Another Take on the “Holiday” Hot Potato

A couple of weeks ago, Jen weighed in on the controversy around the new GAP holiday advertising, casting her Yea! in favor of its inclusive language. Today, I saw a new seasonal spot for Bloomingdale’s and I’d like to give them a shout out too.

Their line is “Happy, Merry, Peace, Love” which I love because it doesn’t default to the bland and to me, pretty meaningless Happy Holiday. Lately, even long weekends seem to merit, “Have a great holiday” draining the juice out of the word for good.

While calling out Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza leaves folks out, I have to admit that every time I say “Happy Holiday”, I am telling a Half Truth. To me, the phrase excludes and erases any relevance for a time of year that means lots to lots of us, even it means nothing to some. With Bloomie’s clever and crowd-pleasing line, anyone can fill in their own blanks and find their own meaning. And if nothing else, on the day of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s hard to argue with “peace” and “love.”

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November 27, 2020
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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