that somehow this will lead to the downfall of society rather than its improvement. As an added benefit to the preservation of our capitalist system, “happy holidays” discourse encourages people to pour limited time and energy into petty arguments while ignoring larger issues like racism, anti-worker/anti-poor propaganda, nationalism, capitalism and consumerism. So please, feel free to ignore it!
If you really want to make people feel more welcome, get on the old Google and find out when their important holidays are – and not just the ones that come around in December. Once you’ve done this, you may be tempted to recite this information to your non-Christian friends, coworkers and people you see on the street. Don’t! Just store it away and move on with your day.
In addition to learning about other people’s holidays in a general sense, here at Ask A Leftist™ we also suggest that you limit your own holidays (like everyone else does) to the day before and the day after said holiday. It’s not going to matter if you wish someone “happy holidays” if you do it every day from December 1 through the New Year**, we all know what you mean.
So without further ado, we hope you have a great Christmas, New Year and whatever else you might want to celebrate between now and mid-January or so.
* Which, maybe we are but this is definitely a bit of a red herring in that we’re much more interested in destroying the patriarchy and white supremacy cultural norms.
** And no you don’t have plausible deniability about what Happy Holidays means because you said a few times between Christmas and New Years too, everyone knows that was just for show.
A Leftist is the author of the wildly popular advice column “Ask A Leftist™”.