You know, the whole "Merry Christmas" versus "Happy Holidays" thing is getting old. At least with me. To the rest of the world it may be just revving up, but I'm over it. The emails have started up again from all the self-appointed defenders of Christmas, strongly condemning the "happy holidays" greeting. Got one the other day with the usual, 'this is not a holiday tree, it's a Christmas tree, this is not a holiday wreath, it's a Christmas wreath' etc. I understand the frustration. It's upsetting that schools won't allow Christmas trees in their hallways, and non-Christian neighbors complain if there's a nativity scene within sight of their property. It's so stupid, it's so beyond stupid, I've become a little numb to it. It's just not worth the stomach ache. The policitally correct Christmas season is so ludicrous. You know, let's not offend anyone by mentioning the word Christmas.
However, as a Christian myself, I’m actually beginning to lean toward the "Happy Holidays" camp. Surprised? I'll explain.
First of all, the Christmas season has travelled so far afield of the celebration of Christ's birth, I'd rather people stop associating the two. As soon as the fake cobwebs come down after Halloween, the Christmas decorations and toy specials appear in stores. It's a cliche to even go into detail about what it's all become. Everyone knows it. The shopping, the stress, the constant bombardment of jewelry store ads on TV designed to make men feel horribly inadequate if they don't lavish their women with bling for Christmas. Black Friday has become black-eye Friday as people regularly abandon their good-will-toward- men, charging like fullbacks to grab that flat screen TV. So yeah, I'd rather that people not associate this shameful lust for stuff with our Savior's birth.
And here’s another thing: A lot of us remember the good old days when we all tossed off a "Merry Christmas!" to everyone we’d meet and no one thought anything of it. But you see, that's just it - no one really thought about it. Nowadays you think twice before saying it. Even if you decide you're just going to say it, come what may, you've thought about it. It's a decision to acknowledge Christ. Maybe that's not such a bad thing.
Personally, I think that wishing a "Merry Christmas" too early in the season is a little silly anyway. I mean, within the span of about one month, there are several holidays. There’s Thanksgiving, then Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s. These are all happy holidays and I have no problem with people greeting each other as such during this month-long holiday season. I do it myself. But in the few days before December 25th, I begin to feel more Christmas-y , and things feel more sacred to me, so I wish people "Merry Christmas". Even if someone says “Happy Holidays” to me, I answer "Merry Christmas". Not as a defensive retort, or with rancor of any kind. It's just that I want to say it. I don’t think anyone will faint away in horror.
No matter what the lunatics try to say or do to squash any public acknowledgement of Christmas, I’m not worried that it’s going away any time soon. Christianity has been around for a couple thousand years, and I don’t think it’s in any real danger of disappearing. The truth is, I’m not concerned whether its trees and nativities are allowed in public schools and parks. That’s not where Christmas lives. It lives in our homes, our churches, and in our hearts. And that’s where it belongs.