It's always bothered me when people complain about the usage of the phrase "Happy Holidays." For some reason Christians believe they have the market cornered on the holiday season and everyone should say "Merry Christmas" to each other when in reality 66% of all the people who call Earth their home are not of the Christian faith. Quite simply the list of the world's major religions and their populations looks something like this: 1.Christianity: 2.1 billion 2.Islam: 1.5 billion 3.Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion 4.Hinduism: 900 million 5.Chinese traditional religion: 394 million 6.Buddhism: 376 million 7.primal-indigenous: 300 million 8.African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million 9.Sikhism: 23 million 10.Juche: 19 million 11.Spiritism: 15 million 12.Judaism: 14 million 13.Baha'i: 7 million 14.Jainism: 4.2 million 15.Shinto: 4 million 16.Cao Dai: 4 million 17.Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million 18.Tenrikyo: 2 million 19.Neo-Paganism (Wicca, Magick, Druidism, Asatru, Native American religion and others): 1 million 20.Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand 21.Rastafarianism: 600 thousand 22.Scientology: 500 thousand

During the months of November and December which are traditionally viewed as the holiday season, many of these religions have major holidays. For example: Samhain - Beltane (Wicca/Pagan) Eid al Adha (Islam) Guru Nanak Dev Sahib birthday (Sikh) Birth of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i) Gkuru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom (Sikh) Day of Covenant (Baha'i) Hijra - New Year (Islam) Ashura (Islam) Bodhi Day (Buddhism) Hanukkah (Jewish) Yule (Wicca/Pagan) Litha (Wicca/Pagan) Christmas (Christian) Zarathosht Diso (Zoroastrian) Kwanzaa (secular/noneligious) Since we do live in a melting pot, doesn't it make more sense to say "Happy Holidays" to a stranger out of respect for other cultures and religions than to say "Merry Christmas" to someone who may not celebrate Christmas?

*reposted November 15, 2020

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