What’s All the Fuss about Using the Greeting “HAPPY HOLIDAYS”

Personally I choose Merry Christmas … but that’s because I was brought up in the Christian Church and that’s what it has always been for us. But in the spirit of TOLERANCE & RESPECT for others and their religious beliefs I don’t see anything wrong withImage the greeting “Happy Holidays” and I don’t think it’s an “Attack on Christmas” like some in the media like to make us think it is. 

“Happy Holidays” was actually conceived as a way for people of different faith’s to greet each other without possibly offending them with the wrong holiday greeting. After all the United States is a melting pot of different cultures. As CHRISTIANS, Jesus taught us to be tolerant and respectful of others and their beliefs.

Knowing how MANY religious holidays fall within the months of November, December and January I think it is much easier to have developed a “ALL-IN-ONE” greeting.

For those of you who may not be aware, here is the list of “Holidays” that are encompassed in the greeting:

Advent: four weeks prior to Christmas (Western Christianity).
Chalica: A holiday created in 2005, in the first full week in December, celebrated by some Unitarian Universalists.]
Saint Nicholas’ Day: 6 December
Bodhi Day: 8 December – Day of Enlightenment, celebrating the day that the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Gautama) experienced enlightenment (also known as Bodhi).
Our Lady of Guadalupe: 12 December – An important honor of Mexico’s Patron Saint before Christmas officially begins on December 16th[5]
Las Posadas: 16 December -24 December – procession to various family lodgings for celebration & prayer and to re-enact Mary & Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem [6]
Saint Lucia’s Day: 13 December – Church Feast Day. Saint Lucia comes as a young woman with lights and sweets.
Winter Solstice: 21 December-22 December – midwinter
Soyal: 21 December – Zuni and Hopi
Yalda: 21 December – The turning point, Winter Solstice. As the longest night of the year and the beginning of the lengthening of days, Shabe Yaldā or Shabe Chelle is an Iranian festival celebrating the victory of light and goodness over darkness and evil. Shabe yalda means ‘birthday eve.’ According to Persian mythology, Mithra was born at dawn on the 22nd of December to a virgin mother. He symbolizes light, truth, goodness, strength, and friendship. Herodotus reports that this was the most important holiday of the year for contemporary Persians. In modern times Persians celebrate Yalda by staying up late or all night, a practice known as Shab Chera meaning ‘night gazing’. Fruits and nuts are eaten, especially pomegranates and watermelons, whose red color invokes the crimson hues of dawn and symbolize Mithra.
Mōdraniht: or Mothers’ Night, the Saxon winter solstice festival.
Saturnalia: the Roman winter solstice festival
Pancha Ganapati: Five-day festival in honor of Lord Ganesha. December 21–25. Celebrated by Hindus in USA.
Festivus: 23 December
Yule: Pagan winter festival that was celebrated by the historical Germanic people from late December to early January.
Anastasia of Sirmium Feast Day: 25 December
Malkh: 25 December
Boxing Day: 26 December – Gift-giving day after Christmas.
Kwanzaa: 26 December – 1 January – Pan-African festival celebrated in North America
Saint Stephen’s Day: 26 December
Saint John the Evangelist’s Day: 27 December
Holy Innocents’ Day: 28 December
Saint Sylvester’s Day: 31 December
Watch Night: 31 December
New Year’s Eve: 31 December – Last day of the Gregorian year
Hogmanay: Night of 31 December – Before dawn of 1 January – Scottish New Year’s Eve celebration
Hanukkah: A Jewish festival celebrating the miracle of oil.

New Year’s Day: 1 January – First day of the Gregorian year
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God: 1 January
Saint Basil’s Day: 1 January (Christian Orthodox) In Greece, traditionally he is the Father Christmas figure.
Twelfth Night: Epiphany Eve: 5 January
Epiphany: 6 January: the arrival of the Three Magi.
Armenian Apostolic Christmas: 6 January

Holiday Pet Safety

The holiday season is a time to get together with family and friends. It is a time to create memories that will last a lifetime. It is a time for family and friends to come together for parties and festive meals. It is also a season full of sights and smells that wake the senses. Christmas trees trimmed with colorful decorations, turkey, stuffing, pies and cookies baking in the oven, and lots of new presents and wrapping paper all over the floor on Christmas day.

Unfortunately, with all of the added festivities the holiday season brings, it also brings new dangers to our pets.

Most seasoned pet owners know that the items listed below can be very dangerous. But sometimes it helps to be reminded. For the newer pet owners, maybe this is the first time you’ve seen this list. If this post saves just one family from a disaster this holiday season it will have been worth it.

Holiday parties often include a few alcoholic beverages meant to lighten the mood. But if they’re not kept out of the reach of pets, even a small amount of alcohol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, and disorientation in your pet. Larger amounts may even cause death. Keep a careful eye on shots and mixed drinks. They can do damage faster.

Any cooked bones can be dangerous. Turkey and chicken bones are extremely dangerous because the splinter very easily. Ham and beef bone also splinter, just not as easily. All cooked bones have dangerous effects when ingested and can internal injury. Never intentionally give cooked bones to your pets. When you lay out the meals on your counters and tables, make sure that your pets can’t get to the food. Also make sure that they can’t get to the surfaces where the dirty dishes are placed.

Candles can offer an intimate and elegant element to the holiday. They can also ad a very dangerous element as well. Make sure they are nowhere near the reach of your dogs and cats. Flames can easily find wagging tails and curious noses, they can then be tipped into things that can easily catch fire. Need we say more?

Most pet owners know that chocolate is toxic to pets. Unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolates are the worst. But all chocolate, fudge, and other candy is bad as well. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include: diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, nervousness, and even death.

Christmas Decorations
The shininess of tinsel, decorations, ribbons and bows is bound to attract curious dogs and cats. Accidental ingestion of these decorations can cause bunching and the possible perforation of intestines. This is a life-threatening condition requiring emergency surgery.

Christmas Trees
You only need to see a Christmas tree from your dog’s eyes to understand this danger. All of the sudden there’s a big tree in the house. If it doesn’t out-n-out frighten him, it will most likely raise some major curiosity in him. To avoid your tree falling over after a few bats of the paw, be sure to secure your tree in a sturdy stand and block off any access to it. You may also want to limit the amount of decorations you use on the bottom of the tree and make sure there isn’t anything dangling that your dog can get a hold of or pull on.

Garbage Cans
Once your holiday parties and the family feast is over, make sure the table scraps, foil, and other waste goes into a sealed trash can. Be aware that dogs and cats have a great nose and they may be able to open cupboards, doors and garbage cans. So make sure these places are well secured.

Pine Needles
If your dog or cat likes to chew, it may chew on or ingest pine needles from a real tree. If this happens it can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, depression, and possibly obstruction of the GI tract. In addition, Christmas trees are often sprayed with paint or preservatives. If a fertilizer is used it can also be extremely harmful.

Some holiday plants are harmful to pets. These plants include poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly. Ingestion of plants like these can cause mouth and stomach irritation, seizures and death. If you use these plants to decorate your home, keep them out of the reach of your pets.

Your pets are counting on you to keep them safe from dangers like these. A few simple preventative steps can assure that this holiday season will be a healthy and happy experience for your family and friends. Including your four footed friends.

I hope you will all have happy and healthy holiday season.