Here we are, during the Christmas season, in a country that is primarily Muslim.
I haven't been in the States for a year-and-a-half, but I can keep up with you all through my google reader, and CNN, and Slate, and the Washington Post (and even Fox, I suppose, if I'm feeling particularly windbag-ish). And it appears that, once again, Americans are in a snit about whether or not we are being properly wished a Merry Christmas when we go outdoors.
To which I say: bah, humbug.
Seriously, people. Get over it. As long as someone smiles, and wishes you well, does it really matter how they do it, with which exact phrase?
Yesterday afternoon, I drove to the Embassy to pick up Bart. The guard at the entrance, who I know is a God-fearing, practicing Muslim, stopped me at the gate and said to me, in broken, broken, English mixed with a smattering of Arabic, "may God grant you Merry Christmas. I wish that your beautiful children, with you, and husband, and all of this family, will have beautiful holiday."
He isn't the only one. Everywhere I go, people wish me a happy holiday. Most of them are Muslim, but they know we celebrate, and so they wish me joy. Frankly, I don't care how they wish me well. They can say Merry Christmas, or Happy Holiday, or Eed Sayeed, or anything at all. But I love that they wish me, a stranger in their land, a joyous day.
And with that small commentary, I'm off to straighten up the house. My in-laws are en route from Jerusalem, and I think the house should look nice, if only for the first few minutes of their time here.
Happy Day, everyone! However you celebrate - or don't - have a happy, happy day.