Season’s Greetings

Season's Greetings

As usual I am taking a break over the Christmas period so this will be my last post until the New Year but I couldn’t depart without wishing you all the joys of the season.

Apparently, so we are told, to say ‘Merry Christmas’ can be offensive to those for whom it doesn’t accord with their own religious or non-religious view. I tend to feel this is quite untrue, but here in the UK we do try to bend over backwards not to offend those of other religious views. I am sure that most reasonable people are just as happy for us to recognise our own traditions as they do their own. These days Christmas has, for most, become a very commercial concern anyway, with very little to do with religion at all.

The ‘Nativity’ has been side-lined, despite the name Christians give to the season being Christ-mas. However this is a country based on the Christian ideals and even if we are not regular church goers, those ideals are none-the-less a great moral code to live by. What’s wrong with a good seasonal story about a baby (the son/sun) born into poverty but destined to bring ‘light’ into the world? Besides, I confess that hearing young children singing ‘Away in a Manger’ always brings a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat.

In order not to cause offence some people have decided that the Christmas season should simply be called ‘Winter Festival’ and people should say ‘Happy Holidays’ as a cover-all, but to me these are all too vague. Mid-winter Festival might be more accurate and mankind has always held festivals at this time of the year, to celebrate the winter solstice – when the year turns and the sun (or son to Christians) returns, bringing light back into the world. As for ‘Happy Holidays’ – for me this is utterly meaningless. It could just as easily apply to our summer break or a holiday at any other period of the year. It is non-specific, vague and sounds insincere and bland.

In the past the season has been called ‘Yuletide’ – a name which due to its Pagan association has now been  phased out from mainstream awareness and yet to the Scandinavians ‘Jul’ is the word they use for Christmas. I miss the Christmas cards we used to see when I was a child which were just as likely to say ‘Yuletide Greetings’ as ‘Christmas Greetings’. This is the term I favour for the season, I like traditions, I like to keep these things going, also it recognises our northern heritage.

But even ‘Yuletide Greetings’ may be considered ‘offensive’ to those of other traditions (and some Christians), or so we are led to believe. So the problem remains; what term can we use that is potentially least offensive to the greatest numbers of people. I have settled on a phrase that says exactly what it is – Season’s Greetings to one and all! See you in the New Year.

Seaonal Banner

Advertisements

Site content copyright of Elizabeth Leaper (Libby).

Supporting the Printed Word

Read the Printed Word!