The Corner

Et Tu, Thanksgiving?

Can you stand a little “Happy Holidays” talk? I have an item on this issue — “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” — in Impromptus today. Long story short: A Jewish friend of mine, who works in a Catholic social-services organization, is the only one in the joint who says “Merry Christmas.” Kind of comical. Anyway, my item has prompted a good amount of mail about Thanksgiving. Readers are saying that they are hearing “Have a happy holiday” rather than “Have a happy Thanksgiving,” or “Happy Thanksgiving!” I think “holiday” is kind of easier for people. It takes the pressure, or imagined pressure, off. It gets engrained, becomes reflexive.

Back in 2003, I wrote for NR a piece on the “Happy Holidays” business. It was called “December’s C-Word” (that being “Christmas”). (Go here.) And that piece contains the following passage:

Incidentally, Thanksgiving may be in trouble — I mean, the word. A couple of years ago, as I was touching down in my home state, the stewardess (oops, there I go again) said, “And a happy holiday to everyone.” She meant Thanksgiving. But the word seemed a little risky, somehow. More and more, I hear, after that long weekend, “Did you have a good holiday?” Et tu, Thanksgiving?

At any rate — have a good and delicious Thursday!