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How do you respond when someone says "Merry Christmas"?

Question for discussion:
How do you respond when someone says "Merry Christmas"?

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I simply say thank you and leave it at that. It's a very awkward moment and I really don't know what to say to them. I would definitly like to hear what other people do.

Kara
I'll say something like "actually, it's Happy Hanukkah for me".
I reply by saying Happy Holidays if someone give me a general greeting like "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays". If someone asks me what I am doing for "Christmas" I will reply, "Nothing as we celebrate Hanukkah." I don't let it really bother me because they are strangers that do not know me. However, if it is someone who knows me and continues to do so, it is something that I will at first friendly remind but then will not tolerate from there on out. To me that is disrespecting me and I would not do that to someone else, however will NOT utter the words ever "Merry Christmas". To me that is crossing a line, that I will not cross.
If it is during Chanukah, I'll wish them a Happy Chanukah, if not, I'll simply inform them that I'm Jewish, and wish them a Merry Christmas. I don't like responding with "no, I celebrate Chanukah", because it further inforces the misconception that Chanukah is the Jewish version of Christmas, as it implies that I celebrate Chanukah instead of Christmas.
There are many ways to deal with this problem. I recall my father often used to respond with a friendly grin, say "Bah Humbug" and chuckle... you can say almost anything and get away with it if you are friendly.

I once had an odd situation. I was taking one of my kids to our pediatrician of many years, He is Jewish and knows that we are. At the end of our visit he without thinking wished me a merry Christmas... when he realized a moment later that we were both Jewish and neither of us kept Chritsmas... well we had a good laugh at the irony.

I can see why one might think that you are keeping Channukah instead of Christmas, and while it is true that Channukah should never be mistaken for a Jewish Christmas... we do celebrate Channukah instead of Christmas in that Channukah is the celebration of a victory over the attempt to helenize and paganize our people, and Christmas is paganization and helenization... so in a way we do keep Channukah instead of Christmas... not because Channukah is a Jewishj Christmas, but because it is in essence an anit-Christmas :-)

Another solution is to respond with a related question, like:
"Is it that time of year again?"
"It seems to start earlier every year doesn't it?"
"Where has the last year gone?"
"Do you think it will snow?"

Or there is the ambiguous reply "Happy holidays to you as well" without explaining that my holidays are the eight days of Channukah.
I usually smile and respond; "and a happy Chanukah!" Last year I was in Bismarck and had to visit Wal-mart, tossing my change in the bell ringers pot he gave me a "Merry Christmas", I gave my Chanukah response inwhich he responded with a Tommy Chong accent; "Whatever dude, get er done!"
Recently I received a phone call from a dear old friend of mine, who is dyed in the wool Pentecostal and is adamant about me accepting a Christmas gift from him. He yelled "You don't observe the birth of our savior Jesus Christ?!!!" "Yes", I retorted, "On his birthday, usually in September, it's called Succoth". He decided to change the subject.
Well its that time of year again.
I just always say, "Happy holidays." If they get upset about me "taking the Christ out of Christmas", I respond that I'm Jewish, and they drop it.
I simply say "Thank you, you too". It's polite, and I don't see any need to get into my own
religious beliefs. It makes no sense for me to say "Happy Chanukah" to them when they
are not Jewish.

If someone asks what I am doing for Christmas, I usually just say I am staying home to
relax. Which is true, although I do go to the shul for "Christmas Eve" for the traditional
Chinese dinner and game night, LOL.

By the way, I am new here and this is my first post. I was looking for an "introduction" area
to introduce myself, but don't see one. If there is one, will someone be so kind as to direct
me to it?
Just loved the part at the end, about the pentecostal, that was quite funny.

Kara



Rav Nadav (Lonnie Miller) said:
I usually smile and respond; "and a happy Chanukah!" Last year I was in Bismarck and had to visit Wal-mart, tossing my change in the bell ringers pot he gave me a "Merry Christmas", I gave my Chanukah response inwhich he responded with a Tommy Chong accent; "Whatever dude, get er done!"
Recently I received a phone call from a dear old friend of mine, who is dyed in the wool Pentecostal and is adamant about me accepting a Christmas gift from him. He yelled "You don't observe the birth of our savior Jesus Christ?!!!" "Yes", I retorted, "On his birthday, usually in September, it's called Succoth". He decided to change the subject.
Shalom, welcome.
There's no introductory page, but you could post such information on your profile page ("my page") or maybe write a blog.

Rachel Stern said:
By the way, I am new here and this is my first post. I was looking for an "introduction" area
to introduce myself, but don't see one. If there is one, will someone be so kind as to direct
me to it?
Yes, welcome. :-)


Christian said:
Shalom, welcome.
There's no introductory page, but you could post such information on your profile page ("my page") or maybe write a blog.

Rachel Stern said:
By the way, I am new here and this is my first post. I was looking for an "introduction" area
to introduce myself, but don't see one. If there is one, will someone be so kind as to direct
me to it?

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