I heard this question…oh, about 5 times today. I get it. People are trying to be considerate because I *am* Muslim and they don’t want to offend…but to me, there’s nothing offensive about someone wishing me a Merry Christmas. It’s the same as Happy Holidays…at least in the US, over the years, that’s what it’s become. I don’t understand why people get so offended over the use of Merry Christmas over Happy Holidays or Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas…
Isn’t the whole point just to wish the other person a joyful and peaceful time, whatever it is they celebrate?
At least, that’s what I think. If the intention behind it is pure, why do the words matter? I’m Muslim. Someone wishing me a Merry Christmas does not offend me nor do I feel like I’m being ‘forced’ to celebrate a Christian holiday. As long as you pass on your good wishes, I can choose to celebrate whatever, however I choose. It’s the blessing that counts…isn’t it?
It should be.
To clarify…in Turkey, we celebrate New Year’s. Before we moved to the US, we gave presents to each other for New Year’s Eve…and it usually coincides with a Muslim holiday. When we moved to the US 13 years ago, and my brother was so young, we decided to go ahead and do the tree and presents on Christmas…just so it would be easier for him to adjust to being in *this* society. Did it take anything away from our traditions and culture? Not at all. Did we become ‘Americanized’? Maybe in the social sense but that didn’t change our religion, faith or heritage. Your identity and faith is what you make of it. The words that others use in their greeting doesn’t define you.
You define you so remember that this holiday season. When someone wishes you a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays in the street, return their blessing with a smile. The world’s gone down the shitter and most people are probably having a bad day…a smile from a stranger might be just the medicine that they need.
Happy Holidays from the PQ Nation to all of you.