OPINION: Appropriate Greetings for the Holidays

Trevor Wyatt

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Westwood students have a uniquely diverse group of religious and personal backgrounds, meaning there are a vast amount of holidays celebrated that are connected to different greetings. Many people around this time of year tend to say “Happy Thanksgiving” or “Merry Christmas”, but if you are unaware someone’s beliefs or religion it is better to say “ Happy Holidays” or “Have a good break”.

Respecting other people’s religions as well as personal choices is a serious matter. For example, instead of celebrating Christmas, a person celebrates Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or they just don’t celebrate holidays in general. Furthermore, if you do know what they celebrate, then give the acceptable greeting. A good rule of thumb is to just use a greeting that is not attached to a particular holiday.

This time of year is known to be rather joyous so taking time out of your day to say a greeting such as “Happy Holidays” is a nice thing to do. You never what is going on in a person’s life, so the act of acknowledging them to begin with and wishing them happiness is a really considerate thing to do. This way, being disrespectful by using the improper greeting isn’t an issue.

In November, students have a break and for some it’s known as Thanksgiving break. Then, in December students get two weeks following the week of finals and for some this is known as Christmas Break, while for others is just an end of semester break. It is okay to say Merry Christmas or Happy Thanksgiving to people you are aware of that celebrate those specific holidays.

However if you are in the unknown, it is always safe to say: “Have a good break” or “Happy Holidays” in order to be respectful of others. Being conscious of others’ personal views and giving the appropriate phrasing for the correct situations, is the right thing to do.