The Simple Life

Happy holidays

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Let’s celebrate the holidays together. Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanza!

Many privileges are mistaken for rights nowadays, so much so that any disagreement is viewed as an intentional offense, the trampling of “my rights” or even outright persecution of individuals or groups.

Yes, I enjoy the holidays and even tell people, “Merry Christmas.” I do not get upset, however, when a salesperson tells me, “Happy Holidays.” I don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that I am being persecuted for my faith. The employee is most likely just following the mandates of his superiors or the company policy. Besides, how can I wish someone a “Merry Christmas” in one breath and then breathe condemnation in the next? What kind of love or grace would that display?

I’m not sure why, when so many holidays take place this time of year, peace and goodwill isn’t more abundant. Is it really worth the effort to get all worked up because someone said, “Happy Holidays,” or mentions the ‘wrong’ holiday? Why take offense if someone says to you Happy Kwanza? Does it really matter whether you celebrate that holiday, another holiday or no holiday at all? What harm was caused?

It is a shame to me that folks find offense in such a little greeting that is meant to express joy, happiness or good will. Wish me a happy Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas and I’ll respond with a smile, a wave, and most likely tell you, “Merry Christmas.” Then again I may just wish you a generic “Happy Holiday.”

If someone were to wish me a Happy Hanukkah, I’d take it in the spirit intended even though I’m not Jewish. After all, whether it’s Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah or none of the above, I don’t believe holiday greetings are intended to be offensive or divisive. Such expressions are simply meant to convey well-wishes, and who couldn’t use more of those?

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