All hol­i­day wishes well-mean­ing

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

Ear­lier this week, as I was say­ing good­bye to one of my clients, I wished them a “Merry Christ­mas.” They replied in kind and added some­what jok­ingly what a re­lief it was to be able to say that with­out the fear of of­fend­ing any­one. This got me think­ing: What could pos­si­bly be of­fen­sive about say­ing “Merry Christ­mas”?

Most peo­ple in the United States cel­e­brate Christ­mas. But the coun­try is so di­verse that one can­not and should not as­sume that ev­ery­one cel­e­brates the hol­i­day. Thus some say “Happy Hol­i­days” as a more inclusive term that avoids of­fense. Oth­ers see this phrase as po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, and go on say­ing “Merry Christ­mas” to the point where they hope they of­fend.

Have we be­come so fix­ated on iden­tity pol­i­tics that we’ve for­got­ten the mean­ing of “Merry Christ­mas,” or for that mat­ter, “Happy Hanukkah,” “Eid Mubarak” or “Happy Hol­i­days”? These phrases don’t im­pose or di­lute a hol­i­day or faith. Rather, they con­sti­tute a wish of hap­pi­ness unto oth­ers. No mat­ter how this universal wish is ex­pressed, no one should be afraid that he or she might of­fended, and no one should take of­fense.

Di­verse though we may be, we should at least be able to put our dif­fer­ences aside to wish for and cel­e­brate each other’s hap­pi­ness.

BEN­JAMIN MOODY Huntsville, Ala.

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