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What to Say If Someone Wishes You ‘Merry Christmas’


‘Tis the season to take umbrage. The notion that politically correct liberals want to stifle less ecumenical versions of seasonal greetings, such as, “Merry Christmas,” is a longstanding conservative trope. This week, the National Republican Congressional Committee posted and then quickly took down an advertisement for a t-shirt that says, “‘Happy Holidays’ is what liberals say.” But the umbrage goes both ways: Non-celebrants who are offended when wished a “merry Christmas” could probably afford to relax a bit. In keeping with the spirit of the season (oops!), here is a guide to what to do when you are wished “merry Christmas” by someone, loved or not. 



IF YOU ARE JEWISH: “Heh. THANKS.” Walk away feeling smug and superior.

IF YOU ARE MUSLIM: “Thank you! As you know, Jesus was a great prophet!” Endure awkward pause. “I don’t celebrate Christmas.” 

IF YOU ARE PAGAN: Just sigh. 

IF YOU ARE A LAPSED CATHOLIC: “Oh. Um. Thanks. You too." Feel extreme guilt, inescapable smell of holy wine. 

IF YOU ARE CANADIAN: “I’m more of a Boxing Day guy.”

IF YOU ARE A CONSERVATIVE: “I don’t appreciate your condescension.” 

IF YOU ARE A LIBERAL: “Actually, we say, ‘Happy holidays.’” 

IF YOU ARE A HIPSTER: “Actually, we say, ‘Happy holidays,’ as you can see on this ironic t-shirt I’m wearing.” 

IF YOU ARE BILL O’REILLY: “That’s offensive. That’s offensive. Why can’t you—sir. Sir. SIR. You can speak when I am finished. Why can’t you wish me ‘A happy, full, and meaningful day of meditation upon the birth of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior?’ The liberal media would have you believe nobody celebrates this anymore. I would appreciate being addressed that way. And may I add to you, sir, that I hope you have a happy, full, and meaningful day of meditation upon the birth of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior.” 

IF YOU ARE FORMER MIAMI DOLPHIN GREAT LARRY CSONKA: “Thanks. It’s really cool to share a birthday with Jesus … .” Pause for interlocutor to wish you a happy forthcoming birthday. “Oh, hah, thanks!”

IF YOU ARE PAKISTANI: “I did not realize you, too, celebrated the birth of our Great Leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Can I count on you for Kashmir Solidarity Day as well?”

IF YOU ARE ANNOYING: “‘Merry Christmas’? I just met her!”

Image via Shutterstock.