A not so merry Christmas

Bellagio’s 2011 holiday display.
Photo: Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com

Everybody’s wishing me “merry Christmas” this year. It was “happy holidays” last year and “happy holidays” the year before that, but now we’re back to “merry Christmas.”

I don’t celebrate Christmas. I’m not a Christian. I don’t feel upset when somebody wishes me “merry Christmas”; I just feel frustrated. Mildly frustrated. A factual mistake has been made. The well-wisher assumed I was Christian, that I will have a merry Christmas, and she was wrong. (Or maybe she was wishing herself a “merry Christmas" and I was just a sounding board? Or maybe she was hinting that I should celebrate Christmas?)

Usually, when people make faulty assumptions about me, I set them straight. For example, if somebody wishes me “happy birthday” on any day that isn’t April 17th, I reply, “It’s not my birthday.” But if somebody wishes me “merry Christmas” and I say, “Actually, I don’t celebrate Christmas,” all of a sudden I’m an asshole.

Let’s make a deal: I won’t get upset when you wish me a merry Christmas, and you don’t get upset when I politely tell you that I’m not Christian. Fair?


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