Holiday versus Christmas

There has been some debate lately over the usage of the phrase Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings versus Merry Christmas with one church going so far as to sponsor a website to call businesses out on their lack of Christmas decorations and so-called spirit.  I mean really people, this is why outsiders hate Christians and by association, Americans.  For one, aren't there more important things going on in the world to care about, like starving children living on the brink of war/genocide/death throughout the world that will never know over-commercialized event you are complaining about?  And more importantly, didn't Jesus teach us to be inclusive and loving of all people?  What's the matter with respecting the fact that Christmas is not the only religious holiday celebrated this time of  year?

In fact, Christianity isn't even the oldest religion observing a significant holiday this month.  And for that matter, Christmas day was chosen for its connection to pagan traditions connected to solstice and feasts to the dead rather than the actual birth date of Christ.  The origins of many so-called Christmas traditions associated with the holiday are in fact rooted in paganism and not historical Christianity including: evergreen trees, stockings, yule logs, and more.

Indeed, Jesus may be the reason for YOUR season, but for much of the world he is not the reason for their festivities and just because they're different than your own and what you know, these holidays should not be looked down upon as second-rate.  In the US people usually think of Hanukkah as the "other" holiday celebrated in December, however many world religions consider this a holy time of year.  Other religious holidays being celebrated in December 2010 include:

Hanukkah- Judaism

Hijra- Islam New Year

Bodhi Day (Rohatsu)- Buddhism
Immaculate Conception of Mary- Catholicism

Ashura- Islam

Posadas Navidenas- Hispanic Christmas

Yule- Wicca/Pagan Northern hemisphere
Litha- Wicca/Pagan Southern hemisphere
Yule- Christianity

Feast of the Holy Family- Catholicism
Death of Prophet Zarathushtra- Zoroastrianism

Holy Innocents- sects of Protestantism

Watch Night- sects of Protestantism

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