Happy Holidays – NOT !

We are now well and truly into that time of the year that folks here universally refer to as “the HOLIDAY season”, and I have to say it drives me mad !

To my friends and readers on this side of the water – let me explain why.

English people don’t go on ‘vacation’ (though we certainly understand what this means) – we go on ‘holiday’. These can be summer holidays, winter holidays and just about anything in between – but holiday to us is a synonym for vacation. So to say ‘THE holidays’ to us is meaningless – which holidays ?

Here ‘holidays’ is solely used to refer to that period at the tail end of the year roughly between Halloween and New Years…..

This is partly a sop to those whose religion isn’t Christian based, in a country that though largely Christian – doesn’t have an established church…. This has always seemed slightly lame to me… The big celebration, holiday and festival on December 25th is there almost exclusively to celebrate Christmas – why not acknowledge this ?

My extended American family are Jewish, and Hanukkah this year begins on Sunday December 21st – lasting for eight days…. During this time, should I speak to any of them – either personally, by phone or email – I will wish them a very Happy Hanukkah. None of this wishy-washy “Happy Holidays” !

In fact whenever I hear this – I invariably respond with “Happy Christmas”… The dreaded ‘holiday’ phrase will NEVER pass my lips….

Another thing that irritates with this whole “holidays” concept – is that what immediately comes to mind is that someone is trying very hard to SELL me something…. This is guaranteed to raise my hackles…

Fortunately I watch extraordinarily little television, so am not really subjected to hearing this awful phrase too much…

Whatever faith (or none) that you may hold dear, I hope you fully enjoy ALL of the festivities !

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