By most accounts, approximately 90 percent of the US population celebrates Christmas. Yet, when you are given a Christmas greeting, nine times out of 10 do you hear 'Merry Christmas?'
My absolute un-scientific account, which is more gut feeling than anything, is that it’s the opposite. For every 10 greetings I receive in December, probably one person is wishing me a, "Merry Christmas," while the rest are a "Happy Holidays."
This of course is typical political correctness run amok. Political correctness more often than not, is not wanting to hurt the feelings of thin-skinned, narcissistic, whiners…
I too play the same game, and it’s pathetic. I will avoid saying Merry Christmas to just about anyone, unless I’m 100 percent sure they actually CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS!
What would be wrong to simply say to ANYONE in Mill Valley, "Merry Christmas", and that person in return wishes you the same? Independent of what religion that person is, what is the harm of initiating a “good wish," and reciprocating the most common of traditional wishes? How about the following exchange from a Rabbi and Joe blow on the street? “Merry Christmas, Rabbi Shmuley…” “Merry Christmas and Shalom to you too Joseph.”
If I were traveling in Israel on the week of “Rosh Hashanah," I being the absolute minority religion (or atheist), would have no trouble hearing from my Israeli friend, “Shalom, Shanah Tovah”…. And I would give him a “Shalom, Shanah Tovah back to you too…” The next time I’m in Saudi Arabia and I’m there during the week of Ramadan, I will cheerfully hear from Mohammad, “Tim, Ramadan Mubarak”, and will reciprocate a “Ditto, to you too my friend…”
It is hard because we’ve all become cultural wimps to the bullies of political correct speech.
Shanah Tovah and Ramadan Mubarak, and Merry Christmas!