THE NEXT TIME SOMEONE OUTSIDE your comfort zone wishes you a merry holiday-you-don’t-celebrate, don’t take umbrage — just wish them a happy “Same To You.”
This three-syllable Teflon Shield of Banter will save you from giving and receiving earnest but endless dissertations on cultural supremacy, cultural relativity, hegemonic religion, religious hegemony, justified indignation and getting-over-whatever-some-else-thinks-“it”-is. (We’re all busy people here — who has time for such nonsense?)
“Same To You” means you acknowledge that the greeter’s intention is not to persuade or dissuade you into or out of anything you might consider distasteful or inappropriate. What I mean by “Happy Chanukah” and you mean by “Merry Christmas” and she by “Blessed Be” can also be expressed by Bilbo Baggins’ “I hope you are all enjoying yourselves as much as I am.”
Don’t we all agree on that? If so, then “Same To You” — sincerely.