Any Europeans (Brits especially) prefer not to be wished a "Merry Christmas?"

Based on this thread:
I was wondering: Do we have any Dopers who are European (particularly British) who DO prefer “Happy Holidays?” The OP seems based on the asumption that Brits as a group do not like this expression. Just curious of the reality of this.

I don’t mind being wished a merry christmas, but I generally like my hellos and goodbyes to be short and informal,

If someone wishes me merry christmas I am obliged to return the wish, So I feel slighly weird using a formal ‘merry christmas’ to say bye to an informal friend.

I think I vote for “Bah Humbug” myself. :slight_smile:

“Happy Holidays” just sounds somewhat “odd” to us, that’s all, Well, perhaps not “odd”, but unusual. It does make rather more sense though. I try to ignore it all and stick with Happy New Year. A whole lot of the people in my area are Moslem anyway, so…oh just someone wake me up when it is all over, please.

I’m a brit and don’t care either way.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard it said. And I think I heard ‘Happy Christmas’ far more when I lived in a heavily-Muslim area.

Me? I hate them all. Now I might put another lump of coal on the fire…or I might not :smiley:

Never ever heard anyone say “Happy Holidays”.
If I did I’d assume the person was an American or taking the piss.
I hate “Happy” Christmas.

Christmas is merry, New Year is happy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I think the reason " Happy Holidays " sounds weird is that a for us a holiday can be taken at any time of the year. We use that word where Americans would use vacation . So we go off on our two week’s summer holiday to Spain etc . So “holiday” does relate directly to Christmas for us.

Also I think that people in the US are afraid of offending non-Christians so avoid mentioning the “C” word. For some reason that never seems to be an issue over here.

Of course I mean ’ So " Holiday" does not relate directly to Christmas for us.


I exchanged "merry Christmas"es with a Muslim friend only a few days ago …

“Happy Holidays” just sounds daft to me. (And what about the people who have to work over Christmas? Or the extreme Puritan sects who feel it their duty to be utterly miserable at all times? “Happy Holidays” is clearly offensive and discriminatory towards such people! It needs to be replaced by something even more sickeningly bland and characterless!)

Oooohhhh! Maybe that’s why owl is having such a tizzy. The word “Holiday” doesn’t mean the same thing to the cultures. Of course, we all know that, but it really never occured to me.

What about “Season’s Greetings”? I know it sounds old fashioned, but do you think that would equate to American “Happy Holidays”?

Season’s Greetings is used sometimes , especially on Christmas cards , but I think most people say Happy or Merry Christmas.

Which is rather amusing on several levels.

  1. The U.S. is increasingly regarded as a Backwoods Christian Somethingorother. Yet people in this apparently overwhelmingly fundamentalist Christian nation are afraid of offending non-Christians and thus don’t say “Christmas.” (Incidentally, this “Political Correctness” explanation is used most often by the more outspoken Christian groups, and they mean it as an illustration of how their rights to say Merry Christmas are supposedly being abridged by the non-Christian minority.)

  2. The U.K. has a state religion, hasn’t it? No wonder it wouldn’t be an issue…

Agreed - I really don’t think “Season’s Greetings” is said at all often, if ever, but it is a staple greeting on “Christmas” cards, and the one that I prefer cards to have on them.

Love, Peace and Mince Pies! :slight_smile:

Actually, I’m disappointed that we haven’t had the annual “scandal” that Red Cross shops have avoided religious displays…I love pointing out to people that the red cross in question isn’t Christian, but Swiss… :smiley:

I should pull this one up…non-conformism became legal some time ago. The requirements on religion are basically to prevent unsuitable people from finding their way into the royal bloodline. Not unreasonable, until the Diana conspiracists started their bizarre campaign.
(I’m actually not sure if we have an “official religion” of any kind, although I’m happy to be corrected. I’m pretty sure the muddle of various decisions is enough for the meantime.)

Also, add to it that in the U.S. Christmas is preceeded by Thanksgiving in the US, and it is probably the second largest holiday–certainly the only other holiday that people routinely travel to go see their family for. So there really is an increased sense of a “holiday season” here, bookended by Thanksgiving and New Years, with a bunch of other stuff in the middle.

I think that if I thought that much about any phrase of greeting, that I would never say anything at all…

So Happy Christmas and Merry New Year Holiday for all!


I may be wrong but I’m sure that the Royal Family have to be Church of England (defenders of the faith and all that).

I think that the PM cannot be a catholic, hence the big bruhaha when Tony allegedly took holy communion at a chapel.

i’m too tired to look it up but I’m sure someone can set the record straight.

I’ve never used it because I was afraid of offending anyone, I use it because there are several holidays going on right around the same time (Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, Channukah, Emperor’s birthday, etc.) that it’s easier just to lump them all together in a single greeting. Besides, the winter vacation from school always went from before Christmas until after New Year’s, so “Happy Holidays” was an easy way of getting them both in at once when saying good-bye.

ok, ok, the Emperor’s birthday wasn’t much of a holiday when I was growing up in Boston. It is now, though.

OK, so I guess it depends what you mean by ‘state religion’. But the obligations on the royals and the PM are only for them to observe - they don’t have any bearing on anyone else. (And we have had a Jewish PM…)