Monday, December 17, 2007

"Sister Says..."

The little old nun behind me in line at the Post Office wished me a Merry Christmas. I kindly did the same to her, then added, “And happy holidays, of which there are many at this time of year.”

Her lips tightened. “Merry Christmas.”

I said, “Yes, and a Happy Hanukkah; did you celebrate it? That holy season existed before Christmas.”

Teeth tightened, lips tightened. “Merry Christmas.”

I said, “And the Catholic New Year was in November.”

At this point, she was no longer looking at me. I guess we are supposed to note only the season of Christmas. Too bad; there are several holidays/holydays around this time of year and “Merry Christmas” only covers one of them. I really can’t see omitting (or ignoring) all the others and there certainly is room for “Happy Holidays” when you figure we are in the season of holidays.

Later in the day, I was woman of darker skin than mine. Of African heritage? Jamaican? Cape Verdean? She wished me a happy something and I wished her a happy whatever she celebrated. We bowed slightly and parted smiling. Tough stuff, Sister.


Anonymous outthere said...

If we are going to recognize diversity, we have to recognize that peopl celebrate differently. If you know that some one celebrates Christmas then Merry Christmas is Great! If not Happy Holidays covers everyone. Happy Kwanzaa!

December 18, 2007 10:25 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Were you in uniform at the Post Office?

December 21, 2007 6:18 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

You jest.

December 21, 2007 10:07 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

I'm serious. Stands to reason Sister would have higher expectations if you were.

December 21, 2007 11:17 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

I'd think a woman of the cloth would, after having her greeting returned in kind, would realize there are other holidays at this time of year.

Besides, Sister Mary Virgin should have said "Holy Christmas."

December 22, 2007 1:52 PM  

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