lealea's blogblog

because it's nice to say it twice

17 Comments // Filed in Business / Etc

Merry Chrismahanukwanzakah!

This is my first year in business, so it was also the first year I’ve sent off Christmas cards — no, unfortunately not custom cards, but some were doodled in — and I’m wondering what my professional peers do during this holiday season. Do you send your clients custom gifts or cards as well? I know some shops even make custom gift-wrapping paper, calendars, coasters, cards, and what-have-you during this time. Sometimes gift-giving, depending on your client relationship and business, can get a bit dodgy — if your gift is exorbitant, it can be construed as a bribe, as opposed to an innocent gift. There are also laws regarding this, too. Has anyone ever gotten into a sticky situation regarding that? For people working on the web, do you make anything custom? How many people don’t send anything at all?

Meanwhile, what is your feeling about the War on Christmas (which, I don’t believe actually exists) and political correctness during this holiday season, especially when speaking to clients? Do you acknowledge it at all, even?

To me, I know people of many backgrounds and faiths, but I have said “Merry Christmas” to the same people, too — and not because I’m trying to shove the Christian faith down their throats. No one seems offended, and even after asking them if they would be, they say they simply don’t even care. I think it’s ridiculous that there’s so much emphasis placed on two words. The reason why people even say them is because they want to wish you well! Instead of pouncing on people about their religious beliefs or lack of them, couldn’t people just take the words at face value: a happy greeting?

17 blabs to Merry Chrismahanukwanzakah!

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I am a Christian, so obviously Merry Christmas is far weightier in my mind than most others; but most non-Christians I’ve met thinks is petty and silly not to say ‘Merry Christmas’ on the day celebrating Christ’s birth. The sentiment seems to be, why not eliminate the day if you can’t say the words?

Picture of CC

Name CC

Date Dec 20
10:13 PM

The thing is, just about everyone can get behind at least some of the spirit of the Christmas season. For instance, most atheists, Jews, Buddhists, whatever, can still appreciate the “Peace on Earth” sentiment and the custom of celebrating your friendships and loved ones by giving thoughtful gifts. The holiday has the ability to connect with people of all faiths.

I think most people understand this, which is why most people DO take the words “Merry Christmas” as a generic, pseudo-secular greeting.

But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t register on peoples’ radar. Remember that non-Christians are inundated by references to Christian dogma throughout the month of December (and, increasingly, October and November, too). It blankets the airwaves, the malls, people, everything. Some references are more blatant than others, and some can be downright offensive if you think about it (such as the TV shows for children that paint people who don’t celebrate Christmas as “scrooges”).

For this reason, I think it’s worth it to extend people you interact with the courtesy of not making assumptions about the religion they believe. That’s why I think “Happy Holidays” is better than “Merry Christmas” and using Santa, Snowmen, and Rudolph in your holiday designs is better than using a manger scene, at least when you’re communicating with people of indeterminate religion. It may not seem like a big deal, especially to Christians, but it DOES say that you acknowledge that we all celebrate in our own way, and still captures the goodwill message that everyone can appreciate. It focuses on what unites us, rather than what divides us.

For what it’s worth…

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Name Lea

Date Dec 20
10:37 PM

CC, I agree. That’s why my Christmas card was of happy animals making a snowman, and with wishes for a happy holidays and new year.

I just find it silly when some hard-core Christians get offended when people say Happy Holidays. Just as “Merry Christmas” is just two words, so are those two. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart had a good segment of him rolling his eyes at Bill O’Reilly’s tantrum regarding the greeting.

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Name Alex

Date Dec 20
10:45 PM

I am a Chinese, Appreciates your website very much Very beautiful

I tend to be a sucker for punishment every year and make a custom ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Seasons Greetings’ card to send to my clients. And of course, I always leave it until the last minute to do, just like the cards that I make and send to my family.

I’ve been making my own cards for my clients for about 3 years now, and I think some of them would be quite disappointed if they started receiving boxed cards from me.

I’m Jewish, but I’m not like hardcore Orthodox Jewish, so the whole Merry Christmas thing offends me about as much as somebody telling me that my shoe is untied.

Bill O’Reilly went off on this whole rant a few weeks back about how Merry Christmas is offensive to everybody, regardless of religion. I figure if somebody of another religion other than Christianity is offended by that phrase, then they’re just dumb. America is predominantly Christian, so if a Jewish person or a Buddhist lives in the US they can expect to hear things that aren’t always Judaism or Buddhism friendly.

No harm no foul Lea.

Picture of Lea

Name Lea

Date Dec 20
11:43 PM

Mike, I think you got mixed up of what Bill O’Reilly said. He said that everything but Merry Christmas is offensive! What a maroon… I linked on the Daily Show segment on it just now on the entry (the link War on Christmas)

And Mike, Happy Early Hannukah! :D Or is it Channukah? Why is there a million ways to spell it?

