Did that offend you? How about if I wished you a merry Christmas instead?
There seems to be a growing number of people who get ticked off if they hear the wrong greeting.
A friend once told me a story about how he, his wife and two daughters were filling up at a gas station. A woman across the pump wished him a merry Christmas. He smiled and replied the same.
Then, she got a little smug and asked, "That's OK for me to say, isn't it, 'merry Christmas?'" My friend laughed as he told me the story.
"Probably the only four Jews in the entire town happened to be in my vehicle at that moment," he said.
He wasn't offended that a Christian woman wished a Jewish man a merry Christmas.
Another example, my girlfriend declined coming to my office's party because I called it a holiday gathering, not specifically Christmas. That offended her. At the time, my agency had about 10 employees. Among us, we celebrated Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Boxing Day. We also celebrated New Year's.
Wishing someone a happy holiday is not excluding Christmas. It is including all the others. Being angry because someone's greeting isn't good enough is looking a gift horse in the mouth.
This season should be celebrated in our houses of worship, in our homes, and in our hearts. Saying happy holidays instead of merry Christmas is not going to water down the meaning of the holiday — unless you let it.
If some well-intended person or business offers a warm wish or a happy greeting that may not be on target with what you believe, accept it and move on.
There are so many honest-to-goodness issues that deserve our attention this time of year. Getting our undies in a bunch over someone's "happy holidays" is a waste of energy. Wouldn't it be better if we channeled all that angst into feeding the hungry or clothing the poor? Isn't that what this season is truly supposed to be about?
By the way, today is a Jewish holiday.