Monday, October 20, 2008

Are the words 'Merry Christmas' offensive to you?

When I was a little girl, I had an after-school babysitter named Esther. I had lots of fun at Esther's house. She always had cool activities planned for me and the other kids she took care of, like games and craft projects, and the play room was pretty tricked out (for the early 80s, anyway).

But unbeknownst to my parents, Esther was a member of a religious group that prohibits the celebration of holidays. So when we ran into Esther at the mall during the month of December, my dad did not know that she wouldn't appreciate him wishing her a Merry Christmas. Actually, to say she didn't appreciate it is an understatement -- she really flew off the handle, and gave my dad lecture.

I can't help but wonder why the mere mention of Christmas was so offensive to her. Couldn't she just say 'thank you' and leave it at that? Or, if it was such a big deal why didn't she tell my parents about her religious views prior to the holiday season?

Obviously, this is an extreme example -- but I have heard of other people (people who don't share Esther's beliefs) who are really disgusted by the words 'Merry Christmas.' They seem to believe that by my wishing them a Merry Christmas that I am shoving my Christian views down their throat. I honestly don't get it.

I, for example, don't participate in Halloween activities. But people are always wishing me a Happy Halloween this time of year. Am I offended? No! Do I slam the door the in their face when come over to show me their three-year-old's adorable costume. Of course not! I don't even mention it, unless they ask.

Their intentions are good, and that is all that matters.

1 comment:

katelyn said...

i used to work in retail, and during this season, we weren't allowed to say 'merry christmas' (even though our store was decked out in red and green, with ornaments and santas everywhere). i always said 'happy holidays' (to pretty much cover all the bases).

however, i would not be offended if a jewish person wished me a happy hanukkah. i would just thank them and wish them the same!

some people are just a little dramatic.