Saturday, November 21, 2009

In Defense of "Season's Greetings!"

December traditionally celebrates three distinct sets of holidays - Christmas (for Christians,) Chanukah (for Jews) and Kwanzaa (for African-Americans.) Two are religion-based; the last is relatively new -- it was first celebrated December 26 to January 1st in 1966. That period of time was one of black nationalization caused by events such as the assasinations of Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy; the Freedom Riders and Rosa Parks. It was, in its original form, a rite for Africa-Americans to shun Christmas as "a white man's celebration."*

Thus, since you may be addressing an office full of various personalities or a group of friends, it would be Politically INcorrect to set about it in this fashion: "Mary, George, Edna - Merry Christmas!" or "Bruce, Don, Esther! Happy Chanukah!" and "Emma, Bob, Antwon! - Enjoy Kwanzaa! Horrors! You have singled out others! Individualized them!

I think the most tactful greeting is "Greetings during this holiday season!" You haven't offended anyone; you clearly mean this season only and that at the proper time, you'll address them with "Happy New Year!" which is generic indeed.
* Source:

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