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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Question for Ricky, Lisa, Hannibal, Seagull, Dave S (sorry if I missed anyone)

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Author Topic: Question for Ricky, Lisa, Hannibal, Seagull, Dave S (sorry if I missed anyone)
Pete at Home
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OK, I'm sorry if I've missed anyone,but I think I've got a pretty good range here in terms of Jewish views to help answer my question.

At least half of the non-relatives that I call friends in this town, and most of the attorneys that I work with (from the attorney that gave me my first work out of law school, to the one that referred me the huge case that started my practice, to the folks that I shared office space and more business with than anyone else), are Jewish. From secular Jews that only do Yom Kippur, to the only Chabadnik that I ever got along with (partly because that person is one of the nicest human beings that I've ever encountered, and unlike other former Chabad friends did not ditch me when it became clear that I wasn't going to convert.) I've religiously sent Hannukah cards to my Jewish friends and business associates, and calendared high Jewish Holidays so as to not schedule joint business on them. So I should know the answer to this question, but I don't. My business relationships aren't generally coldly professional, otherwise this wouldn't be an issue. The people I work with, we know each other, ask about each others' families, know the names of each others' spouses and children and have met them. We've eaten in each others homes, sometimes spent the night while working on huge project deadlines. We share personal confidences, the sort where you shut the door to say something you'd only say to someone you trust.

This year for the first time since 2004 when my 2nd son became disabled, we managed to get pictures of the boys that my wife was willing to use as Christmas cards. We're getting them ready to mail now.

The question is, would you be more offended if a Christian friend sent you a family picture christmas card (picture of family, Christmas tree, "Merry Christmas with our love" and names of family), or if you got a store Hannukah card w/o pictures, while non-Jews in the office got the aforementioned Christmas card?

If I followed Hillel's advice on not doing what would be hateful to me, then I'd send the christmas card, since I'd feel left out if a Jewish friend & associate sent a family pix Hannukah card to Jews in the office but sent me a store Christmas card. Does it go the other way as well?

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PSRT
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Honestly depends on the person receiving. I don't think you'll have a one size fits all answer here. Perhaps a quick 1 sentence explanatory note on the cards to the Jewish recipients?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
Honestly depends on the person receiving. I don't think you'll have a one size fits all answer here.

Agreed! And my friends vary as much in their perspectives as Ricky from Lisa.

quote:
Perhaps a quick 1 sentence explanatory note on the cards to the Jewish recipients?
What would you suggest saying that would make things less awkward as opposed to more?

I guess I could just end the Hannukah card as always and ask them individually if it would be appropriate for me to send the family xmas card. Don't treat Christmas and Hannukah as interchangeable.

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PSRT
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If I received a greeting card, and a picture of the family, I'd understand that they were sending the card and picture to all the family friends. If the picture said "Merry Christmas," I'd just be looking for an acknowledgement that, yes, they know I don't celebrate but this is a stock mailing. Something like "Feel free to interpret the picture as "With love from the X at this seasonal time!" would be all I'd need, and I'm moderately sensitive to Christmas time toe stepping.
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Pete at Home
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Thank you.
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RickyB
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Yeah, a quick acknowledgment is all that's needed, or a personal addendum ("make that happy channukah for you, buddy") and you're fine.
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Greg Davidson
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Your whole description of the situation shows great sensitivity to the issue. From my perspective, a personalize family Christmas card is fine (much better in fact than a generic "Peace and Goodwill" card, particularly because the minor holiday of chanukah has nothing to do with either).
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Al Wessex
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A personalized card from someone I know expressing the senders' joyous reflections on the season or their good wishes for my happiness always works for me. A message hoping that I have a happy Christmas would be bothersome if the sender knew I was Jewish, but I've never received a seasonal greeting that crossed that line.

I have to say I don't like strangers to wish me a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, either. It presumes a hint of intimacy that isn't ordinarily appropriate between strangers. So, I prefer happy holidays or even an acknowledgment of the cycling of the year if anything needs to be said.

