Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Holidays!!! (Did I Offend You? Keep Reading)

It's that time of year again when Christians and non-Christians become increasingly polarized in their thinking about December 25th. I have watched it escalate for several years now though I cannot quite recall if there was one incident that was the catalyst for what I call the War For Christmas.

I do remember there was a particular merchandise company forcing their employees to say, "Happy Holiday" instead of "Merry Christmas". In that compulsive manner of telling an employee to greet someone around the holiday of Christmas in a certain way which would take away from its true essence; that, in my estimation, was the shot fired across the bow.

Want to hear something shocking? I LIKE to say Happy Holidays, have used that phrase for years to encompass the entire collage of holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years), and do not like that I now feel the need to apologize for still using it.

On one side, it is a fact that there are other holidays in the month of December: Hanukkah and Kwanza. Might we need to be reminded of that? On the other hand, I am opposed to those who simply want to take away the word Christmas because they do not want to be reminded of Jesus Christ who was, is, and always will be the Savior of the world!

All I am trying to say here is this: do not get so carried away with fighting the war for Christmas that you forget the meaning of Christmas. Keep saying "Merry Christmas" when you are shopping and do it with a smile on your face even if the other person retorts with a sarcastic "Happy Holidays!" If you are a Christian, live like one. And remember that if a person is not a Christian, you cannot expect that they will live like one. (My previous blog posts on Romans 12 may be a good reminder)

Shop your conscience - and if that means you want to stay away from stores that do not use the words Christmas in their ads, then do it. Support those stores that have Christian foundations. But be careful in becoming too critical in deciphering someone's intentions when they use the phrase, Happy Holidays.

If you are one of those that shops your conscience, then this American Family Association article might be extremely helpful to you. Please read the entire article so that you can see what criteria was used to formulate their list. I will say that I am somewhat opposed to the title of their list, but that discussion is for another day.

 Did you know?
 Frosty the Snowman - one of the all-time favorite Christmas songs never uses the word Christmas?

Jingle Bells  - another favorite of the season was originally written by a pastor named James Pierpoint for Thanksgiving in 1857 for the children of his Boston Sunday School. It later came to be associated with Christmas.

 An interesting article comparing the use of Merry Christmas to the phrase Happy Holidays. (2010)

Would love to hear what you think on this subject!!