The correct response to Happy Chanukah is not “Oh, yeah, and Happy Kwanzaa or whatever.”

Dear gentiles, when you say Merry Christmas and I say Happy Chanukah, don’t cheapen it by saying, “Oh yeah, and Happy Kwanzaa or whatever.”

First, there is the matter of sincerity. Chanukah is a Jewish holiday that predates Christmas. Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday that started in 1966. I don’t know if I look Jewish, but I certainly don’t look black. When you lump Kwanzaa in with Chanukah I think that you think I am just saying Happy Chanukah to be PC, and that I don’t actually mean it sincerely. Here’s the truth: I don’t say Happy Chanukah to be inclusive or politically correct; I say it because celebrate it.

Second, there is the matter of timing. When you wish me a Merry Christmas and it’s not December 25th, it’s not actually Christmas day. When I wish you a Happy Chanukah, I am doing so on one of the eight days of Chanukah I am actually celebrating that day. When you wish me a Happy Kwanzaa, you are wishing me a happy holiday that isn’t even celebrated until the day after Christmas through New Year’s Day. If you want to wish anyone a Happy Kwanzaa, do so when it’s actually being celebrated.

The best response to Happy Chanukah? “Thank you.”

P.S. For clarification: I don’t go around wishing people Happy Chanukah, but when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas during Chanukah, I say, “Thank you! And Happy Chanukah!” Sometimes I say, “Thank you, and I’m celebrating Chanukah today.” I try various responses, but I prefer to acknowledge my celebration of Chanukah rather than just saying nothing about it. I suppose I am trying to make a statement, but I’m also sincere.

5 thoughts on “The correct response to Happy Chanukah is not “Oh, yeah, and Happy Kwanzaa or whatever.”

  1. OK so the other day on Dec 22 I wished a person on the phone Merry Christmas, they basically shouted back HAPPY HANUKA. They did not thank me, say you as well etc. Their days were over for this on the 18th this year so it’s not like they were celebrating anything that day , it was rude and bossy. I did not say anything but, CHRISTMAS IS A NATIONAL HOLLIDAY, ON THE CALANDER There is no One day called Hanuka, older, who cares, so is the worship of the Egyptian Gods so age means nothing, as a matter of fact, if age counts the most, then worship of rocks is older as well. It works both ways, Say thank you and then if you want insert your belief but otherwise you frankly open to an equally rude reply, like didn’t you guys kill the Savior? No one wants that so BE NICE ON YOUR END AS WELL .

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  2. It’s really simply. A person wishing you a Merry Christmas is thier intention to wish you a happy and joyous time and day. A day in their belief that is held in great joy and revoeance. There is no more statement being made. If in fact you do not share that belief, it would be a
    Very appropriate, tolerant and appreciated to wish that person a similar expression of joy and revoeance in your belief. The age of the celebration has little to do with the deep meaning or feeling. There is no need to make a statement!

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  3. Pingback: Happy Holidays | David's Commonplace Book

  4. Well said. I would wish you Merry Christmas and wish you Happy Chanukah because I respect those holy days and appreciate how they were created.

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