Merry Christmahanakwanzaka! Or, The Minefield of Holiday Greetings


I hope everyone has been having a nice holiday season. Whatever you celebrate. Which brings me to an interesting subject: the PC-ness of the holidays and the awkward hilarity that ensues. I’m not really talking about whether you say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or whatever. It’s more about how I’m an idiot. I have been putting my foot in my mouth since I learned to talk, and 34.5 years into my life that hasn’t changed.

Let me just say that Christmas + social networking = landmines. I spent the last week stepping all over them. I’m part of a lovely group of friends on Twitter who extend greetings to each other on a daily basis, and when I get a chance I try to reply back to everyone. On Christmas Eve Eve – I wanted to get a jump on my holiday greetings – I decided to go for the “reply all”  on a daily hello and wish everyone a Happy Christmas Eve Eve. And then I had that sinking feeling that comes when one hits “reply all” without thinking.

Here’s how my thought process went:

Stupid Lori! You just hit reply all and wished Rachel Sklar a Happy Christmas Eve Eve!
She is JEWISH!!
Nooooooo! (panic panic panic)
Must. Reverse. Course.

Then I sent out another tweet and RESCINDED my Happy Christmas Eve Eve greeting to Rachel. That’s right. I took it back! (Is that an etiquette faux pas?) I instead wished her a Happy December 23. Because I am an idiot like that. I thought about wishing her a Merry Chinese Food Day on the 25th, but thought that might have gone too far.

I was really thrown off when another of my other lovely twitter friends, Sara, wished me a heartfelt Merry Christmas.

More internal dialogue:

Sara just sent me a sweet Christmas greeting.
Hold up. Isn’t she Jewish?
*Checks twitter feed to confirm, since there is confusion.*
Yep. She’s Jewish.
But she’s tweeting about going to a Christmas celebration.
Well now how do I reply?

I didn’t want to blow my idiot streak, so I wished her a Merry December 25. You know, instead of the very original “Merry December 23.”  Could there possibly be a worst greeting? You won’t find those cards at Hallmark, and for good reason. But really, how do you wish a Jewish friend Merry Christmas?  (Yes, I realize that’s a dumb question, but I’m on a dumb roll here.) I’m guessing there’s not too much merry about it for them, since it’s hard to find even an open gas station on Christmas, yet nothing closes for Hanukkah. Seems a little unfair.

Fortunately, as I belatedly learned, Sara wrote a post about what Jews do on Christmas – if only I had read that before getting all awkward! I will know for next year. Until then, I’m sure there will plenty of other opportunities to be awkward on Twitter. Anyone got an opinion about that nice Michael Vick?

I’d better stop there before I end up choking on my size 9, double-wide foot. So I’ll just leave you with this: Happy Holidays!

Lori lives in the greater Cincinnati area. She’s a stay-at-home mom of two girls while her husband works to pay off her two college degrees. When not changing diapers or sorting coupons she can be found tweeting as @LoriNKY or blogging at Mish Mash Momma.

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