In this age of political correctness, few subjects have escaped its grip including a well intentioned 'Merry Christmas'.
What do you say? Do you dispense your holiday wishes according to the receiver? If you live in a city like New York, this could be a mess. Do you say Happy Holiday to your Jewish friends and Merry Christmas to your Christian friends and Happy Kwanzaa to your African American friends? (More on Kwanzaa later.)
Yvette covers it all in one fell swoop with 'Happy Holidays'. "It's all inclusive," she says. I prefer 'Merry Christmas'. I like the word 'merry' and that's how it makes me feel every time I say it. Just before Thanksgiving I'll say, "Happy Holidays".
We never, never wish any of our African American friends Happy Kwanzaa. It's not that we don't wish them happiness but we don't recognize that particular holiday. We do wish our mother Happy Kwanzaa because she's proud to celebrate it. Yvette was very disturbed when she read that Angelina Jolie wants to make sure her adopted Ethiopian daughter, Zahara, celebrates Kwanzaa. Why can't the family celebrate, Ganna, the Ethiopian Christmas holiday?
The color of skin shouldn't color the holidays. Yvette and I always find it entertaining when a white friend wishes us Happy Kwanzaa. We understand that their intention is to be politically correct or respectful. But Kwanzaa is a little different from the rest. Be sure and visit the Kwanzaa web site for some clarity.
Holidays are joyous. And you should feel free to spread that joy. Do what feels right. If you say Merry Christmas and you realize you just said it to someone who's Jewish, don't start correcting yourself and wonder out loud what to say. Just smile and keep on moving. If you are wished a 'Happy Hanukkah' no need to point out that you're not Jewish. A heartfelt thank you is in order.
So, Yvette wishes you a Happy Holiday. And I wish you a Merry Christmas. And a Happy Kwanzaa to you, mother.