Day 176: I have gratitude for people not afraid of saying Merry Christmas. Today I realized one of the biggest differences between here and Pittsburgh…people here are not so over-the-top hyper-sensitive to the remote possibility of offending someone, somehow that it paradoxically offends someone else. Not one person I’ve seen at a store, gas station, or business failed to wish me a Merry Christmas. This is in stark contrast to Pittsburgh where I rarely heard a store employee say it. I’ve had people give me good wishes for holidays I do not celebrate and never once did I feel offended. I don’t mean to come of rude, but I cannot see how a good intentioned blessing can come off as offensive, even if the recipient doesn’t believe in the blessing. Thankfully the people around here have been a lot more laid back…certainly something for which I also have gratitude.