“Merry Christmas” Greeting Preferred Among Students, Staff

Posted on December 22, 2011 by

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Many people enter the months of November and December with a sense of holiday spirit. From Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, to Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and everything in between, most people in the United States celebrate some holiday this time of year. Streets and stores are decorated to fit the season, but one aspect of their vibrant displays remains in question.

Is it more respectful to say “Happy Holidays” when greeting someone you first meet, or is “Merry Christmas” still an accepted salutation?

A USA Today/CNN/Gallup telephone survey of one thousand American adults produced quite a definitive reaction. The poll reported that 69% of these adults chose “Merry Christmas” as their preferential response, whereas 29% said they would rather greet people with “Happy Holidays.”

The preference of Christmas greetings seems to be fairly evident in the survey, even spanning a variety of religious groups. At Fleetwood, students had a similar response.

“In public places, due to not knowing people’s personal preferences, ‘Happy Holidays’ is better, but I say ‘Merry Christmas,’” senior Mallory Christman.

“I say ‘Merry Christmas.’  I think ‘Happy Holidays’ is for people trying to please everybody and trying to be politically correct,” senior Sam Moran said .

The choice of greeting someone with “Merry Christmas” was popular not only among the student body of FAHS, but even among the teachers and administrators.

“I would say ‘Merry Christmas.’ To me, it deals more with relationship and family choices rather than religion; however, I understand public places shouldn’t be overwhelmed with religious symbols. I see the meaning behind the greeting as more than just religious,” Fleetwood Area High School Principal Michael DeAntonio said.

“I say ‘Merry Christmas’ because I don’t see any point in being vague. I don’t care what holiday you wish me so long as you pick one,” FAHS English teacher Zachary Houp said.

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