Why do I say ‘Happy Holidays’ while at work? Or, rather why I have no desire to say anything about the multitude of holidays during November and December.
(Oh, I said Happy Holidays, bite me.)
I work in retail, and I tell most people to just ‘have a good day’ when they leave. This time of year it’s a rocky road of what do I tell people as they leave, do I risk saying Merry Christmas and having a customer tell me how awful I am, or do I risk saying Happy Holidays and irritating the ones who think that the only reason for the holidays is the birth of Christ?
I choose to go the safer route and say Happy Holidays, but only if I’m prompted.
And here’s why.
November 1st is both Calan Gaeaf and All Saints Day.
Thanksgiving and the Nativity Fast all take place during the end of November. (Except in Canada, where it’s celebrated on the second Monday of October!)
Advent, during December, the four weeks prior to Christmas.
Saint Nicholas’ Day on the 6th of December.
Bodhi Day on the 8th of December as the day that the Buddah recieved Enlightenment.
Our Lady of Guadalupe on the 12th of December which honors Mexico’s Patron Saint before Christmas (which begins on the 16th of December!)
Las Posadas runs from the 16th to the 24th of December. It’s a processions to various family lodgings for the celebrations and prayers to re-enact Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
Saint Lucia’s Day on the 13th of December. Saint Lucia comes as a young woman who brings sweets and lights.
Winter Solstice runs from the 21st to the 22nd of December, which celebrates midwinter. This is also celebrated as the Dongzhi Festival, Soyal, Yalda, Mōdraniht, and Saturnalia in other religions and cultures.
Pancha Ganapati is a five day festival in honor of Lord Ganesha (December 21st – December 25th)
Festivus on the 23rd of December.
Christmas Eve, obviously on the 24th of December.
Christmas, Anastasia of Sirmium, Malkh, Yule, and the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Day of the Unconquered Sun) on the 25th of December.
Yule begins after Christmas, and runs through early January.
Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, and Saint Stephen’s Day all are either on or continue on after the 26th of December.
Saint John the Evangelist’s Day on the 27th of December.
Holy Innocents Day on the 28th of December.
Saint Sylvester’s Day, Watch Night, New Year’s Eve, Hogmanay are all celebrations along the line of bringing in the new year.
Hanukkah also falls during December, but is observed on the 26th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar which can fall from anywhere in late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
There are more holiday’s in the winter season than just that of Christ’s birth.
I choose to respect those, even the ones I don’t understand.