Season’s Greetings

25 Dec

Here today, gone to Rio. Be back in 2007…

Please see our: Season’s Greetings from Silicon Palms in Brazil.

Macumba Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Macumba Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Season’s Greetings and Political Correctness

“Season’s Greetings” is a greeting more commonly used as a motto on winter season greeting cards, and in commercial advertisements, than as a spoken phrase. In addition to “Merry Christmas”, Victorian Christmas cards bore a variety of salutations, including “Compliments of the Season” and “Christmas Greetings.” By the late 19th century, “With the Season’s Greetings” or simply “The Season’s Greetings” began appearing. By the 1920s it had been shortened to “Season’s Greetings”, and has been a greeting card fixture ever since. Several White House Christmas cards, including U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower‘s 1955 card, have featured the phrase.

History of the Happy Holidays expression

In the United States, “Happy Holidays” (along with the similarly generalized “Season’s Greetings”) has become a common holiday greeting in the public sphere of department stores, public schools and greeting cards. Its use is generally confined to the period between United States Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. American use of the term “Happy Holidays” to replace “Merry Christmas” dates back at least to the 1970s and was a common phrase relating to the Christmas season at least going back to the 1890s. The term may have gained further popularity with the Irving Berlin song “Happy Holiday” (introduced in the 1942 film Holiday Inn).

In the United States, it can have several variations and meanings:

The increasing usage of “Happy Holidays” has been the subject of some controversy in the United States. Advocates claim that “Happy Holidays” is an inclusive greeting that is not intended as an attack on Christianity or other religions, but is rather a response to what they say is the reality of a growing non-Christian population.

Critics of “Happy Holidays” generally claim it is a secular neologism. The greeting may be deemed materialistic, consumerist, atheistic, indifferentist, agnostic, politically correct and/or anti-Christianity. Critics of the phrase have associated it with a larger cultural clash termed the “War on Christmas.

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