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on Nov 24, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah!
Question for my Jewish neighbors: is it welcome for others to wish you a Happy Hanukkah, or is it a case-by-case some people welcome it, some don't? I love Hanukkah traditions , and although I am Christian (with an interfaith worldview), we obviously have the common theological background, It feels weird to step around that, I'd like to wish people Happy Hanukkah (maybe someday get invited hint, hint, though not if theologically contraindicated of course...) Is it welcome, unwelcome?
As a Jewish person I can't imagine why anyone would object to being wished a Happy Hanukkah! But more importantly as a human being, I never object to receiving kind greetings. I mean, if its Easter or Christmas and someone says Happy Easter or Merry Christmas, my response is always an enthusiastic "You too!" and I just walk away feeling good because I know I met someone who cares about being courteous and friendly, and there's really no point nit-picking over whether or not their greeting specifically applies to me. I'm just a tiny little part of the world, and I know it doesn't revolve around me.
My wish for you and everyone else for this holiday season and the whole year round is for tons and tons of kindness and smiles!
You are AWESOME! I couldn't agree with you more!
I get chastised now when I say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, for being "too politically correct." But I love all holidays and I am truly just wishing everyone well in whatever holidays they celebrate.
We should all just be happy when someone says something nice to us!
Loved your comments PersonA
Thanks Happy Hanukkah for the wishes. I'm with PersonA - always nice to get a heartfelt greeting. Just for the record, Hanukkah is not a major holiday in Judaism. It celebrates a battle for religious freedom against the Syrians. You can read about it here:
As for being invited, there are public candle lightings in just about every city around here. Here are some:
Stanford hospital (that would be a Mitzvah as well!):
and many of the local synagogues.
PersonA, you sound like a real mensch--please don't delete that, PA Online! What a wonderful reply; I've sometimes wondered that as well.
All good wishes to everyone for a lovely holiday season. And let's not forget Festivus!
I don't like the term (holidays), because it can mean anything from 4th July, Valentines Day or Labor Day. To some people it also means vacation time. As a result I find it a nothing greeting to say happy holidays because it doesn't mean anything.
This is Thanksgiving week, nothing to do with Christmas or Kwanzaa. This week happy Thanksgiving seems more appropriate. Since Hannukkah is also this week, saying happy Hannukkah also seems appropriate. Nearer December 25, it would be appropriate to say happy Christmas, and then Happy New Year. It is also good to remember to say happy Diwali, happy Ramadan and happy Easter at the right time. Trying to keep everyone included in fact does the opposite. It sounds just as bland as have a nice day when it is quite obvious the person saying it does so just because they have been told to do so as part of their job.
If there has to be a coverall greeting then wish someone the seasons best wishes.
Thank you, PersonA, for your wonderful response. Thank you also for your comments about Merry Christmas - I don't know when Christmas got to be so political (probably about the time that religion became so political in this country), but Christmas is both a religious and a secular holiday, and the secular traditions most people celebrate actually in many ways conflict with the religious. But I don't stop and ask someone: do you mean to wish me a Merry Christmas in the religious sense or in the secular? Yet that seems to be the subtext. For most people, it's actually the secular, so this awkwardness about wishing a Merry Christmas has become downright strange. To me it would be like people moving away from San Francisco because it's named after an important Christian saint. The tradition of a winter solstice fesitivity is old, helpful for our community and mental health in the middle of winter, and many of the traditions of Christmas are pagan in origin, not religious.
Anyway, thank you for the loving openness of your message!
Have an epic Thanksgivukkah! :-)
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