Yes, I've stopped being a crotchety old curmudgeon who obnoxiously insists on saying only Merry Christmas, partly thanks to Celie Sternson Herbst's comments a year or 2 ago. My mother has dementia and is not able to speak. Last Sunday I took her to Mass, and after Mass, she insisted that I take her to CVS, where with a certain amount of pantomiming on her part and guesswork on my part, I helped her pick out 8 things she wanted to buy. At the register, it was a slow transaction due to my mother's condition. Outside, after I put the items in the trunk of my car, I realized that there were 3 items in the cart that we hadn't paid for. I brought them back into the store while my mother waited in the car. Throughout, the cashier, a spirited young man in shoulder-length dreadlocks, could not have been more patient, gracious and polite. Seeing his name tag, I said, "Thank you Khaleed," and he said that I was the first customer to ever pronounce his name properly. Leaving he said, "Happy Holidays!" This in a store where a large proportion of the customers are Jewish, not that that matters--just that he would have no idea what religion, if any I practice. But what did matter was that his wish for a Happy Holidays was sincere and from the heart. And a gift of Grace to me.