"Happy Holidays" No Longer Politically Correct

Fake News written by Martha Throebeck on Wednesday, November 28, 2007

from the lump-of-coal dept.

SOMEWHERE ON THE LEFT COAST -- Remember when it was safe to wish somebody a "Merry Christmas"? When you could offer "goodwill and peace on Earth" without getting punched in the face? Those days were swept away sometime during the Clinton Administration, when everything was replaced with "Happy Holidays."

However, even that innocuous phrase is now considered politically incorrect. Ms. Libby Rull, Director of the Berkeley Center for Advanced Political Correctness Studies, explains the problem: "Many people suffer from depression at this time of year. Wishing these people 'Happy Holidays' cruelly reminds them of their happiness-deficient status."

In a recent syndicated column, liberal activist Les Klue argued, "I loathe when people wish me Happy Holidays. How dare you demand that I enjoy happiness! My ability to experience pleasure is none of your business! And quit trying to cram your religious inclinations down my throat -- we all know that the root of 'holiday' is 'holy'."

Despite the outrage against Happy Holidays, nobody has been able to craft a suitable replacement. The old standby, "Seasons Greetings," could cause problems when applied to somebody that doesn't observe the seasons of the Western-centric calendar (the one based on the birth of a certain religious figure).

"Good tidings during this period of the annual calendrical cycle that you might happen to follow" dances around the calendar problem, but the phrase is too long and might confuse people with short attention span disorders.

"Positive experiences for the holidays of your choice" works fairly well, but the plural use of 'holidays' implies that the recipient of the greeting must choose at least two holidays to celebrate. And let's not forget that the word 'holidays' implies some kind of connection with religious holiness.

"Wishing you the appropriate emotional response based on your respective religious and/or secular beliefs, not that there's anything wrong whether you do or do not have any such beliefs" covers all possible situations, but it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

"Well-wishes for you and your family during this temporal segment of the human experience" sounds good, but might be offensive to single people without families, and to those who have suffered the recent loss of loved ones.

Despite the lack of a clear alternative, many organizations have issued bans against saying "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings."

"If you can't say anything that's 100% non-offensive, then don't say anything at all," explained Libby Rule. "We can't afford to exclude anybody these days... they might file a discrimination lawsuit. Not that there's anything wrong with that."