Ash

In 2015, I distinctly remember hearing the news that Starbucks’ iconic holiday cups would just be a simple red that year. Now, being born and raised in Henderson and disliking the taste of coffee, I didn’t really care. It didn’t affect my world. At that point in my life, I hadn’t even set foot in their stores.

But then prominent Republican figures began pushing out this baseless conspiracy theory that Starbucks hated Jesus, and the “real” motive behind their boring holiday cups was to take Christ out of Christmas.

My politically-conservative childhood church quickly found out about it and began to fill my young, impressionable mind with this idea that saying, “happy holidays” is unleashing World World III on Christianity. Of course, I desperately wanted to fit in, so I bought into it. Anytime a door greeter at Walmart innocently wished my family happy holidays, I gave them the dirtiest look I could muster. At the time, I felt like I was doing God’s work.

And then I got older and began to think for myself. I met people who believed in a different religion, and, despite what my childhood church taught, they didn’t corrupt me; in fact, they actually helped me grow as a person. 

Now, it bothers me whenever a video goes viral of unruly customers screaming at an innocent employee over the phrase, “happy holidays.” Even some people have decided to “stick it to the Man” and tell their Starbucks barista that the name for the order is “Merry Christmas” or “Trump” out of pettiness. That’s not what Christmas is about. That’s not what being a Christian is about, either. 

I saw this passive-aggressive rant on Facebook the other day that said, “If you aren’t celebrating Christmas, what else are you celebrating?” Well, there’s Hanukkah, Solstice, Bodhi Day, and many more holidays that other religions are celebrating this month. There’s also Kwanzaa, which is not even a religious holiday. These holidays deserve some mention, too. 

And, big surprise, Christmas isn’t even the only Christian holiday in December. Saint Nicholas Day, Posadas Navidenas, Holy Innocents, and Watch Night are just a few holidays that some branches of Christianity will celebrate (or already have celebrated) this month.

“Happy Holidays” is an umbrella term to cover all of the holidays this season that someone may or may not celebrate. So by default, it includes Christmas, too. There is nothing to get so worked up about when someone, especially a stranger, wishes you happy holidays. 

Granted, this is not me trying to convert anyone into only wishing others happy holidays this season. I don’t have a problem with Merry Christmas. But some tend to get so caught up in the great “happy holidays vs Merry Christmas” argument that they specifically say Merry Christmas out of spite. 

So, whatever you and your family choose to celebrate this season, I just hope you have a happy celebration.

Ashley Wilkinson is the sports reporter for The Henderson News. Her email is <sports@thehendersonnews.com>.©2021, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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