Post # 1
Ok, wait…hear me out first.
The hubs and I get personalized Christmas cards printed every year with our picture and a family update written on the inside. 95% of our family and friends are either non-religious or celebrate Christmas so we choose to write “Merry Christmas” on the cards in place of “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings.” Not to get all preachy or anything (so not trying to go there, just trying to explain where we’re coming from) but we are Christians and it’s important to us to not dilute Christmas (by leaving any mention of it off our card) in our own small way. I get this whole issue could be avoided with a more generic greeting but we prefer to go with the actual Christmas cards.
However, at the same time we have some very important people to us that celebrate Hanukkah and I want to acknowledge that as well. I get I could send them a separate Hanukkah card but I don’t want them to miss out on the pictures and update in the Christmas-themed card. What should I do?
Is it offensive/insensitive to send them a Christmas-themed card? What would you do? I could send a note with the card explaining I understand they don’t celebrate Christmas but I didn’t want to leave them out? Is there a simpler/easier option I am not thinking of? Would you just order more generic cards next year and avoid this whole thing?
I should also note that getting just a few cards printed with a different theme is sort of cost prohibitive so that’s why we didn’t do it that way. I hope you Bees can help!
Post # 3
I think you should send them as is. I highly doubt any of your non-Christian friends will find a Christmas card/greeting offensive. I would maybe just handwrite a “Happy Holidays” on your update as well. No biggie.
Post # 4
Write a personalized happy hannukah note on the inside? they know you’re christian and celebrate christmas, and the card is FROM you, so it makes sense.
Post # 5
I’ve sent Christmas cards to Jewish friends and had my note say something along the lines of “hope you have a wonderful Hanukkah/holiday” I don’t think it’s a big deal – if you acknowledge it, they’ll chalk it up to the Christmas card rather than you that’s insensitive.
Post # 6
You should order non-Xmas cards specific to these individuals and just say Seasons Greetings. I know Christians that don’t celebrate Xmas because it is not in the Bible and they live their lives strictly by Bible principals. In any event, I celebrate Xmas (non-religious) and I just send them personalized Seasons Greetings cards so not to offend them.
Post # 7
I think most Jewish people are very used to receiving Christmas cards. I wouldn’t worry too much about it–chances are they will appreciate the sentiment, as would you if they sent you a Happy Hannukah or Happy New Year card.
Post # 8
My fiance is the only one in his office who is Christian; the rest practice Orthodox Judaism. But, they still go to community events geared toward Christmas/Santa and bring their kids. We sent them a Christmas card, which doubled as our Save the Dates! I would love to get holiday cards from other traditions!
Post # 9
I think it’s totally fine for you to send the cards with a personalized “Happy Hannukah” note on the inside – they’re your friends and I can’t imagine they would be offended. I would be happy to receive that kind of note.
That said, by choosing to “not dilute” Christmas and sending out your personalized cards specifically wishing people joy for the Christian holiday, you are definitely making a choice and a statement. It sounds like you’re aware of that – as a Jewish person it would be clear to me that you are making an expressly Christian statement to all the people you know with these cards, and a little Happy Hannukah note won’t change that (and it sounds like you wouldn’t want it to, and that you wouldn’t be willing to change to a more non-denominational message).
I am not saying there’s anything bad about your choices at all, just that yes, on a broader and more philosophical level, non-Christians at this time of year are very aware of the kinds of messages different people send about their holidays (ranging from the most religious to most non-denominational). For me, these cards do emphasize the clear difference between me (a Jew) and Christians choosing to send Christian messages which I take as seriously when I receive it as they do when they send it…. That said I have a lot of Christian friends that I love, and I understand where they’re coming from. I guess I’m rambling… the bottom line is that I would not mind but I *would* notice! … and there are some people who feel left out of the big Christian majority this time of year and it would bother them… but I would trust that you know your friends 🙂
Post # 10
I can’t imagine there are a lot of Jewish people that would get really offended over a Christmas card. At this point Christmas is so much of an American holiday that most people will expect something like that.
Post # 11
@ LatteLove – In some ways it is an American holiday, and in some ways it isn’t — for MrsSpitzer, I hope I’m not too forward in saying, it seems that it is about the birth of Jesus Christ, whom she believes to be the son of God. Again, I’m not judging anybody’s choices, just pointing out that for a lot of Jewish families – even those with tons of Christian friends – there is a lot of discussion about how “American” Christmas is or isn’t, and how to teach their children about the holiday season and why they don’t get a Christmas tree, etc, etc. IMO it’s all about being respectful of each other and making conscious choices, and I’m sure MrsSpitzer has Jewish friends who love her and would be thrilled to get a Christmas card, and it sounds like she’s being incredibly thoughtful about the whole thing, which is great! But it would also be clear to them that she is sending a specifically Christian – not generically American – message. And again, I am not judging that at all, just saying that a message can’t be BOTH Christian AND non-denominational. The best thing everyone can do is make their decisions consciously and with care for each other 🙂
Post # 12
I’m not Jewish, but I’m non-religious, and I don’t get offended when I get Christmas cards, just irked I guess. I would much rather get a card that says Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings, but I appreciate the sentiment even if it says Merry Christmas.
Post # 13
Send them as is. Tons of non-Christian folks celebrate Christmas and are not offended by cards in the least. A number of Jews aren’t offended by receiving cards either because they know that not every shares their beliefs, nor do they expect anyone to.
Post # 14
Ugh, we deal with this too
My boyfriend and his whole (LARGE) family are Jewish, I am converting, and my (tiny) family are Catholic. We sent ‘Happy Holidays’ cards, but I know for a fact that if my boyfriend and I, or anyone in his family received a Merry Christmas card they would not get offended. I’m sure the people to whom you are sending cards to know that YOU celebrate Christmas and will be totally fine with receiving a Christmas card!
Although it does bring up another point…would it be as acceptable for people who celebrate Christmas to receive Hanukkah cards? Does that ever happen?
Hope that helped! ((HUGS))
Post # 15
My friends and I had a “Christmas Dinner” complete with a Christmas gift exchange in high school; out of 12, there were 2 Sikhs, 1 Jew and 1 Hindu. And several Atheists. I think most people don’t see it as a religious push to send a Christmas card.
I know if my Jewish friends sent me a Hannukah card I would love it just as much as if my other friends sent me Christmas cards. But maybe it’s different for me to say that, because they are in the minority and I am not??
Post # 16
As a Jewish person I would not appreciate it. I think a very simple and easy solution is to just send those few people a different card wishing them Happy Holidays. Include your update and photo. It won’t be professionally printed but everyone loves handwritten cards, it won’t cost too much and with only a few people shouldn’t take too long.
Your reasons for going with Merry Christmas instead of something more generic is completely reasonable but it means you should not send it to people who aren’t Christians. IMO. That’s a reasonable trade off, if you celebrate the holiday in a religious way then you’re excluding some people from your celebration because they don’t share your religion. Nothing wrong with that.
Sending them the card though is you displaying privilege. It’s saying my religion is so dominant in the U.S. that I think it’s appropriate to send religious cards to people who don’t share my religion and they should happily recieve them.