The Holidays

happy-holidaysHalloween is long gone and our Thanksgiving cruise with the grandkids is behind us.    The lights are up in retail centers and neighborhoods, a reminder to watch out for crazy drivers looking for to scoop up the day’s bargains. Sirius XM has already switched the Love station to Holly and the annoying automobile commercials have commenced … Santa driving a Mercedes instead of a sleigh and a Lexus with a bow in the driveway on Christmas morning. Television is turning Santa into a shill for every product known to man … its a wonder any kids believe anymore. Perhaps they just pretend to humor their parents. And as sure as Kohl’s in-store music will include the most annoying versions of Christmas carols imaginable, the posts on Facebook have appeared to remind me that I should say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays.

Personally, I disagree. Let me explain.  I was raised Catholic and although I no longer consider myself Christian, I not only love Christmas, I have the utmost respect for the meaning of the holiday to those celebrate it as part of their faith. But to those who insist that I should say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, I’d ask this: You do realize that there are other holidays at this time of year, don’t you?  As a man who married a Jewish woman and has celebrated Chanukah … a smaller holiday that’s beautiful in its own right … for fifty years,  I certainly do.

So, if you are standing in line at Target and a bald man about 5′ 8″with a white goatee wishes you Happy Holidays, please don’t be offended.  It means he doesn’t know what particular December holiday you celebrate and asking before greeting is awkward.   And you can wish him Happy Holidays … or Merry Christmas … or Happy Chanukah … or even May the Blessings of the Season Be With You.  He will take greetings wherever he can find them.  Isn’t that more in the spirit of the season anyway?

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