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Viking_Longship
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Why not go with the family picture and something like "Happy Holidays"?

In Russia the big holiday is New Year's so I'm spared this situation. (There are nativity themed cards, but even they usually say "Happy New Year")

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Hannibal
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Wow Pete.

You are a much better person than I [Smile]
I dont care much about cards at all, I dont send Happy new year cards, I dont send Happy <Holiday> cards. and I dont care about recieving/not-recieving cards either.

But since the effort is what counts. i think that a real picture is far more meaningfull than a store bought one.

buying a store gift card kinda gives the feeling that this is a chore that you had to do, in order to be politically correct. if you catch my meaning.

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Colin JM0397
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You could print out some of the photos separately, and then include those inside the Happy Channukah card. I think Ricky's idea works as well.
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Lobo
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Just send the card as is. If people are so anal as to be offended by a Christmas card, then do you really want them as friends anyway? This smacks of PC gone bad...
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munga
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I'm just amused by what a supremely caring person Pete is, to want to be sure to consider everyone's feelings.
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PSRT
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quote:
Just send the card as is. If people are so anal as to be offended by a Christmas card, then do you really want them as friends anyway
Flip that around. Why should anyone want to be friends with an insensitve idiot who doesn't even recognize and acknowledge fairly basic differences between his friends?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by munga:
I'm just amused by what a supremely caring person Pete is, to want to be sure to consider everyone's feelings.

Wow, I guess not all women were born with woman's intuition. Go figure. Maybe you could get something prosthetic put in to fill the void.

[ December 23, 2009, 01:58 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Lobo
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
Flip that around. Why should anyone want to be friends with an insensitve idiot who doesn't even recognize and acknowledge fairly basic differences between his friends?

But it isn't about his friends. He is sharing with them HIS beliefs and celebrations. I don't see how anyone would be offended by that. It is like sending a birthday invite and being worried that someone might be offended because it is not THEIR birthday.

*edited because I can't spell their (there)...

[ December 23, 2009, 11:23 AM: Message edited by: Lobo ]

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velcro
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I just buy two sets of cards with pictures on them. One says Happy Holidays, and one says Happy Hannukah.

[ December 23, 2009, 08:58 PM: Message edited by: velcro ]

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PSRT
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quote:
But it isn't about his friends. He is sharing with them HIS beliefs and celebrations. I don't see how anyone would be offended by that. It is like sending a birthday invite and being worried that someone might be offended because it is not THEIR birthday.
No, it is not like that in any way whatsoever.
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DonaldD
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You know, Hannibal, I've really noticed lately that your english has definitely improved over the years...
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
quote:
Just send the card as is. If people are so anal as to be offended by a Christmas card, then do you really want them as friends anyway
Flip that around. Why should anyone want to be friends with an insensitve idiot who doesn't even recognize and acknowledge fairly basic differences between his friends?
PSRT, there's nothing "basic" about the Jewish-American response to Christmas -- a response not shared by Mexican Jews, BTW. I can understand people getting frustrated with it, because there aren't really any parallels that work and could help us predict how someone is going to respond. Here I'm happen to be dealing with folks that I mean a lot to me, to the point that I'm willing to bend over backwards to not make them feel left out. I would not take such care for a mere acquaintance.
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Pete at Home
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I really appreciate the feedback here. It's been very useful.
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munga
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by munga:
I'm just amused by what a supremely caring person Pete is, to want to be sure to consider everyone's feelings.

Wow, I guess not all women were born with woman's intuition. Go figure. Maybe you could get something prosthetic put in to fill the void.
ooh ouch, Pete.

Unlike your ideas, no one has suggested that I am dividing up the law between the haves and have-nots, Pete. While my lack of championing specialness for some and not others may make me less fun (I don't get to invent reasons why some people are less worthy than others, which can be very entertaining) at least it is equitable and steady. Like a heartbeat.

But please, by all means, don't let me interrupt your demonstration of care for the minutiest-twingiest feelings of your Jewish friends.

[ December 26, 2009, 03:36 AM: Message edited by: munga ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by munga:
[no one has suggested that I am dividing up the law between the haves and have-nots, Pete. While my lack of championing specialness for some ...

Here again you are engaged in wishful thinking, Munga. I've repeatedly point out how your change the world schemes would make the rich richer and the poor poorer. And you specifically proposed a program that would provide free health care and other benefits to prostitutes, but not to anyone else. That makes you a champion of championing special rights to some and not to others. Total free medical care to one group (regardless of how wealthy any individual member of that group might be), and nothing to others. Phew.

quote:
Originally posted by munga:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by munga:
I'm just amused by what a supremely caring person Pete is, to want to be sure to consider everyone's feelings.

Wow, I guess not all women were born with woman's intuition. Go figure. Maybe you could get something prosthetic put in to fill the void.
ooh ouch, Pete.
You jumped into this thread with no other contribution other than a personal attack on me, and then you whine in seventeen violins when I say essentially that your observation about me is way off? You sanctimonious self-pitying hypocrite. It becomes obvious 20 seconds into any discussion that you haven't bothered to get to know the group of people that you want to reingineer society in order to help. I'm sick of you demonizing me just because I don't buy your Kim Jong Il fantasies of becoming the world's special savior.

maybe instead of thinking about what the government should do, and what I should do in my law practice, you might give some thought on what you could do, as an individual, to make a better world. Assuming that all of your ideas are really about that, rather than about polishing your megalomania.

[ December 27, 2009, 04:10 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Hannibal
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You know, Hannibal, I've really noticed lately that your english has definitely improved over the years...


10x

I actually think my vocabulary has decreased since i joined this forum (at the time, in 2003 , i was 20 years old and i was reading a book per week or so.) Its the age , i think, plus my degree in business administration that make the difference.

I am also studying for the GMAT test now, so i try to write my sentences with subject/verb agreement,tense agreement, no misplaced modifyers etc [Smile]


n

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Pete at Home
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If you learn to avoid misplaced modifiers, then your English will be better than a lot of Americans!

One of my favorite exerpts from a Freshman English paper: "Condoms were invented in a country named Egypt which has since turned into rubber."

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munga
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Pete,

Anyone with a sense of humor notices the rift when you go from caring deeply about small ideas like "do you feel included or offended by my picture with a religious message on it, that isn't your religion?" (and you appear to have an interest in solving that riddle) but you adamantly refuse to engage in big things like "do all Americans need the equal access to all civil contracts?" (which, while much studied by yourself, somehow you answer in the negative).

People in my fact-free, alternate reality are intrigued by your balancing act (and, since you never respected any boundaries of threads that I noticed - even when asked- I don't suppose you mean to really ask me to leave yours?)

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munga
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Pete:

quote:
Here again you are engaged in wishful thinking, Munga. I've repeatedly point out how your change the world schemes would make the rich richer and the poor poorer. And you specifically proposed a program that would provide free health care and other benefits to prostitutes, but not to anyone else. That makes you a champion of championing special rights to some and not to others. Total free medical care to one group (regardless of how wealthy any individual member of that group might be), and nothing to others. Phew.
I don't believe I've ever said anything but that I support what is obviously necessary- universal health care. I have always pointed out the obvious, that the injections have to go all the way down to the bottom of society in order to travel through all tiers prior to coming to rest at the wealthy. Any economist will tell you that. The dream of the efficient market requires the instruments to balance all production so that each person can contribute according to one's own best gifts. If you are referring to the healthcare for hookers, I never said that healthcare isn't a great idea for everyone, and merely suggested hookers as a great place to start. Why not, since they touch so many of the population? Beyond that, I have tried to encourage you to come up with your own ideas of how to inject health-money into society but you rarely engage in the exercise.

[ December 27, 2009, 07:41 PM: Message edited by: munga ]

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