Fall/Winter 2019 Blog News

With Election Day now behind us, there are a couple of announcements I want to make about my upcoming blog schedule, as we head into the holidays:

  1. I will not publish posts on the following Mondays over the next few months: November 11 (Veterans Day), November 25 (Monday before Thanksgiving), December 23 (Monday before Christmas), December 30 (Monday before New Year’s Day), January 20 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), and February 17 (Presidents Day). These breaks from publishing have given me much-needed breaks in past years, especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
  2. That being said, during this stretch around Christmas/New Year’s, I will publish a blog wrap-up for this calendar year. Last year, I experimented with publishing a series of social media posts that highlighted my most read post, my most liked post, the post that received the most comments, etc. However, doing this became challenging for me to keep up with during a time when I was hoping to take it easy. Instead, I will try to publish a single blog post that makes note of some (if not many) of the same highlights (as well as some highlights I didn’t mention in my social media posts last year, such as the blogging awards I received), and this will come in the form of a blog wrap-up for the calendar year. I’m tentatively thinking of publishing this post the day after Christmas, but this is very much subject to change depending on how the holidays are for me. It’s the first time I’m trying this, so I’ll welcome the feedback when/after the post is published!

That’s it for now. Happy reading, and I hope everyone is having a good fall (or spring, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere)!

Autumn Blog News

Now that people are settling down from Election Day, and maybe gearing up for the holidays, I want to provide you all with two pieces of blog news:

  1. I will not publish blog posts on the following Tuesdays: November 13 (Tuesday after Veterans Day), November 27 (Tuesday after Thanksgiving), December 25 (Christmas Day), January 1 (New Year’s Day), January 22 (Tuesday after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), and February 19 (Tuesday after Presidents’ Day). These breaks (especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year) allow me (and hopefully my readers) to spend plenty of time with family.
  2. If I need to make a major change to a blog post, I will make the change and then announce the change through a blog news post. There has only been one time when I needed to make a change to a blog post: when additional barriers were placed on Native American voting in North Dakota. Hopefully such a situation (having to change a blog post because I discover additional injustice that is relevant to my post) will never happen again, but if it does, my readers now know how I will handle such a situation.

“Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”? When (and If) to Say Which One

I am a Christian. Therefore, with all due respect to whomever I date or marry someday (if God calls me to do that), Jesus will remain my most important love in my life.

And yet, I believe that that saying “Merry Christmas” to someone is not always the right thing to say during this season of the year.

My previous sentence is controversial to many Christians, some of whom are good friends of mine. From my understanding, much of the controversy involves the desire to “keep Christ in Christmas.” There is a fear that, by replacing “Christmas Greetings” with “Holiday Greetings,” our society will forget the reason for the season: Jesus Christ.

And you know what? If you’re talking with someone else who you know is Christian, or someone else who you know celebrates the holiday (whether the person is Christian or not), “Merry Christmas” is the appropriate thing to say. So for me, a Christian, I am perfectly content with the “Merry Christmas” greeting, though I wouldn’t get upset if someone said “Happy Holidays.”

Speaking of “Happy Holidays,” that type of greeting is most appropriate to say when you literally have no clue what holiday or holidays someone is celebrating. Through the “Happy Holidays” greeting, you are saying something which covers whatever holiday someone else is celebrating, whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Day, some combination of the four, or none of the four.[1] Furthermore, by saying “Happy Holidays,” you avoid giving a holiday greeting that offends someone’s religious sensibilities (for example, saying “Merry Christmas” to an observant Jew who does not believe that Jesus was the Messiah is unwise). In the end, as controversial as the “Happy Holidays” greeting may be among some Christians, that greeting is actually meant to be sensitive to the fact that not everyone shares my beliefs.

In some instances, neither “Merry Christmas” nor “Happy Holidays” is an appropriate greeting to say to someone. This may come as a shock to people who are passionate about the debate between the two greetings. If you’re talking with someone who you know is Jewish, “Happy Hanukkah” is the most appropriate greeting. While I know some Jews who celebrate Christmas as a cultural holiday, I also know other others whose religious sensibilities would be offended by someone saying “Merry Christmas.” Therefore, “Happy Hanukkah” is the proper greeting for a Jewish friend or family member.

In all instances, when we give holiday greetings to people, we should give the type of greeting which corresponds to the religious sensibilities of said person, even if you don’t share all of the person’s values. And, if you don’t know the religious sensibilities of the person you’re talking to, “Happy Holidays” is probably the best catch-all greeting to give at this time of year.

[1] In instances when someone doesn’t celebrate any of the holidays, you can still give a “Happy Holidays” greeting. From my family’s experiences, people who don’t celebrate any of the major holidays still respond respectfully to “Happy Holidays.”