To all my christian friends and readers
and those that celebrate today in a secular way:
As a coworker and I were leaving work on Friday we were talking about this holiday. He is a devout Christian who knows that I am a devout Pagan.
Here's how the conversation went:
Coworker (CW): Jim... I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Me: CW... I want to wish you a Happy Hanukkah. Are you lighting the 4th candle in your menorah tonight?
CW: What? I don't celebrate Hanukkah.
Me: Then why are you wishing me a merry christmas? CW, I know you celebrate christmas, so I'll wish you a merry christmas. You could have respected me and wished me a merry yule on Thursday.
CW: Jim... I know that deep down inside you still believe. I'm sorry that someone hurt you in your past, but I know you still believe, deep down.
Me: CW, you're about the tenth person to tell me that and I'll tell you the same thing I told the other nine. No! I have different beliefs than you. Please respect them. You know we have quite a large number of Jewish clients at [major bank] I hope you're not telling any of them merry christmas!!
CW: No... that would be disrespectful!
Me: [silence] (waiting for his words to sink in to his mind)
Last night I ran into some other friends. We talked about our beliefs and I realized that this is the first year that I haven't hated christmas! It really is just another day to me. I don't love it, I don't hate it. It's just a holiday celebrated by people of a different religion than me. To me... it's just December 25, 2011.