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Some Dutch people wish others a Merry Christmas. Not wise, says sociologist Ferdinand Döss.

“Of course, it’s very tempting to wish ‘Merry Christmas’ this time of year, but be aware of what you’re actually saying,” Doss warns. “Not everyone celebrates Christmas. A large part of the population has a different cultural background, or simply hates Christmas. Your Christmas wish is of no use to them. In fact, your Christmas wish can seem rather disguised. As if the celebration Mandatory Christmas. You’re forcing the Christian holiday on them. Is that really what you want?”

The sociologist continues: “For a lot of people, Christmas is a miserable time anyway. For example, think of lonely elderly people or vegetarians. Christmas is not nice to them. If you wish them ‘Merry Christmas’, that implies On a fierce confrontation.

Dusse advises shortening the wish to “happy days”: “This is more neutral. Moreover, the pleasant days you wish need not necessarily fall on December 25 and 26. The recipient can use the pleasant days he wishes whenever he wants.”