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STAHN: Don't be insulted by 'happy holidays’

November 20, 2015 - 5:00 AM

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Easter, New Year’s, Family Day, Canada Day, summer vacation — I don’t care how you say it, they are all holidays.

Why do people get so worked up about it when Christmas is called a holiday? By the English definition of the word, it is a holiday. 

Full Definition of HOLIDAY
noun hol·i·day \'hä-l?-?da, British usually 'hä-l?-de\

1 :  holy day
2 :  a day on which one is exempt from work; specifically :  a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event
3 chiefly British :  vacation —often used in the phrase on holiday —often used in plural
4 :  a period of exemption or relief <corporations enjoying a tax holiday>

There are very few people in this world who don’t celebrate some kind of holiday, but the number of people who celebrate Christmas is a lot lower.

Earlier this week people attacked the use of the word ‘holiday’ in a story published about a vandalized store. In a release, RCMP said the vandals damaged a holiday display, and we used the same term. It didn’t take long for people to start bashing the use of the word 'holiday' and telling us we had it wrong, it was a ‘CHRISTMAS display’. 

Image Credit: Facebook

We don’t know if it was a Christmas, winter, or Kwanzaa display, or maybe it was for Diwali, which is the Indian Festival of Lights that took place just last week, when the vandalism happened. Either way, it was, by pure definition of the word, a holiday display.

Using the word ‘holiday’ is not an attack on religion (neither is a red cup) and it should not be taken as an insult. But forcing others to use the word Christmas to describe their holiday of choice is an attack on everyone’s freedom to not celebrate Christian holidays, even if we do all get a day off of work on Christmas Day.

Welcome to the English language and the freedom of being Canadian, where the word ‘holiday’ is not a dirty word.

To contact the reporter, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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