I want to say "it's very something of a bookstore/cafe/whathaveyou to be open on Christmas day." Neither secular nor pluralist feels quite right. secular excludes people who are religious, rather than being inclusive of both religious and non-religious people. The sense I'm hoping to convey is that while most people in the US do take the day off, there's something welcoming about not assuming that everyone wants the day off.

I'm looking for a word that conveys a sense of being welcoming or open-minded and compatible with lots of different perspectives.

I've been looking through thesauruses for synonyms and antonyms to secular, welcoming, pluralist, open-minded, pragmatic, and partisan. Still, I'm not coming up with what I want. I feel like there's a specific word that I can't zero in on. pluralist comes closest, I guess, but it isn't quite right.

Note: I edited the question to address some of the questions in the comments: I am (was) looking for a word that suggests that the actor isn't assuming that everyone shares the same religion or celebrates religious holidays. I can see how I could have explained that better.

  • 2
    I am afraid it is still not clear what you do mean by this this staying open on Christmas Day. It depends on what it is you are talking about. It is very necessary for the hospital to stay open on Christmas Day. It is very common for Uber cars to operate on that day, and gas stations on the on the interstates. Many restaurants open on Christmas day (at least in the UK they do, as do bars and public houses. So you must be talking about retail shops or stores and shopping malls. Frankly, if these were to open, the word I would use would be 'hopeful' or 'optimistic'.
    – Tuffy
    Dec 18, 2019 at 21:17
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    Would it be possible to choose a different example? These days, in the US, there are all sorts of reasons why a business might be open on Christmas day, and some of those reasons have nothing to do with being open-minded. A movie theater is not open in order to accommodate non-Christians. Most of the movie-goers around here are Christians. Thus, the theater is open so that they can earn money. Edit: ah, I see @Tuffy agrees.
    – Juhasz
    Dec 18, 2019 at 21:21
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    Why do you feel that secular suggests opposition to religion? Secular is not synonymous with atheist. (It is true, though, that secular cannot be simply plugged into the sentence, because 'very secular of somebody' would sound awkward.) Edit: ah, I see @RosieF agrees.
    – jsw29
    Dec 18, 2019 at 21:33
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    "secular suggests opposition to religion". Goodness me, I hope it doesn't. Chambers, after listing the senses relating to long time-periods, defines secular as "pertaining to the present world, or to things not spiritual; civil, not ecclesiastical; lay, not concerned with religion". Nothing about opposing religion there. It's bad enough having to denote certain views or practices by having to settle for an adjective which says they're not a particular other thing. Being misunderstood as opposing that other thing would be worse.
    – Rosie F
    Dec 18, 2019 at 21:36
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    While ecumenical would be an apt term in its original Greek meaning (what concerns the whole inhabited world), in contemporary English, it is usually understood to stand for something that involves unity or neutrality among different Christian churches. It is thus not an apt term for accommodating non-Christians.
    – jsw29
    Dec 19, 2019 at 21:03

5 Answers 5


It is very accommodating of them to be open on Christmas Day.

This avoids any religious connotations, but implies they might like to be closed.


Willing to fit in with someone's wishes or needs.
We always found our local branch most accommodating.

  • Realized that what I was actually looking for was ecumenical which I think of as "not favoring one faith over another" but most of Miriam Webster's definitions address branches of Christianity specifically, so it is probably not the right word, except in the more general definition, "Concerned with establishing or promoting unity among churches or religions."
    – Amanda
    Dec 19, 2019 at 20:53
  • That isn't a word which is used in an everyday way. Dec 19, 2019 at 21:03
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    @Amanda, even according to the more general definition, it would not be an apt term for accommodating those who are not religious at all.
    – jsw29
    Dec 19, 2019 at 21:06

"It's very inclusive of the bookstore/cafe to be open on Christmas day", perhaps.

'inclusive' - Not excluding any person on the grounds of race, gender, religion, age, disability, etc.; encouraging or accommodating participation from all sections of society (OED)


The shop is open in order to make money. I doubt there is a deeper ideological motivation for working on what is normally a holiday. It's very commercial of them to be open on Christmas Day.

occupied with or engaged in commerce or work intended for commerce

Merriam Webster

[Unless you are talking about a Homeless Shelter being open on Christmas Day in which case I would say it is very charitable of them.]


If you want the word to have an opposition of religion then

progressive might do the trick.

Definition of progressive (Entry 1 of 2) 1a: of, relating to, or characterized by progress b: making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities

or otherwise

nonconforming but it denotes no relation to religion.

Definition of nonconforming : not in accordance or agreement with prevailing norms, standards, or customs : not conforming

taken from https://www.merriam-webster.com/


"Agnostic" comes to mind but I don't know about the shop-opening hours. I would keep the shop open whenever it paid off. But, hey, I'm an agnostic, so maybe I'm not the right person to ask.

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