When the anti-grinch walks into your store


I’ve been accused of many things before, but being accused of being too politically correct was a first for me.
Now that the holiday season has come upon us, stores have begun playing Christmas music and putting up decorations.
In an effort to be cheery and in the holiday spirit at my retail job – for once – I decided to end customer transactions with “Happy holidays,” instead of my usual farewell, “Have a good one.”
Most were pleased that I took the time to wish them happy thoughts – one family was not.
I was cashing out a rather large family. Mom, dad and six rambunctious kids were standing in front of the counter, causing a ruckus as I rung up their items.
Two of the youngest kids, a little boy and a little girl, were running up and down the aisle, yelling at the top of their lungs. I do like children – just not when they give me headaches.
The mom was the usual difficult customer, asking for things at a lower price, causing a scene when her three-month-expired coupon wouldn’t work on her purchase and holding up the line by insisting she take each piece of clothing off the hanger and fold it herself.
The dad was standing behind their shopping cart and in the most monotonous voice trying to control his children.
As they were leaving, I wished them happy holidays and the mom stopped in her tracks. She turned around and looked me straight in the eye, as if I had just screamed profanities at her.
“So you’re one of those people,” she said snidely. “Why can’t you just say Merry Christmas? Why does it have to be happy holidays?
“I’m so tired of people trying to be politically correct these days. It’s Christmas – not just a holiday,” she said, her voice dripping with disapproval toward me.
I wasn’t really sure how to react to her being so upset. “I’m sorry ma’am,” I said. “I just try not to assume that everybody celebrates Christmas.”
She apparently didn’t like that answer because she uttered a few sentences of not-so-nicely-worded complaints and with one last disgusted look at me, left the store.
I was honestly taken aback by her reaction. I don’t understand why people have to get so upset about everything.
Appreciate the fact that I (or anybody else) took the time to wish you a happy anything and get on with your day. I wasn’t trying to be politically correct – I was just trying to be a decent human being.
The United States is more religiously and culturally diverse than it has ever been before. We should be celebrating all of this diversity – not fighting about it.
If you’re Jewish and you celebrate Hanukkah, great. If you’re Pagan and you celebrate the winter solstice, awesome. If you’re Christian and you celebrate Christmas, cool.
I want to wish you a happy whatever you’re celebrating – just don’t bite my head off when I do.

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