Is wishing a non-Jewish person "Happy Hanukah" wrong?

Okay, we’ve debated the “Merry Christmas” idea to death. But occasionally at work a customer will wish me a “Happy Hanukah.” I give our programmed response of “Thank you, and same to you.” I celebrate neither holiday, but it seems the nice think to do.

So, religious of not, would you be offended if a person wished you a “Happy Hanukah”?

It would not bother me at all. I would even consider it proper during the actual holiday. The rest of the time, it’s still just fine. And it’s a lot easier than trying to figure out what the other person celebrates.

I am never offended when others wish me happiness.

Offended? No. I find it a bit silly since the holiday is so minor. It’d be like wishing someone a happy flag day, or something and making a really big deal of it. I had a work friend trip over herself apologizing for forgetting to wish my happy Hanukkah. It was sweet, but so unnecessary.

The only negativity I might feel (depending on the person and situation) is that I wish that people who go out of their way to wish me Happy Hanukkah would also remember the actually important holidays (Rosh HaShanna and Yom Kippor), which often pass with little notice. Often even scheduling work meetings and such on them.

However, for the average person the motivation is one of kindness, so it would never offend me.

If they know you aren’t Jewish, and they are doing it to make a point, and the point is an unpleasant one, then you could be mildly offended. But if it’s someone who thinks you are Jewish, or if it’s in a setting where most people are Jewish and it’s the default holiday comment (or at a Hanukkah party, etc.) Then it just seems like random kind intentions from them, and that’s howi would take it.

Of course, I am Jewish, and that’s how I interpret most Christmas greetings.

And, if your friend is just excited about Ramadan or Diwali and wishes youa happy festival-they-are-celebrating, I figure the same. They are wishing you well.

I just respond same to you when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. Don’t see why it wouldn’t work the other way. Unless the person wants to be offended.

I agree, though far too many people these days do seem to want to find reasons to be offended.

If somebody wishes me a happy anything, it’s a friendly wish, and I’ll respond positively. I don’t care if it’s Hanukkah, Ground Hog Day, or Satan’s birthday. The meaning is good.

Miss Manners suggests the proper greeting to a customer at your store (whom you do not know) is “Happy holidays”, not “Happy Christmas” or “Hail Satan” or whatever. That way you do not have to worry about anyone getting offended (though there will always be some nasty grouch).

The only thing that annoys me about Happy Hanukkah is that it’s strange to hear the greeting long after the holiday has ended.

I get the sentiment that you understand that I am Jewish and are trying to recognize my holiday, but my holiday ended back on Dec. 9. It’s as if I wished a Christian person Merry Christmas on Jan. 10. I always take it as intended, but sometimes I use it as a teachable moment to explain the timing of Hanukkah.

Mostly I’m just happy when anyone has good wishes for me.

These sentiments sum up my feeling on the matter.
I feel sorry for anyone whose propensity for offense is set to such a hair trigger that such a thing would bother them.

I’m not Jewish but would happily (merrily?) welcome the gesture - anyone who would be offended by it would probably be offended if you wished them “Good Morning” at 12:01 PM.


I hope you have a happy and productive Boxing Day.

Sorry, just realized I had misread the intent of the thread.

Merry Christmas, and happy birthday, OP!


Uh, did you not see the post directly above yours? Casting stones and all that.

And pulling one part of a larger post, which provided context and a general spirit of acceptance, to make it look as bad a possible, was not very kind.

We are cross-posting. I did delete my post, realizing I was being a bit of a jerk. Happy two-weeks-after-Hannukah!

A Jewish friend corrected me when I wished him a good Yom Kippur because it’s supposed to be a day spent contemplating ones many flaws, so now I wish my Jewish friends a most reflective and miserable day and that I hope they will discover some boneheaded and embarrassing things they had forgotten about. He also explained that the correct wish on December 25 is, “Happy Jews Eat Chinese Food Day.”

That’s not what Yom Kippur is about either. It’s a solemn and reflective holiday, not one to be miserable at.