Person who doesn't respond at all to "Happy holidays"

I have an acquaintance to whom, twice, I wished “Happy holidays”, and both were met with absolute silence. He didn’t say “you too” or “thanks” or “no thanks” or anything whatsoever. Not even “Bah! Humbug!” He is otherwise a friendly, polite person.

Can anyone explain this?

Has this colleague ever acted weird in any other way before?

One possibility is that a date in this period is an anniversary of something bad happening–his mother died…

I assume that there’s some reason he doesn’t like being wished “happy holidays”, but he doesn’t want to bring it up. I’d just stop saying that to him.

Twice in the same season? If you saw him again after the first time, how serious is he going to take the second one?

Anyway, what’s the difference to “have a nice day” or “how’s it going”? Some people just filter out the standard stuff without giving an elaborate response. They may still be polite at the occasions that actually matter.

…or he may be facing his first holiday season alone after a significant death or divorce; or there may be some other reason why he doesn’t think “happy” and “holidays” go together for him—reasons that he may not want to explain and that probably aren’t any of your business.

He’s probably mad you don’t say Merry Christmas, and this is passive aggressive way of showing it.

Maybe he resents the fact you didn’t say “Merry Christmas”.

Edit: Ninja’d!

My wife died a few days before Christmas five years ago. The season doesn’t bother me much now, but the first year or two afterwards, the Christmas season was very non festive for me.

That actually occurred to me. But I think I’ll just skip the subject from now on.

I’m waiting to hit 80 and be able to say…"What’s HAPPY about the HOLIDAYS! and “GOOD MORNING!? What’s GOOD about it!” :smiley:

Well, you know the guy and we don’t. Does he seem like the kind of guy who’d fall for these phony “War on Christmas” scares the right keeps making up? If so I’d be tempted to wish him Happy Holidays all through December. If not, I’d refrain. He may be in a bad place, as several posters have pointed out.

Why not just apologize and ask if you’d offended him?

He can’t ignore that, and he’d probably tell you why he doesn’t like the phrase (or he’ll look dumbfounded and say “I did what?”).

As a former Jehovah’s Witness, such expressions of holiday cheer were tough. If I said “you too” that implied that I was celebrating and it was a huge faux pas in JW realms. I would just say “thank you” and try to move on quickly. It was fraught. So it could be something like that. Maybe he just can’t really figure out a response that makes him feel okay in line with something like that. It might not be JW specific, but some sort of belief where he feels uncomfortable with the holiday.

This weekend I said “Happy Holidays” to a friend who then replied in a sanctimonious tone, “Merry Christmas”. I then suggested he climb down off his cross, he then pointed out that I was thinking of Easter.

We were both just kidding around, but people around us were very quiet for a bit.

Have you tried the less common greeting of “Happy Holidays…ASSHOLE”?

Or those who aren’t religious don’t want to be hypocrites and take part as if they were a member of some organized religion.

It’s rude IMO.

I’m not Jewish, but when someone wishes me “Happy Hanukkah” I’ll respond with something along the lines of, “Thank you for your good wishes.” I won’t stare at them in cold silence.

My sister is one of those “Merry Christmas” activists. I don’t know what crawled up her butt and died, but I ignore it. Of all the things to get upset about…

The only December holiday I celebrate is my birthday. Whenever anyone wishes me anything else, I just say “Thank you. You too.”

I am Jewish, and when someone wishes me a “Merry Christmas” I typically respond with “And Happy Hanukkah to you.” Always brightens my day. :slight_smile: