Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas

An unpublished letter to The Globe and Mail, December 28, 2009:

In wishing Merry Christmas to one and all, Rex Murphy has upset a few readers (letters, Dec.28). One of them states: "To be wished Merry Christmas is to be presumed to be a member of Christianity." Not so.

To wish good luck does not presume a belief in fate or fortune or a rabbit foot. To the wish for a good day, I trust these readers do not reply: "Don't tell me what kind of day to have." Happy Holiday might apply to a vacation or long weekend.

In Israel during Hanukkah, I was delighted when friends who knew I was not Jewish wished me Happy Hanukkah. They were extending a wish for my happiness, and I returned the greeting with equal enthusiasm. The only presumption was that I would share their goodwill. So too with Merry Christmas, a timely hope for shared joy.

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