In praise of ‘happy holidays’

It's amazing how prickly a "happy holidays" can still make some people.

For a phrase that’s gained so much traction in our society — on everything from greeting cards to chocolate bars, used in window displays and Facebook status updates alike — it’s amazing how prickly a “happy holidays” can still make some people.

This far into December, the complaints are out there locally, nationally and internationally. Thankfully debate about the “War on Christmas” is still mostly a U.S. issue, but the idea that it’s somehow frowned upon to wish people a Merry Christmas definitely exists on both sides of the border.

But let’s be real here. If you’ve wandered around the Columbia Valley any time in the last two weeks, can you really argue Christmas is on its way out? That when people say “happy holidays” they’re not including December 25 in the phrase?

It’s not as though there’s anything inaccurate about the phrase either. There are plenty of holidays in December — Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Festivus, to name a few.

True, they’re not all equally popular in this part of the country (though if anyone is planning to light up their annual Festivus pole we’d love to hear about it), but they are all being celebrated (except maybe Festivus, on further thought).

What’s puzzling is that inclusivity here is usually seen as some kind of attack on Christmas. As though acknowledging other activities somehow robs December 25 of its meaning. Which, if you can’t stand the thought of anyone in the country not celebrating along with you, it might. But in that case, the holidays have probably been a sore spot for several decades now.

But if what matters to you is celebrating the holiday you want to with the people you care about, what the rest of us do shouldn’t matter much. At best, an awareness of the other things other people can get up to may spark a few ideas for a new tradition around the Christmas table. Airing of grievances, anyone?

Valley Echo

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read