Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Eid Mubarak,” loyal readers.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to those of you who stop by our festive and well decked publication.  (It wouldn’t make much sense to wish this to those who don’t come by, would it?)

To get you in the spirit, we offer this Christmas Greeting photo from our distant past:    

1987 puppy jpg

We delivered this litter of 9 English Springer Spaniel puppies in our home, with the help of our kids.  The delivery and weeks that followed were quite a circus.

So much for making nice.  We want to tell you about an ‘incident’ with our wonderful US Postal Service.   Mrs. Poppycock traveled to the local branch to buy some Christmas Stamps for our outgoing cards.

She was offered Kwanza stamps, Chanukah Stamps, and Madonna and Child Stamps.  She said she just wanted ‘ordinary’ Christmas Stamps, perhaps something with a Christmas Tree.

She was offered this stamp -

and mindful of the line waiting, she took it to be a stylized, ‘artsy’ Christmas Tree.  She made her purchase and came home.

Your correspondent noticed them on the kitchen counter and decided to take a look.  What we found, on closer examination was this:

When we told the missus that she had purchased Islamic themed stamps, she was incredulous.  After we applied smelling salts, and lifted her back to a vertical position, she jumped in her sleigh, and headed back to the Post Office and asked to exchange the stamps for something else.

Ever helpful, the person she spoke to said “we’re not exchanging them.”  Admirably persistent, our spouse finally got another counter agent to make the exchange, which cost her about a half hour of personal time, not to mention the wear and tear and fuel for her sleigh.

Not long after she returned, she was telling her friend about this, and you guessed it, she had also come home with the Eid stamps without realizing it.  Said friend went through the line twice at the in-town branch trying to exchange the stamps, but had no luck.  So she headed to the satellite branch on the other side of town, where they were easily traded in.

We wonder how many of you were sold the same stamps, and without realizing it, sent off your Christmas cards carrying an Islamic holiday salute.

Lest you think this is a multicultural, politically correct ‘Christmas Holiday’ stamp, the Postal Service issued it in August, well before even the most ambitious card senders might need it.

You may be wondering just what “Eid” is.  According to Wikipedia, it is an Arabic word for festival, and there are two such festivals:

Eid ul-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر ‘īdu l-fiṭr "Festival of the Fast Breaking"), marks the end of the month of Ramadan.

Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى ‘īdu l-’aḍḥā "Festival of the Sacrifice"), Greater Eid, or Eid-e Qurban , celebrated to commemorate prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God.

We trust the recipients of your cards, should you have sent them off with this stamp, will receive it with good cheer and thanks that you would remember them in such a distinctive way.

We can’t wait to hear how it goes; please report back to us.

And prepare yourself for Eid Mubarak greetings sometime in the coming year(s) in response.  This is the greeting used by muslims during the two holidays described above.

You might worry that Eid Mubarak cards will be hard to find, but don’t shortchange the USPS, which needs all the revenue generators it can muster.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  They could of course come up with another special stamp that would be a big seller:

1987 puppy jpg

You can decide which would add more cheer to your cards.

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