The Happy Holidays debate confuses me

Happy Holidays!  I’ve honestly been struggling with if I should even post this one of not.  I don’t generally participate in political type debates, and firmly believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

However, this one issue crosses over with the things I talk about here enough that I thought it was worth a go.

I have a bit of semi harsh advice at the bottom for anyone who cares to read it.

The subject of the day?

Today’s topic is the great debate over the term “happy holidays”.

Like I said, I don’t usually get into debates and discussions about this stuff, but this is a thing that has always fully confused me.  It’s also a tradition for me at this point.  I’ve put up a Facebook post on the topic every year for the last 4.  Facebook memories is nice enough to keep reminding me.

Happy Holidays is OK by me
See, I’ve always been wordy

I’m not going to get into religion, or how PC the world has gotten.  My debate is not around what can hurt who’s feelings or what companies have gone “soft” in the interest of profits.

I really don’t care about any of that and will leave the debating of it all to people who do care.

My issue with this whole debate is far simpler than that.

How can you be angry that someone said something nice to you?

Imagine you’re walking down the street and a stranger smiles and said “Hey, nice shirt!”.

Do you thank them for the complement or do you get angry and upset because what you’re wearing is in fact a blouse and they had the nerve to call it just a shirt?  Or maybe you hate that shirt.  You were only wearing it because it’s laundry day, so why would they complement that?  Why didn’t they say that your hair looked nice or that they liked your new boots?

Wouldn’t the normal reaction be to just be happy that someone bothered to say something nice to you?

I mean, we’re never guaranteed strangers being nice to us at all.  Anyone who has ever worked any form of customer service can tell you that.

The stranger could have just as easily cursed at you.  They could have insulted you or just plain given you a dirty look.  Instead they bothered to say something nice.

Does it matter that what they said wasn’t exactly what we wanted to hear?

The thought is what counts

Last year for his birthday my mom sent Chris a really nice pair of polarized sunglasses.  They were super lightweight, the frame was green (his favorite) and they were just really nice.

Chris has worn prescription glasses his entire life.  My mom, who has known him for 25 years knows this.  She just saw them on sale, thought of him and didn’t stop to think that there was no way he could ever use them.

Did Chris get mad at this useless gift?  Of course not.  We all had a good laugh over it and he sincerely thanked her for the thought.

He even took the glasses to his eye doctor to see if we could get prescription lenses put into them.  We couldn’t though, so I used them for a while then gave them away when I got my prescription sunglasses.

My point is, even if it’s not what you would have picked out, even if it’s totally useless, it was a gift.  It was given with no expectations for anything in return and with the intent on making him happy.

Appreciate Gifts when you get them

That’s what “Happy Holidays” is.  In fact that’s what “Good Morning” and “have a great day” and ANY other kind word a stranger ever said to you is.  They are all gifts.  They are not required, they are not given with any malice, they are simply gifts to you.  Free of charge!

Finally I get to the harsh advice I promised earlier in full.  That is simply that none of us are owed any gifts from strangers.  Not words, not things, nothing at all.  Every kind word said to us is a present from one human to another and should never ever be criticized for being imperfect.

If you want real true control over your own happiness look at what you are given every day, not at what you don’t get.


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