By Kaitlin McDonagh
Around the holidays, people become more concerned with being politically correct; instead of hearing “Merry Christmas,” it’s now more common to hear “Happy Holidays.” Although some people don’t think being politically correct is a big deal, it’s important to view the issue from different angles.
In a school where students predominantly celebrate Christmas, most people don’t bother to acknowledge other holidays. This is because there is a lack of variety when it comes to religious denominations.
Because of this lack of diversity, students don’t know a lot about other religions. Learning about other winter holidays is important because it makes everybody feel included. With fewer people who celebrate other holidays, such as Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, more people are likely to feel left out when other students talk about Christmas.
In order to prevent others from feeling bad, it’s important to be mindful of others’ religions. It’s fine to say “Merry Christmas” to people who celebrate the holiday, but it becomes awkward when the person’s religion is uncertain. To avoid this mistake, it’s easier to say “Happy Holidays” to everyone, regardless of whether his or her religion is known or not.
Not only does this stop awkward encounters, but it also shows that other holidays and religions are accepted. When somebody says “Happy Holidays,” it shows that he or she is making an effort no to offend anyone.
To many, it may seem ridiculous that people are offended when their holidays are ignored. In order to understand their feelings, it’s important to step into their shoes; how would it feel to essentially be ignored during the holiday season? There’s so much hype over Christmas that nobody pays attention to other holidays.
Some people still believe others shouldn’t make a fuss if their holidays aren’t widely acknowledged. The fact of the matter is people do feel offended, whether one agrees with it or not. When somebody feels this way, it is important to make him or her feel comfortable; whether one thinks he or she is overreacting is a different issue that shouldn’t matter.
Essentially, it comes down to this: it’s important to make the largest number of people feel as appreciated as possible. Without being politically correct around the holidays, it’s impossible to do. By putting aside personal opinions and acknowledging other religions, the holidays will be a happier time for everyone.