Happy Holidays and All That Jazz

If you’re one of those people who insist that it’s “Merry Christmas” not “Happy Holidays”, then I want to let you in on a little secret.

People in customer service, particularly retail, hate you. Straight up loathe.

Here’s why.

“It’s ‘Merry Christmas’, not ‘Happy Holidays'” is never not said in anything but a condescending, snotty tone. And let me tell you, customer service people love that tone. Probably because we get a lot of it. But it’s so special at this time of year. Really holly fucking jolly.

Furthermore, you’ve chosen the most stressful time of year in which we are already straining to maintain any shred of professionalism to debate theology with us. Now is not the time to pretend that your Christianity is under attack and you’re being oppressed. You’re buying overpriced electronics and toys your children will break in a few months, you’re not being martyred. Instead, you’re aggravating an underpaid employee who’s probably already dealt with six of you that shift. There are something like 25 holidays and observances in December. Yours is not special just because it’s been commercialized.

Now, I can’t speak for all customer service employees, but I can speak from my own experience when I say that I’ve never been told that I MUST say “Happy Holidays”. And I’d wager sick time that I’m in the majority on that one. Except I’m part-time and I don’t get sick time.

My own “Happy Holidays” rule is very simple: I say to you what you say to me. That’s right. I’m a parrot. If you say “Happy Holidays”, that’s what I say. If you say “Merry Christmas”, that’s what I say. And if you don’t say jack shit, then I tell you to have a good night and get on with my life. I no longer make an effort to “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” anyone anymore because one too many people took my holiday cheer as an offense.

Which is really the point of this whole post.

There’s a whole song about how this is the most wonderful time of the year, but some people have decided it’s only THEIR time of the year and they will ruin it for the rest of us because we refuse to accept that. Sadly these nativity scene erectors don’t seem to realize that the whole “good will toward men” thing includes them as givers as well as receivers and there’s no exemption just because they monetized a holiday that was created by cannibalizing the rituals and celebrations of other religions.

So keep in mind the next time you insist that it’s “Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays” the person you’re insisting that to would much rather tell you to go fuck yourself instead.

Ho ho ho.

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