Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Holy Days--‘Tis the season to take offence?

Last week I made the “mistake” of telling an elderly woman leaving my place of employment, “Thanks for coming in. Happy Holidays.”

She quickly shot back, “No, it is Merry Christmas!

“Yes mam. Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year,” I replied, hoping she would understand that I wasn’t excluding Christmas with the phrase, but rather was including other holidays along with it.

She reacted more frustrated than ever, shaking her head and finger (in unison, in fact), “This is about religious freedom... This is about freedom of speech... your employer has no right to tell you what to say,” yadda, yadda, yadda.

I thought, “Religion? I am agnostic. Freedom of speech? That’s ironic. Isn’t it YOU who is telling me what to say?”

But I bit my tongue.

“I’m sorry, mam. No... They didn’t tell me what to say. Merry Christmas.”

The woman’s friend (obviously embarrassed by the scene she was making) gave a disapproving nudge, and they finally made their way to the door. Just before their exit, the lady (who had previously taken offence) turned around, smiled and said, “Thank you for saying ‘Merry Christmas.’”

She left satisfied--at the expense of me feeling bullied and anything but the Christmas spirit.

Later I realized that my company’s policy actually is for their employees to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”


To avoid future confrontation at my place of work, I will therefore opt to say neither. For the rest of the year I will instead be telling people, “Have a great day/good night” or “Enjoy the rest of your weekend.”

Are we all happy now?


  1. The war on the "war on Christmas"... it only comes once a year, and never fails to give me the warm fuzzies.

    People are dumb, panicky animals.

  2. Ugh... Tis the season to be jolly all right. :P

  3. LOL should have told her you was a Jew.

  4. It doesn't suck half as bad as my spelling does. Excuse me. It's M*e*rry, not Marry. Doh!

  5. What is wrong with saying Merry Christmas it's been going on for 100 year's if you don't like it go.Every company should not stop there workforce from saying Merry Christmas if they do then they belong elswhere.

  6. Anonymous- nothing is wrong with saying "Merry Christmas." However, there is something wrong with someone getting offended because someone else wishes them a "Happy Holiday."

  7. Anyone who says "Happy Holidays" obviously hates Jesus. Not to mention everything good, cute, and wholesome. No wonder the woman reacted the way she did.

  8. Especially puppies. Puppies disgust me. :^D

  9. Puppies are the worst, but babies are a close second.

    To look at, I mean, not to eat.

  10. WOW! ok, I am not shocked. As many who claim Christ as their savior, and whom they *follow*, surely don't act very "Christlike"! Next time just say Merry X-MAS!