Merry...?

12.22.08 | Comments[2]

It's that time of year again.....time to once again debate whether to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. Each year it seems that more and more retailers across our country are shying away from exclaiming "Merry Christmas" and instead opting for the all-inclusive Happy Holidays. This move brings Christian outrage that society is attacking our faith by trying to take the Christ out of Christmas. Now, nationwide legal battles and protests are occurring in effort to fight for our right to celebrate Christmas as we choose....including saying and displaying the phrase Merry Christmas. As a Christian who celebrates Christmas as the birth of my Savior, I enjoy my first amendment right to say Merry Christmas to those who cross my path since because I observe the holiday.
At the same time, I realize that the First Amendment protects everyone's rights to freedom of the religion and practice of their choice. I realize that retailers who are moving away from saying Merry Christmas aren't necessarily doing so because the word "Christ" is encased but rather because they recognize that our country is comprised of a multitude of ethnic backgrounds among its citizens and not everyone's culture celebrates Christmas. Could it be that Wal-mart CEO's aren't directing their employees to say Happy Holidays because they have a vendetta against Baby Jesus rather it's because they service citizens who celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanza instead of traditional Christmas? I can see how companies of that magnitude might need to tailor their Yuletide advertising in order to encompass and accommodate all of the various holidays taking place during December.
I understand getting bothered when it appears that we are not allowed to practice our faith as we choose, but in our fighting and protests to keep Christmas, are we in turn prohibiting others from practicing their faiths? Don't' get me wrong, I like wishing those I encounter a Merry Christmas and will continue to do so...but for me it's not so much a word as a feeling I am trying to convey. By wishing those around me a Merry Christmas, I am hoping they are able to share in the same joy, peace, and love that I find in this holiday. Granted, I find those things in worshiping and celebrating the birth of my Savior, but is the best way to help them find the Savior really to become like the Pharisees- running to the courts or wielding an angry fist? Is that really going to draw those on the outside towards the warmth and love of Christ?
Perhaps for us the best way to show the Spirit of the Season is to practice a little tolerance and when someone wishes us a Happy Holiday smile and nod or wish them a Merry Christmas...instead of growing red in the face and launching into a tirade on how it's the Christmas season. Even if you can't speak about Christ's love this Christmas you can show it through your actions and I like to think that actions speak louder than words.

It's that time of year again.....time  to once again debate whether to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. Each year it seems that more and more retailers across our country are shying away from exclaiming "Merry Christmas" and instead opting for the all-inclusive Happy Holidays. This move brings Christian outrage that society is attacking our faith by trying to take the Christ out of Christmas.  Now, nationwide legal battles and protests are occurring in effort to fight for our right to celebrate Christmas as we choose....including saying and displaying the phrase Merry Christmas.  As a Christian who celebrates Christmas as the birth of my Savior, I enjoy my first amendment right to say Merry Christmas to those who cross my path since because I observe the holiday.

At the same time, I realize that the First Amendment protects everyone's rights to freedom of the religion and practice of their choice.  I realize that retailers who are moving away from saying Merry Christmas aren't necessarily doing so because the word "Christ" is encased but rather because they recognize that our country is comprised of a multitude of ethnic backgrounds among its citizens and not everyone's culture celebrates Christmas. Could it be that Wal-mart CEO's aren't directing their employees to say Happy Holidays because they have a vendetta against Baby Jesus rather it's because they service citizens who celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanza instead of traditional Christmas?  I can see how companies of that magnitude might need to tailor their Yuletide advertising in order to encompass and accommodate all of the various holidays taking place during December.

  I understand getting bothered when it appears that we are not allowed to practice our faith as we choose, but in our fighting and protests to keep Christmas, are we in turn prohibiting others from practicing their faiths? Don't' get me wrong, I like wishing those I encounter a Merry Christmas and will continue to do so...but for me it's not so much a word as a feeling I am trying to convey. By wishing those around me a Merry Christmas, I am hoping they are able to share in the same joy, peace, and love that I find in this holiday. Granted, I find those things in worshiping and celebrating the birth of my Savior, but is the best way to help them find the Savior really to become like the Pharisees- running to the courts or wielding an angry fist? Is that really going to draw those on the outside towards the warmth and love of Christ?

Perhaps for us the best way to show the Spirit of the Season is to practice a little tolerance and when someone wishes us a Happy Holiday smile and nod or wish them a Merry Christmas...instead of growing red in the face and launching into a tirade on how it's the Christmas season.  Even if you can't speak about Christ's love this Christmas you can show it through your actions and I like to think that actions speak louder than words.

 

Comments

Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 01.19.09 Ellen Shepherd commented

We are a Christian country. As Christians, we should be sensitive to others, but sensitivity is not necessarily tolerance. Dictionary.com defines tolerance (first and more used definition) as: 1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry. If we are to 'tolerate' those of other religions, should they not also 'tolerate' our Christian perspective and desire to wish others Merry Christmas? Grow up, please. Christians are not the bad guys here, and those few who may turn red in the face also deserve to be 'tolerated'.

on 08.21.11 Beverly Daggett commented

I agree with the above. My husband once had Jewish bosses. I sent a Merry Christmas card to each of them. I apologized later when I found out that they were Jewish. Their response was "no problem". I sent the proper card the next year. If I know someones religion I will wish them that. Otherwise it will be Happy Holidays to not offend them. Most are Merry Christmas. If we would just relax and take it calmly and understand it wasn't done on purpose, things would be better. I do respect others religion. I had a "Fresh Air boy" from NY years and years ago. We have stayed in contact and now he has 5 children and his 2nd marriage is to a Muslim. He allows me to ask him any question I want and I do feel free to do so. They are hoping to come see us sometime soon. I have read up on some things but know I'd better get reading more. Walmart does not want to offend anyone, hence Happy Holidays. You and me it will be Merry Christmas. I love variety in all areas of my life....Beverly

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