It was a busy Holiday shopping season. Aisles were crowded with frustrated, tired, and cranky customers. I was making ends meet by working retail. The floor manager encouraged a shark approach to working the floor - always on the move looking for a customer or at least seeming busy by straightening things endlessly! So my feet were throbbing and I was longing to go home.
Finally, the crowd slowed down and everyone took a deep breath. I went to help bag customers at the check out station. My feet were throbbing by now to the tune of the the festive holiday music over the sound system.
We were all to use the "Happy Holidays!" greeting but a dastardly "Merry Christmas!" slipped out before I knew it and then I cringed inwardly as I saw the Star of David necklace around the woman's neck.
Aghast, and afraid of the floor manager's witness to this awful gaffe of store policy, I stood there frozen in place. How dare I wish her the best of a season my religion saw as sacred and special! How dare I wish her to have joy and peace in this dark and cold time of year! I needed this job!
The other woman smiled and said, "And Happy Hanukkah to you!"
I handed her the bags and we both smiled. I swear to this day, there was a twinkle in her eye as she walked away.
Funny, neither one of us was offended either.