An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

When I was in retail I only bid customers a merry Christmas if I was sure that is what they celebrated.  Purchasing a Christmas tree was a pretty good indicator.  Several years ago as I was tying a tree on to a family's roof rack, I asked the children if they were excited that Santa was coming.  Before they could answer, the mother quickly jumped in to inform me that her children knew there was no such thing as Santa and were being raised with "realistic expectations".  Realistic expectations and not a whole lot of fun was what I thinking.  After that I never asked the question again.

I think it is almost comical how indignant some people get when they are wished "happy holidays" or "season's greetings" instead of "merry Christmas".  I do understand why it upsets them, they feel as if Christ is being removed from Christmas, but this is not the only holiday, or holy day, that has become as secular as it is sacred.  Enjoy the glitter, the food, the pagan tree and the hoopla, and if you want to keep Christ in Christmas, you should know by now not to rely on the society at large.  That is up to you and what's in your heart. When someone takes the time to sincerely wish me well by saying "happy holidays" or "season's greetings", I gladly say thank you.  God knows we all need as many good wishes right now as possible, no matter how they are delivered.

So here is my Christmas card to you, or holiday greetings if you prefer.  I wish all of you peace and the best this season has to offer (and a merry Christmas too!).
Smithfield Christmas Parade 2012 (11)

(I took this picture at the Smithfield Christmas Parade a couple of weeks ago, and it turned out to be one of my favorites of the year.  I have been going through all my files pulling out my favorite photos of 2012 so that I can do another top 10, year-end post.  Get your photos organized if you'd like to play along too.)


  1. Merry Christmas to you too! No Santa sounds like a bummer to me!

  2. It startled me the other day when a shopkeeper wished me "Merry Christmas" I laughed and thanked her saying it was the first time I'd heard those words in a store all season.

    As for the no Santa household I have a friend who was raised that way, and no trick or treating on Halloween either because her father didn't want his kids out "begging for candy"...

    Merry Chirstmas Les!

  3. Albert Einstein would agree with you:

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science."

    Few things are more mysterious than the doings of Santa!

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Well said.

    I look forward to the top 10 post.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

  5. Merry Christmas, Les. I agree that it's best to graciously receive good wishes, even if they don't conform exactly to one's situation.

  6. And Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  7. I consider finding you & your blog one of the best gifts of the year. Love the picture. Reminds me of the bumper sticker: Wag More, Bark Less. God bless.

    1. Thanks for this. I just declared it my 2013 motto & challenge to "Wag more; Bark less"!

  8. Great photo, Les and seasons greetings.

  9. I agree, a great holiday photo! Thanks for your blog - I look forward to it continuing in the new year!

  10. Merry Christmas and happy holidays- it is all good as far as I am concerned too! All the best for 2013! I look forward to seeing that top 10 in the new year.

  11. Merry Christmas Les. The photo is adorable, even though I am not one for dressing the canine. Cats, well maybe.

  12. I enjoyed your blog and love the photo.
    Merry Christmas!
    Garden of Secrets

  13. I am no priest of crooks nor creeds,
    For human wants and human needs
    Are more to me than prophets’ deeds;
    And human tears and human cares
    Affect me more than human prayers.

    Go, cease your wail, lugubrious saint!
    You fret high Heaven with your plaint.
    Is this the “Christian’s joy” you paint?
    Is this the Christian’s boasted bliss?
    Avails your faith no more than this?

    Take up your arms, come out with me,
    Let Heav’n alone; humanity
    Needs more and Heaven less from thee.
    With pity for mankind look ‘round;
    Help them to rise—and Heaven is found.

    -- Paul Laurence Dunbar

  14. Delightful photo!

    Look forward to your top ten.

    Merry Christmas!

  15. Happy holidays Les. I'm in on the Top 10. Will have something up before New Year's -- maybe even tonight. Maybe you should be the center, like May Dreams on the GBBD?

  16. I love this shot. I do hope your Christmas was perfect.

  17. Great post! The Happy Holidays greeting has been around for a long time as a shorthand way of saying Happy four weeks of Advent, merry Christmas day,boxing day, and the remaining eleven days of Christmas, may you have an enlightening epiphany and a gracious and prosperous new year. I know that language is fluid and now people think that the H.H. greeting is some sort of inclusive greeting (solstice, from which the church borrowed the celebration in the first place, hanukkah, a minor Jewish celebration, Kwanzaa, etc.) but it was originally shorthand for all of the holy days that Christendom packed into such a small space. And while I'm ranting, certainly the inclusion and welcoming of all is much more Christ like than insisting on a particular greeting. Personally I'm sticking with my traditional greeting of "Bah Humbug!" Beautiful in its simplicity.