With the holidays upon us, you may be wondering what the best seasonal greeting is to issue to your customers and callers. Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays are usually the two greetings any given business feels they must “choose” between. Merry Christmas is sometimes frowned upon in our society because of the increasing religious and cultural diversity growing in America.
While some business owners don’t think twice about offering a hearty “Merry Christmas!” to customers, others worry about offending someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas and instead opt to say a more general greeting, like Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings.
When it comes down to Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays, which greeting should you issue to your callers and customers during the holiday season?
Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays: What’s the Best Business Greeting?
The general consensus on Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays is that it isn’t considered appropriate to wish someone a Merry Christmas if they don’t celebrate Christmas, similar to the way you wouldn’t wish a Happy Hanukkah to someone who didn’t celebrate Hanukkah.
Happy Holidays is used to bridge the gap between holiday traditions and celebrations as a general, seasonal greeting that can apply to everyone.
But there are times when saying Happy Holidays can be offensive to customers, too.
The most backlash against Happy Holidays has come from Christians. Because Merry Christmas was the standard holiday greeting throughout the history of the U.S., many are uncomfortable switching their greeting to Happy Holidays and some feel that the change is an attack on Christianity. You should be aware of this as you make your decision between Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays.
When to say Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays
Perhaps the best solution to the conundrum is to offer a custom greeting based on the customer or caller. If you know for a fact that someone celebrates Christmas, feel free to offer them the Merry Christmas greeting.
If you know that someone celebrates Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any specific religious holiday, you can offer them the respective greeting.
If you aren’t sure what holiday they celebrate or know that they don’t celebrate Christmas, opt instead for Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings.
Where do you stand on the debate between Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays?
As a business owner, do you have a preference between Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays? Have you considered what factors affect your preference? The following items can affect whether you’ll issue a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays greeting:
- Personal religious beliefs or lack of
- Political ideologies
- Ideas about customer preferences
- Company industry expectations and norms
- Regional expectations and norms