Posted by: hatzihatzi | December 20, 2011


I suppose I should rant about merry Christmas versus happy holidays. My doctor seems to have the best idea. At my last visit, she said to me “happy,” she started off enthusiastically, but trailed off with “whatever it is you celebrate.” Here are my thoughts: I don’t give a fuck, as long as its sincere. But yes, I did meet one person who got all pissy at the thought of someone wishing him happy holidays. I look at it as the modern equivalent of wearing a scarlet A. His ranting let me know that he is a person I should avoid. As for putting Christ back in Christmas, I think I’m all for it. That way, by forcing to see it as a religious holiday, it would be easier for others to get it out of public spaces.

Yeah, I’m a scrooge.

My sister married a Catholic man, and she and her husband decided to put their sons in a Catholic daycare/school. Being a Catholic school, my nephew’s educators teach the children a little about what it means to be Catholic. At two, my nephew had the basics down and knew that Christmas meant birth of Jesus. (And presents, of course.)

Before my nephew’s baptism, my brother-in-law spoke to the priest and explained that my nephew was half Jewish.  The priest seemed happy to have “a child ofIsrael” in his parish. As is clear by their decision to baptize him, my nephew is being raised Catholic though with Jewish roots. At the very least, his mother lights Hanukah candles (one of the view distinctly Jewish memories my sister and I share from growing up) next to the manger scene in their living room.

At his second Hanukah/Christmas, my sister lit the Hanukah candles and said the blessing. My nephew started to sing Happy Birthday.  This makes some sense. For him, lit candles were supposed to be on a birthday cake.

One night, my sister asked him “whose birthday is it?”

“Baby Jesus.”



  1. At one of my jobs, we weren’t allowed to reference specific holidays/religions when speaking with customers. I had one person on the phone who LOST IT at me when (after he’d wished me a Merry Christmas) I responded with a “Happy Holidays, sir!”

    I had to listen to him rant at me for 20 minutes about how if he wished me a Merry Christmas, I should wish him the same. It was completely unreal.

    I usually make an effort in my personal life to personalize holiday greetings for the person I’m speaking to, but a “Happy Christmas, Ron!” is always my favourite.

    • I never know how to respond when non-Jewish friends wish me a happy Hanukkah. I usually just say thanks. But should I say you too or merry Christmas?

      • Ah! when did you start posting again?

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