Bob has posted this holiday message every year since it was originally published on 12/23/2011. This year the atmosphere of "political correctness" continues to evolve in the post 2016 election period, and the phrase "Merry Christmas" once again seems to be an acceptable part of the country's vernacular. However, different cultures and beliefs need to be respected, so he felt publishing this was still appropriate for the period. It has been updated to reflect the current calendar:
As I have stated here before, and as people who know me will attest, I am NOT a person who subscribes easily to the notion of political correctness. So it is with no great simplicity that I attempt to wish you well within what has become a highly contentious topic.
Personally, I am a “Merry Christmas” kind of guy. I freely use that phrase with my friends and associates, and think that by far the vast majority of our country men and women respond positively to that term. I am equally consistent in the wishing of “Happy Hanukah” to my Jewish friends, although I have detected no great resentment from them if someone inadvertently wishes them a Merry Christmas.
To be truthful, I am also perfectly fine with the phrase “Happy Holidays”. I recognize that not everyone in the country celebrates Christmas, and people, particularly those in public settings, deal with those of all persuasions. “Happy Holidays” is an inoffensive phrase that now seems to be highly offensive for some. If you happen to be one of those people, take heart in this: The origin of the word holiday is derived from “Holy Day”, and evolved to specifically refer to old English (read: Christian) religious events.
Perhaps the phrase now draws such ire because of a broader attempt to neutralize Christmas as a significant holiday. On that front I would agree; there is some lunacy out there, but that is not the point or subject of this message.
Of course, a friend recently told me of a story he read about a group angry at the use of the “Happy Holidays” term, not because of its perceived slight toward Christmas, but rather because they did not celebrate ANY holiday, and they were offended that someone would wish them otherwise.
My point would be, I suppose, is that someone may wish me a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or Happy Hanukah, or Happy Kwanza; I don't care, and I take no offense. They are merely wishing me well. I take that at face value, and appreciate the intent with which the wish was given.
However, recognizing that not everyone lives in my world (happy place that it is), I have a solution that should fill the bill.
I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Happy Happy Chrishannakwanadan.
Chrishannakwanadan is an amalgam of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and Ramadan, the four major celebratory events of the year from major cross sections of our population. Its origins are in our own company holiday parties, which have become known as the Annual Chrishannakwanadan office party.
Any Druids in my office are SOL.
All kidding aside, I wish everyone:
A Merry Christmas, A Happy Hanukah, Or a Happy Kwanza.
I hope the holiday season is filled with happiness and joy for all, and I wish you the greatest of success and happiness in the New Year.
And for those who are upset because they celebrate no holiday whatsoever, have a nice Monday.
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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Bob is an accomplished speaker for the workers' compensation industry. He is available for conferences, corporate events, children's birthday parties and Bar Mitzvahs. You may access his Speakers Brief here.