Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays

I don’t mean to offend, but . . . .

Over the past few years there has been a lot of controversy over some people and businesses opting for “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas.”  Angry words have often resulted along with threats of boycotts, but little has changed, and both are still being used.  Personally, I prefer “Merry Christmas” because Christ is what the holidays are all about although the birth of our savior is often lost amid the lights, glitter, shopping, and giving and receiving of gifts.  I have serious doubts if there would even be any holidays during December if not for the Christ story.  If not for Christmas what would there be to celebrate during a month filled with rain, snow, cold, and just plain yucky dreary looking days – very little.  It would be just another month like January and February with little to celebrate other than the college football national championship, the Super Bowl, and boxes of little sugar hearts inscribed with “Be my valentine.”  I enjoy all three, but none of them bring forth the feeling of “good will to men” that is felt during the Christmas season.

Face it; Christmas puts us in the mood for “giving” and “family.”  Despite its hustle and bustle, it reminds of us of the innocence of childhood, the magic of believing in miracles, and the comfort of knowing we are so loved that our creator sacrificed his only son to ensure a home for each of us in his kingdom.  As long as Christians keep these things in their hearts, it doesn’t matter that a few people or businesses use “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas.” In fact, if every Christian kept the spirit of Christmas in his or her heart, there would be so many fires burning for Christ, no business would dare not have “Merry Christmas” in every window in their stores.   I may be wrong, but my faith in God tells me I am right when I say there is little good that can come from getting angry about someone using “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.”  Why should I let the actions of others ruin my Christmas?

My point is that it is not worth losing your Christmas spirit over someone using holiday phrasing that may make you cringe and get angry every time you hear it.  From what I read about Christ, I believe he would have prayed for these people, but I do not believe he would have been overly upset at their word selection.  My knowledge of Christ leads me to believe it is more important for each of us to keep the spirit of Christmas in our own hearts and not judge someone else for how he or she chooses to celebrate or acknowledge Christmas.  The most powerful witness we can give is through our actions and how we live our lives – not in what we say or don’t say.  Besides, I do not believe it is humanly possible to say “Happy Holidays” without thinking of Christmas, and isn’t that what we want at Christmas – to keep Christmas in the hearts and minds of men?  So, though I prefer “Merry Christmas,” I would like to wish each and every individual and business “Happy Holidays” and a “Merry Christmas,” as well as challenge anyone saying “Happy Holidays” not to think about Christmas.  You see, I believe whether you say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” Christmas is on your mind, and that is what God intended from the beginning.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

JL

Copyright © 2013 Jack Linton

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