EDITORIAL – Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Turns out it’s political

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

ONE MORE THING about Christmas. So far, I’ve complained about Black Friday sales, checkout-counter donations and slow delivery of online orders. Now for something positive.

I’m talking about the old Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays debate. I was sure that discussion was a thing of the past but, no, a new Research Co. survey shows “Happy Holidays” is gaining ground on “Merry Christmas.”

However, it hasn’t caught up to “Merry Christmas” yet so that’s the good news. But here’s what’s especially interesting about the poll — our preference between the two greetings is split along party lines.

If you tend to vote Conservative, you’re likely to favour “Merry Christmas.” If you’re a Liberal or a New Democrat, chances are pretty good you’re a “Happy Holidays” kind of person.

No explanation is given by the pollster but it seems obvious. Those in the middle and left are more likely to get all concerned about being politically correct; those on the right probably figure, “To hell with it, I’ve said ‘Merry Christmas’ my entire life and I’m not gonna change now!”

For once, I’m with the Conservatives. You wouldn’t expect Pierre Poilievre to wish someone “Happy Holidays!” Nope, he strikes me as a “Merry Christmas” guy. And Justin Trudeau — surely, he’s strictly “Happy Holidays” all the way.

But, wait, Trudeau doesn’t take any chances. In his annual message to Canadians, he always wishes us “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.” And Poilievre? In Parliament the other day, he did exactly the same thing.

As for Jagmeet Singh, nobody’s sure because they’re too busy laughing at his suggestion in the House last week that he could some day be prime minister.

Christmas is no place for politics, anyway, and there are more important things to worry about than how we greet each other.

Such as, the fact the poll shows that 55 per cent of Canadians enjoy fruit cake, and most like Brussels sprouts.

I’m the Armchair Mayor, wishing Merry Christmas to all.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former TNRD director and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9641 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Turns out it’s political

  1. I have always voted NDP (shame on them for their wolf kill), I celebrate Christmas not for any religious reason but because I love every other thing about it, and I say Merry Christmas. Political correctness has gone too far to where I believe it will make Canada unrecognizable in the future.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Mel. Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year.

  2. Is “Christmas” in the Community Charter?
    If I see the Mayor walking on Rivers Trail, I want to make sure he doesn’t have to recuse himself when I greet him.

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