Bah, humbug! on Happy Holidays


I’d like to respond to the paper’s views of December 30, 2011 entitled, “Lack of problems plagues county.”

After reading the article, my first thought is that the title smacks of a bit of sarcasm, or “much ado about nothing,” if you will. I disagree.

If the problem stems from CVS placing banners in windows that said, “Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays and Happy Hanukkah”, any Christian could easily take offense.

Why? Because, it clearly leaves “Christmas” out of the mix, lumping it under the catch-all term “holidays,” but then adding “Happy Hanukkah”…very puzzling.

It reminds me of an absurd comment I heard this season from someone who said, ‘we shouldn’t be referring to it as a ‘menorah’, but rather a candelabra. I find that comment would show timidity when it comes to referring to the actual Hebrew word for what it is…a menorah.

Likewise, many people do not want to see the word “Christmas” disappear. So naturally, the reaction would be that Christmas is not covered by “Happy Holidays.” If Christmas were indeed covered by the term “Holiday,” then Hanukkah would be covered by the term “Happy Holidays” as well.

The paper’s view is that there is no shortage of signs and symbols celebrating Christmas. You mention trees, brightly decorated houses, manger scenes and giant wreaths, menorahs and dreidels.

As far as Christmas and Hanukkah are concerned, some of these symbols have real significance, but most of them are very secular in origin and mean nothing, except to the retailers who profit greatly and the people who happen to enjoy them.

As your article mentioned, those with no particular religious belief enjoy these things as well – which is proof that Christmas is not “covered” by such symbols. Your article leaves the connotation that ‘we have reminders, but we shouldn’t say it’. I find that offensive. The problem for many of us lies in the feeling that one is compelled to not utter the word “Christmas”…neither in advertising signs nor in greeting customers.

If I, for one, approach a person that I know is Jewish, I wish them a Happy Hanukkah. Likewise, if I approach a person who celebrates Christmas, I wish them “Merry Christmas.” If I’m not sure, I say “Happy Holidays”.

In closing, your article mentions the return of our troops from Iraq.

Clearly, the return of our soldiers from Iraq to be with their families is certainly a reason to celebrate and be full of joy, no matter when it occurs, but mentioning it in this particular article seems to me to be a non-sequitur.

Rosanne Spinner,

New Hyde Park


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