Much ado is being made out of Mike Huckabee’s, all I want to do is wish you “a Merry Christmas” TV advertisement. Huckabee’s ad seems sincere. He is an ordained minister, a devout Christian, and someone who seems to be as honest as any politician. As a Jew, I really don’t find anything all that shocking or disturbing about the ad. If Mike wants to wish me a “Merry Christmas” that’s fine–it makes very little difference in my life. Come to think of it, God knows how many Jews are walking around New York right now (two weeks after Hanukkah) wishing every person they bump into “happy holidays” and “Merry Christmas.” Just the other day one of my friends–and a fellow member of the tribe–waved across the street mouthing, “happy holidays.” I smiled and waved back. Suffice it to say she was not referring to Passover.
I can’t help but think that those such as Huckabee, who seek out every opportunity to show off their Christian bonafides by inserting Christmas into every other sentence, have emptied Christmas of any unique religious value. What does Christmas mean when at least 10 Jews I know this year alone went to a Christmas party. None of them would ever dare think of becoming Christian. For them it’s, “Hey, why not, it’s just Christmas.” In their eyes Christmas does not mean or signify all that much. The more popular Christmas becomes the more secular the holiday is perceived. In America, “Merry Christmas” means nothing more than the banal “hey wuz up” or “see u later”–just with a little snow on top. So Mike, I know I’m not the first, but let me be one of the many Jews to wish you, too, a very Merry Christmas.