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Christmas greeting for Chinese neighbor?

We have these great neighbors from Hong Kong. They're an older couple and really nice. The woman brought over some food yesterday and said Merry Christmas. I said Merry Christmas too, but I don't know if they celebrate. I know there are alot of Chinese Christians, but would it have been better to say Happy Holidays?


Asked by mwebb at 10:55 AM on Dec. 26, 2008 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 1 (3 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • It doesn't matter. They could've been Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish.... anything. Ethnicity means nothing. I'm not Asian, but I'm Buddhist.  They may celebrate Christmas whether they are Christian or not, too.  My family had a GREAT Christmas. 

    If you want to return the favor, you can arrange a "Tray of Togetherness" for them on Chinese New Year (Jan 26 ~ Year of the Ox).  Get a circular tray with 8 compartments (8 is a very lucky number in Chinese culture) & fill each one with a different treat.  Dried fruits, seeds, nuts, candies, etc.  Avoid meats just to be on the safe side --- some Buddhists are vegetarians.


    Answer by Laura1229 at 6:05 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • There is no way of knowing what they celebrate based solely on their ethinicity or country of origin. I think if they brought you a Christmas gift and said Merry Christmas to you you are totally justified in saying it back. Most non-Christians who I know are not offended by 'Merry Christmas' anyhow.

    Answer by Freela at 11:51 AM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • Google Chinese holidays and it brings up all there holidays it's very interesting.


    Answer by kim168 at 2:52 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • Since she said merry christmas to you I would think it is fine to return the same greeting. Happy holidays might be safer if you haven't seen anything to indicate that they celebrate christmas, but she was clearly making a gesture (bringing food) in the spirit of christmas so I seriously doubt you could have offended her at all by your answer.

    Answer by nysa00 at 4:25 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • They probably wouldn't have said Merry Christmas to you if they had a problem with you wishing them a Merry Christmas in return.

    Answer by kimberleee382 at 5:42 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • Ask her if she celebrates Christmas for next year and if not, what are her holidays? For this year, deliver a New Year's greeting.

    Answer by happi-ladi at 8:26 PM on Dec. 26, 2008