All holiday wishes well-meaning
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.