Sunday, December 9, 2007

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

I just poured fruit punch down my ear. I was trying to get the very last sip out of the travel coffee mug (filled with fruit punch, not coffee), and I poured it down my ear. It does take a lot of talent to pull that off; and you know, I am talented that way! Now I need to wash my hair while I re-evaluate my next speech to the kids when they spill their cups...
I'm sure ya'll have heard about the controversy of whether or not we as Christians should patronize places of business that refuse to say, "Merry Christmas", choosing instead to use the ubiquitous saying, "Happy Holidays" so they won't offend the minority of their customers. It doesn't bother me a whole lot if a store says one thing or another; don't get mad yet, let me explain. When I meet someone who doesn't know Jesus, I understand that he will act in a manner that reflects his lack of relationship with Jesus. I know that he needs a heart change before his lifestyle will be genuinely changed. The same with the world...I expect the world to act like the world. I am supposed to be the light, not the retail store. I am supposed to be spreading the good news of Jesus' birth, not the grocery store. I am supposed to understand the reason for the season; I don't expect the industries to understand. If I want to impact my culture, it starts with me. And you. And my church. And your church. It starts with the body of Christ - not demanding stores to say, "Merry Christmas", but with us saying, "Merry Christmas - hey, do you know why we celebrate Christmas? I'd love to invite you to our church's cantata! In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven?" If we say that to our neighbors, friends, co-workers, employees, I bet that would make a bigger impact than if the K-Mart checkout girl mumbled, "Thanks for shopping, have a nice day, merry christmas..."
p.s. Here's a cute video along this subject...


Anonymous said...

My thoughts exactly...but doesn't the video go against what you just posted? Isn't the guy in the video on the other side of this issue? I don't have a problem with that but the impression in your post was that the video supported your post.


pwnspace said...

Well, the whole "war on christmas" is largely manufactured anyway - if you don't have a rallying cry, what will motivate the troops?

We've had the phrase "season's greetings" since forever - nobody ever complained about that when I was growing up.

In any event, your conclusion is dead-on. Its not the responsibility of a business to promote someone's favorite holiday. If anything, saying Merry Christmas could just as easily offend a christian (usually the demographic freaking out about such things); if you'll remember, we actually didn't celebrate "christmas" proper for a year or so, due to it being derived from a pagan ritual.

Lots of people celebrate Channuka (sp?) and other things. A business trying to avoid offense by giving well-wishes that apply to everyone, should be the least of our concerns.

Indeed, the very fact that the "war on christmas" is such a huge issue (for those who care) should be a demonstration of how little there actually is to worry about!

Our society has very few real battles to fight.

It goes in the opposite direction when you see liberals freaking out about stupid little things like wanting to ban moments of silence and the like. All their big battles (slavery, civil rights, vietnam, etc) have been fought and settled.

Everyone's just scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to meaningful issues to resolve and so we end up with petty arguments like whether or not someone says "merry christmas" or "happy holidays"

overall, i guess it could be viewed as an encouraging indicator of how mature our society actually is, that these are the only things we have left to fight about :-)

I'm sure some would say that its important to force everyone to say merry christmas because otherwise they'll be throwing christians in prison after a few years. To them I say, *roll eyes* x 1000

Anonymous said...

"they'll be throwing christians in prison after a few years"

They will and already are. It wont' be because of the Christmas thing but simply because of our beliefs and our persistence on preaching them and living by them. That's okay though, Jesus warned us this was coming...