Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Rolling in his manger.

*a high five from Jesus was the best Christmas present anyone could even hope for!

I was Christmas shopping and not Holiday shopping today because I'm a little Irish Anglican. I made the mistake of wishing a store clerk who looked about as WASPy as myself a "Merry Christmas!"; the clerk retorted "Happy Holidays!"
I fumbled around for an apology, and said that I hoped I hadn't offended by wishing him a Merry Christmas.

A- "Oh, no worries! I celebrate Christmas!"
B- "Oh. I thought that since. . .you know, Happy Holidays. I thought maybe you celebrated a different holiday."
A- "Nope."
B- "Okay! Good. Merry Christmas, then! Again!"
A- "And Happy Holidays!"
B- ". . .yeah."

I get the whole Christmas vs. Holidays fiasco. I have friends who celebrate all kinds of things this time of year--Hell!--I've got friends who celebrate Christmas and don't particularly fancy Christ! But is it so wrong, from one Christian to another, to exchange a wish of 'Merry Christmas' in public? Does my language always have to be inclusive? I mean, I say 'Happy Birthday!' out loud, in public, even when I know that not everyone in the bar is celebrating a birthday.

Perhaps I'll start saying, "I'm having a Merry Christmas!" and then look to the sales clerk for a response of "And I'm having a Merry Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Winter Solstice myself!" Sharing can be fun.


Anonymous said...

I remember when I first started in retail 20 years ago and being told "gently" that we, the sale staff, should start saying Happy Holidays to all customers therefore ensuring not one of them ever becomes offended and complains to our Jewish owners. No word of a lie. And for years, I went by that same policy. In the last 3 years I have said fuck it and happily and loudly said Merry Christmas to ALL the customers. My boss, who is Polish, doesn't care/mind/register this, and certainly isn't afraid of offending the customers. He would be the first one to tell you to take the 'fuck 'em' attitude about the situation if they're gonna be all PC and prissy about the sentiment. :-)


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