Holiday Happiness vs. Happy Holidays by Debra H. Goldstein


Holiday Happiness.  Happy holidays.  One and the same? Not by a longshot.   

The phrasing of “holiday happiness” and happy holidays” is the difference between a state of being versus a wish. Not everyone has the opportunity or the desire to experience either. 

During the past the few weeks, everywhere I went, people told me “Happy Chanukah,” “Merry Christmas,” “Have a Happy New Year,” “Seasons Greetings,” or “Happy Holidays.”  TV commercials advertised joyful times, products for sale, and also wished me some form of a “Happy Holidays.” Radio music, that began blaring on our local Christmas channel before Thanksgiving, set the stage and mood by having lyrics that sent a subliminal “Happy Holidays” message.   

I got it.  I participated.  Even when I felt most Grinch like, I responded or automatically was the first to let one of these phrases roll from my lips.  Why? Because no matter how one feels inside, one has been conditioned to share a prayer for others to have a “Happy Holidays.”  It is the right thing to do.  In fact, it is the only thing to do. 

No matter how many times we say these words, they aren’t necessarily going to result in an individual experiencing “Holiday Happiness.”  We hope it will, but we can’t count on it. The world and life isn’t always perfect.  Parents, friends, and other family members may be ill, aging, or dying during this period of the year.  Some people may be short of money, have problems with jobs, co-workers or lack of employment, and some are simply without the economic resources for food and shelter.  

Like the wishes for “Happy Holidays,” words of platitude and caring are expressed.  People make donations of food, money, and gift items in the hope of improving the holidays for others.  Many feel good giving something that brings “Holiday Happiness” to others.  Not only does it make a difference in the recipient’s life, but it warms the heart of the giver. 

I am a realist.  There have been years that I have felt the joy of “Holiday Happines” and other times where the holiday season has been meaningless.  Last year was tinged by the loss of my mother.  This year, with a book coming out in April and two stories published during the December holiday period, it has been an up time professionally. With anticipated weddings, visits to children, grandchildren and granddogs, and other planned trips with family and friends, I look forward to an exciting and wonderful 2016 for my loved ones and me.   

Not all of you who read this message will experience the perfect definition of “Holiday Happiness,” but at least I can wish and pray for it for you. May the remainder of the holiday season and the upcoming year be one of health, happiness and prosperity.  “Happy Holidays!” 


0 thoughts on “Holiday Happiness vs. Happy Holidays by Debra H. Goldstein”

  1. Thank you, Debra. Is the weather settling down and are you and yours safe? The best in 2016. From your blog, it certainly looks like your headed that way!

    Joanne >

  2. Such a warm-hearted, welcome post in a season in which some people keep raising the phony issue of being “denied” the chance to say “Merry Christmas” in favor of the more p.c. “Happy Holidays.” There are so many unhappy spins on their arguments, I’ve had to (not always successfully) bite my tongue not to contribute to the rampant mean-spiritedness. Maybe it’s because in our house, we celebrate Everything! Any occasion to be with friends and family and special food is a cause for jollity. Celebration is an outward-looking activity!

  3. I can’t understand the problem of people greeting others during the holidays. My Jewish neighbors wish us a Merry Christmas. We wish them a Happy Hanukkah. My Muslim hairdresser wishes me a Merry Christmas. I always ask him about his Ramadan traditions and wish him an enjoyable celebration at the end of Ramadan. I believe it is just simply giving a greeting to the person who is celebrating that holiday.

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