Late last Christmas a restaurant owner in little Greeley, Colorado put up a billboard on the edge of town that simply said “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”. The long time business owner was shocked to get complaints that the sign was “offensive”.
“I had folks that had never been in-and not a ton but enough for a small community like this, come in and tell me change that or we won’t come to your business,” said Brandon Bird. Within hours he said he started receiving calls and visits from people saying the billboard was offensive, citing its message of Merry Christmas was exclusionary to any other religious holidays. “It shocked me. I was like are you joking? Did Brian next door send you over? It blew my mind someone would take that as offensive,” said Bird.
Uh, Mr. Bird. This is Colorado. When they aren’t hiking up in the trees they are smoking them. Crackpot City. What else could you expect?
Only the very ignorant take offense at any kind of advertisement any way. Offense is a choice.
But common sense aside, only the ignorant choose “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas” any way.
The phrase “Merry Christmas” comes from England. To dumb Americans the word “Merry” means jolly, happy-go-lucky, and ignorance-is-bliss.
But “merry” in jolly old England often has a different meaning. Sometimes it means “to get drunk”. That’s why our British cousins are more likely to say “Happy Christmas” in proper company. “Merry Christmas” could be taken the wrong way, you see.
But not in “Murica. “Merry Christmas” in America means Santa, mistletoe and Rudolph. It means nothing religious but certainly nothing controversial.
The misconception broadens when you take the phrase “Happy Holidays”, which many Christmas-loving redneck Amuricans now choose to take offense at. “Happy Holidays” they say — as do those who choose to use the phrase — is more “inclusive”.
And to that we say bah humbug.
The word “holiday” means “holy day”.
Ok. Got it? So who is offended now?
It’s early for the 2016 Christmas season. But all the signs are coming. The TV is warmed up for the annual “war on Christmas”, dumb as it is. But nothing is dumber than the mistaken idea that “Merry Christmas” is offensive.
Our advice to anyone who faces this situation is to make the sign bigger next time.