My holiday paranoia

I’m scared to say Merry Christmas.

It’s the time of year we’re supposed to be joyous and loving and caring (and all the other synonyms for happy), but the end of December always makes me feel uneasy. I’m worried about offending people.

And you’d think three years of offending people week after week with this column that it wouldn’t bother me by now. But this is the worst kind of offending: intentionally being nice and unintentionally offending someone.

All this comes from one simple greeting. That’s right, those two words that relate to Santa Claus, Frosty, Christ, eggnog, presents and togetherness, are so harsh and cruel that I look like a bad guy for saying, Merry Christmas to someone if they don’t recognize the holiday.

On my way to the office today I passed a sign that read, Keep Christ in Christmas. I’m surprised the seniors’ residence displaying the message hasn’t been protested against and there was no picket outside.

I mean, let’s chill out people. You’ve made me paranoid to wish people the best for Christmas. Now, I have to second-guess myself wondering if somebody will be offended.

Let’s look at it this way: I don’t celebrate Kwanzaa, but if you wish me Happy Kwanzaa I’m not going to throw a tantrum and say, “It’s Christmas, not Kwanzaa.” I’m going to say thanks and take it as a merry holiday greeting because that’s how it was meant. I just convert it into whichever relates to my life. In this instance, it’s Christmas.

It’s too bad my joyous and loving and caring time has me preoccupied with the sensitive feelings of others that I can’t enjoy Christmas for what it’s worth.

So I’m going to say Merry Christmas, one and all. Take it how you want. If you’re going to be a Scrooge and take offence to it, so be it. If you can accept it as a heartfelt greeting wishing you all the best, that’s even better.

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