June 19, 2021   10:13am

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What seasonal greeting should you use … ?

It’s the holiday season.  What do you say?

The other day a Dutch friend commented that he didn’t feel right wishing me a “Merry Christmas” because I’m Jewish, and then he asked what he should say to show his good wishes.  I explained that “Happy Holidays” was just fine because the Jewish holiday of Chanukah also comes around the same time, and it also falls at the end of the year.  (Truth is, “Merry Christmas” is also fine with me, because it’s the good wishes that are nice to hear.  If I don’t celebrate a particular holiday, others do and so what — but that’s just my perspective).

Anyway … upon reflecting on this –technically — even “Happy New Year” might not be appropriate, because if you’re Jewish (or Islamic) those religions date the year by a lunar calendar so the date of 2010 could be considered inaccurate — even if the entire world schedules life around that number.

This got me to thinking how I don’t know what to say to someone who is Islamic or Hindu or Buddhist, and what a narrow world we live in (even in New York) that the right greeting wouldn’t just casually come to mind.  So, I asked around, and, then got an email from a Muslim friend from Pakistan who sent: “Wishing you a wonderful and happy new year.”  And a Hindu friend of my son’s said basically:  “Just say Merry Christmas.  We’re a very inclusive culture.”

So to all, let me just say:

May the positive spirit of a new year stay with you throughout the next 365 days.  And beyond.


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