FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Merry…Holidays…?

by Dave Markwell

While walking through the market the other day, I encountered an acquaintance and, this being the holiday season, I said, “Merry Christmas!!” I was very enthusiastic and sincere in my delivery and though I don’t know this person especially well, I was still very intentional with my wishes for a happy season.

About two seconds after the words left my mouth, my politically correct sensor began chirping and I wondered whether “Merry Christmas” was appropriate. My smiling friend responded with “Happy Holidays!!” to which I, with bowed head, replied my corrected, “Happy Holidays!!”

I felt a little bad about not being more conscious of my choice in words. But, I felt good because my intentions were pure and genuine. I always prefer authentic screw ups with good intentions over phoniness. I believe most people do. And I think we can tell the difference.

While I try to be sensitive to other religions, sometimes my sensitivity is overmatched by my stupidity. This is not uncommon. Since I have never felt persecuted for my beliefs and am not super-religious, this element of the season is not super present for me. I am largely ignorant to the fact that certain sensitivities exist.

Since I pay so little attention to such things, a “Merry Christmas” carries no such connotations. I am merely expressing good wishes and hope that saying the right thing the wrong way is better than not saying anything. The hope I cling to is that my voice and eyes tell the truth if my words fail.

Saying “Merry Christmas”, to me, means “I care about you and wish you the best of good things”. This season provides an opportunity to say nice things to people and this may be the part I like the most. We get closer instead of further apart.

With this in mind, if I receive a hearty, “Happy Hanukah!!”, I will be proud to accept the gift of a friend’s words. Words ripe with all the joy, love, forgiveness, hope and charity of which this season is all about. And the authentic expression of these sentiments is more important than the words…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (it makes a great gift – buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]


One Response to “FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Merry…Holidays…?”
  1. Brian says:

    A YouTube “Carol Of The Bells”:


    Merry Christmas from The Internet!

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