Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all

I’m a wrestler, by nature.
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Now, before you have images of me wearing a singlet, being in shape and competing against another finely-tuned athlete, take a breath and stop. I’m not that kind of wrestler. And just in case you are picturing me in a boa, high white boots and jumping off the top rope in a “Battle Royale,” well, stop that, too.

Wrong kind of wrestler again.

I’m more of a mental wrestler, in that I am constantly wrestling both my tongue and my mind over control of what comes out of my mouth at any given time. Now, to be fair to my very-sensitive ego, I know I am not alone in having this problem, as many in this very office struggle with the same malady, but that doesn’t really excuse my mouth all the time — it just operates sometimes before my brain can make its proper contribution to the filtering part of my efforts to properly communicate.

Or, to make a windy story short, I have a tendency to put my foot in my mouth from time to time.

It’s usually with playful intent when I make these stupid comments, but we know all about intent, and how it really doesn’t matter as much as the ultimate result. I had a professor in college who would say to us, “If it hurts somebody, it’s hurtful. Plain and simple. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think it should hurt their feelings or not.”

I agree with that. I do. And I try to keep that in mind at all times. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that it really is impossible to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes, so I’ve realized that it’s nearly impossible to gauge what will or won’t hurt somebody’s feelings. I can’t appreciate what other people have been through in their lives without living those exact experiences, and I can’t expect somebody else to truly know what I’ve been through in my life without going through my same experiences.

All that being said, Merry Christmas.

I appreciate the whole “Happy Holidays” sentiment, and I prescribe to it. It’s a perfectly appropriate way to greet people during November and December, as we are awash in grand religious holidays from several major religions. Chanukah started Wednesday, and I wish the greatest of Chankuah celebrations to all my Jewish friends.

Personally, I was scheduled to go out of town on that day to celebrate Christmas with family. Hence the “Merry Christmas” greeting.

See, I don’t think it’s offensive for somebody to wish me a “Merry Christmas” this time of year, because that is the holiday I am celebrating. I don’t care if that person is Muslim or Jewish or Hindu or Buddhist — I take the greeting as well-wishes, the same I intend it to be if I wish a Jewish friend “Happy Chanukah.”

I know. I can’t put myself in other people’s shoes. I appreciate that. But the fact of the matter is that Christmas falls on Sunday, Dec. 25. Look it up. It’s a fact. Is it a bad thing that I’m wanting people to have a joyous day that day? Would it be better if I said, “Hey, have a rotten day on Sunday.”? For the record, I do hate the term “holiday tree” over “Christmas tree.” It’s a Christmas tree. Or a pine tree. It’s pretty specific, you know? It’s not like people are asking you to...

But I digress.

See what I mean about saying things sometimes? Looking back at that last paragraph, it felt like I was being bitter about all this political-correctness. I’m truly not. I believe it has its time and place, and that we should all be mindful of others when we make declarations or open statements. But it is indeed Christmastime, and I see no harm in wishing people a Merry Christmas.

So, Merry Christmas, one and all, and may every one of you enjoy your holidays.