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Name aj

Date Dec 20
11:59 PM

war on xmas = slow news week. How else to explain the self-justifying Fox News pundit class’ current bugbear, Canada?

Technically, there’s almost no wrong way to spell Chanukah because Hebrew letters don’t correspond to Roman ones, exactly. I think the “Ch” sort of implies more the actual throaty Middle Eastern “khhh” of the original than the soft H of the westernized pronunciation – like challah bread, etc. etc. (man, i love montreal bakeries.)

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Name CC

Date Dec 21
02:56 AM

I’d like to see your card design. Care to post it?

For our holiday office party, we made a little party game using Macromedia Director hooked up to a DDR dance pad where Santa throws snowballs at voracious snow monsters. I hope Santa is secular enough nowadays that it’s safe to use him to inject a little fun into the season. (Of course, it’s always safe to use snow monsters, because, hey, who doesn’t love snow monsters?)

Picture of Mike

Name Mike

Date Dec 21
06:33 AM

Haha whoops! I knew he said something even dumber than what I thought ;)

Thanks for the wishes! Officially, there is no official English spelling for hannukah. You can spell it with a “ch”, two n’s, two k’s, two n’s and two k’s, or however else you wish!

I’m with you all the way on this one. If you’ve caught the Colbert Report on Comedy Central in the last few weeks, Stephen Colbert makes light on all the Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays battles in only a way he can. It’s good stuff, check it out if you can.

As far as wishing others well, I agree that in most cases it doesn’t matter what religious background people are. It’s about the season, not any specific celebration of a religious holiday. A friend of mine who is Jewish sent me a t-shirt for Christmas and wished me a “Merry Christmas” just yesterday.

Why can’t everyone just smile and enjoy the giving season?

I hope you have a beautiful turn out, even for your first year
I’m hoping that I can supercide.
I’m just surfing, putting my verse to the net. I am what ryhming is to living for me.

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Name Mary

Date Dec 21
10:06 PM

The studio I am working in had a bunch (50) of tins silk-screened with a winter scene, and we put in a few cookies… cookies that I, and another girl, spent many paid hours decorating with icing and sprinkles, then individualy wrapped in cellophane. Eventually they were hand delivered and throughout the process there was a lot of “lets never do this again”. We have been getting a lot of good feedback though, almost making it worthwhile. Almost.

As for the war on xmas, i think it was just something to talk about on a slow news day that got blown out of proportion. Even though Christmas is a Christian holiday, it is reconized by unreligious and nonchirstian people, and I think it has something to do with all the commercialism…, but also how people just like to get together and have a good time with some presents! Merry Christmas!

Chanukkah, Hanukkah…it’s all basically the same thing. I prefer refering to it as Hanukkah but neither is really ‘correct’.

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Name Beth

Date Dec 22
01:39 PM

There’s no war on Christmas, retailers have always been, and will continue to be, out to make some money. I worked in retail for 7 years and I learned we said Happy Holidays so non-Christians would want to buy oodles of holiday tchotchkes as well. Bill O’Reilly is just running out of things to complain about.

Ahhh every year there is a war on Christmas. It makes good news. As for Mr. O’Reily, well his listening and viewers love to hear about topics like that. Some people like just being rile up (no pun intended).

I wish Merry Christmas to those whom I know celebrate it, and Happy Holidays to all others. And I give gifts to Christians and non-Christians alike. Non of my Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or even aetheist friends have ever complained. Well at least to my face.

Hey Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Men!

By the way, congrats on your first year, and here’s to more good content in the new year.

Picture of G

Name G

Date Dec 12
12:47 PM

Happy Holidays is more inclusive. That’s why I use it. There is not a war on Xmas; just a sensitivity that in the larger scheme of things one should include everyone. Most Christians do not realize, just for the heck of it, that the majority of the world does not celebrate Xmas. There are many ways to spell Hannukah because it is a transliteration of a Hebrew word which means “rededication.” The temple was rededicated after King Antiochus brought idols and pigs into it. This happened around the second century BCE (before the common era). In truth if the small band of Jewish fighters called the Maccabees had not won the war, there would have been no Jews and thus no Jesus. BTW Jesus would have written and spoken in Hebrew and of course he would have become a Bar Mitzvah. Therefore I do not understand why religious Christains who are interested in the origins of their faith do not study Judaism and frankly follow many of its customs. Assuredly Jesus did. Regardless I wish everyone a happy holiday and may we all please coexist peacefully. Thank you for the opportunity to share this information.

Regrets on the typo above—unintentional. BTW if you do a little studying you would find that many of the Christian customs are adapted from Judaism including quite possibly the Xmas tree (temple foliage at Sukkot), Easter baskets (Purim baskets), finding Easter eggs (finding the Afikomen), obviosuly the Sabbath, etc. It is very interesting to see the cultural adaptaions if one reviews the religion from a historical perspective.

typo again!! I need an “edit” button sorry!!

Happy Holidays to all!

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