Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays

Just being confused

I

lived in Japan for about seven years in the 90s. When I returned to the States, I realized that there was a conscious distinction between saying Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. And recently, you hear many of the talking heads discussing the death of Christmas, how George Bush’s seasonal greeting card says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Are we in a criis now?

I was reminded of this disconnect when I found myself in an awkward situation wishing someone a Merry Christmas who obviously was not Christian. Yes, I’m slow and stupid at times… The other day, I went to the post office to send some stuff to Japan and when I lieft the window of the very helpful postal employee–yes, I know, “helpful postal employee” sounds like a contradiction in terms–I wished her a Merry Christmas and she gave me a funny smile. I thought immediately, “Crap, maybe she doesn’t celebrate Christmas.”

I suppose we should be concerned about wishing someone a seasonal greeting that is culturally inoffensive–even though all the Japanese Budhists I know have no problem with “Merry Christmas”–so I always try to make a conscious effort to wish every one a Happy Holiday instead of Merry Christmas. But the Merry Christmas greeting slips out–damn, I’ve been saying it for only the past FIFTY yeasrs!

Anyway, I was wondering… Is it just me? Or does anyone else here on Xanga share my concerns?

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