2001..I had just come to the US, very little general knowledge about jews and little awareness about the old testament and all of that. I mean, I'm sure we learned about it all in school at some point- but ..anyhow, I am all excited about Christmas and wish this very obviously jewish professor "Merry Christmas" in a loud booming voice. What was worse is that this was a prof I had an enormous crush on . - intellectual crush.
2010..I am a lot more aware and culturally aligned here now. Today I got out of a 3 hour discussion with a really nice prof- who I have been increasingly awestruck by over the past many meetings- just at his passion for his science, his meticulousness, his patience at explaining things to me...and of course, I end the meeting with a loud booming "Merry Christmas, Dr. K". Dr. K being an obviously jewish name.
Honestly, to me, "Happy Holidays" just doesn't cut it- it doesn't have the merry tone to it that "Merry Christmas" has. And I've always struggled with Happy holidays. What about people who are not taking off during the season? Like me? Should I be offended when you wish me Happy holidays? Crappy christmassy music and over the top commercialization notwithstanding, I love the spirit of christmas. And I guess I have this strong urge to spread that joy amongst people I love, either secretively or overtly. Only that can explain such stupid behaviour on my part.
What to do now? Do I follow up with an email to Dr. K and explain that I meant happy holidays even though I said Merry Christmas? I really like him and I want him to like me! :)
Merry Christmas, all of you!