To the Christians out there who are in a snit about saying “Merry Christmas”: say it all you want. Scream it. But don’t criticize me for having switched my general greeting to “Happy Holidays.” If I know someone celebrates Christmas, I say Merry Christmas. If I know the person is Jewish, I say Happy Hanukkah. If I don’t know that person’s beliefs about this time of the year, I say Happy Holidays. That covers all the various religious, cultural and even secular beliefs that permeate this season. To me, it’s logical and a matter of consideration for others.

December is a month when people get together, celebrate, give, receive, eat their brains out and in general, act the way they should all year long. Christians, especially, should embrace the concept of inclusiveness – unless they are hypocrites, of course.

I am happy to see that the idea of inclusiveness is now part of our schools and governments. I hope it becomes an even more significant part. Separation of church and state is a key element in the North American way of life we enjoy.

Just as no one is stopping anyone from bowing his/her head and saying a silent prayer in school, no one is stopping you from saying Merry Christmas to people you know celebrate Christmas. As for the rest of the time, why not say Happy Holidays? It’s the thought behind the greeting that counts, and assuming that your way is the only way is illogical.

One of the best cards I ever mailed out featured a menorah on the front with Christmas lights strung on it. The only words on the card were “Merry Whatever.” To me, that embodies the true meaning of the holidays.