09 November 2009

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

I hate to even start blogging about Christmas topics when Thanksgiving hasn't even arrived yet, but if you watch TV or get mass emails, than you know that CHRISTMAS IS ALREADY HERE!

I have already begun to receive the mass emails regarding "Keeping Christ in Christmas". Now when I was a more rabid Christian, I forwarded those emails with abandon myself. We must make sure the world knows that Christmas is only about Christ, mustn't we? I must make sure I push my views on the rest of the world, mustn't I?

I have really mellowed about a lot of things in recent years. On things like "Keeping Christ in Christmas" I'd just follow the crowd, and wouldn't really even think about what I was doing or saying. I've begun to be more aware of what I believe, say and do lately, and I try am trying to live that out. So with that said:

What the hell is wrong with saying Happy Holidays? The word Holiday is just a mutated version of the term Holy Days. In a search of Holy days for all religions in the month of December here is what I found:

December 6

Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)

December 8

Bodhi Day (Buddhism)
Celebrates the date when Prince Gautama sat under the Bodhi tree, vowing to remain there until he attained supreme enlightenment

Immaculate Conception of Mary (Catholic Christian)
Honors the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was preserved from original sin all of her life

December 12

Hanukkah begins (Jewish) *
Festival of lights and re dedication; continues through December 19

December 18

Al-Hijra (Islam)
The first day of the Muslim year; commemorates the migration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina

December 21

Yule (Pagan)
Winter Solstice; celebration of the rebirth of the sun

December 24

Christmas Eve (Christian)
A celebration the night before the commemoration of the birth of Jesus

December 25

Christmas (Christian)
Celebrates the birth of Jesus

Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)
Celebrates the birth of Jesus

December 26

Kwanzaa begins (African American)
Seven day celebration of family, heritage and harvest, ends January 1

Saint Stephen's Day (Catholic Christian)
Commemorates Saint Stephens the first Christian martyr

December 27

Holy Family (Catholic Christian)
Celebration of the family of Jesus

December 28

Holy Innocents (Anglican Christian)
Commemorates the slaughter of male infants in Bethlehem during Herod the Greats attempt to kill the infant Jesus

December 31

New Year's Eve

Wow, lookie, it isn't only Christians celebrating HOLY days in the month of December. There might be Jews out buying presents for Hanukkah, or even a Wiccan buying someone a Solstice present. (Do Wiccans give presents for the Solstice?) Regardless, Christians just do not have the lock on buying in December. People of all creeds are out and about doing their thing and maybe they don't want to hear "Merry Christmas" every single time they check out in a store. I don't think I'd be too happy if I had to hear "Happy Ramadan" every time I went out, in whatever month Ramadan is celebrated. (I'm not ignorant, the month changes every year!) I also wouldn't want to be assaulted with Happy Hanukkah, because I'M NOT JEWISH!

When did Christians go from being loving and caring and spreading THE GOOD NEWS to bullies? Isn't it bullying when we threaten to boycott stores for not saying Merry Christmas? Stores don't only sell to Christians, yet Christians seem to think they should. Also, really, how many of the people out buying presents and celebrating Christmas are even Christians, by Christian standards anyway? I know a lot of Atheists and agnostics and non practicing Christians who celebrate Christmas. They celebrate for Santa Claus and gift giving. Do Christians really think that causing a ruckus and spreading toxic emails makes those who barely nod in Christ's direction on Christmas feel closer to him? Or make them want to go to church? No, it makes them want to get farther away from those who call themselves "Christians", because they don't see the love, or the caring, or the spreading of the good news, they see bullies promoting their agenda. Christ didn't call us to go into the world and demand that shop clerks wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Christ didn't even command us to celebrate Christmas. Christians co-opted a pagan holiday (the solstice) and Christianized it. Most Historians don't even think Christ was born in December.

Now after saying all that, I have to say, I love Christmas. I love everything about it. The songs, the food, the music, the fact that most people seem to be friendlier and kinder during December than most other months. The fact that we celebrate the birth of our Savior. There IS a special feeling in the air during Christmas. So why don't those of us who consider ourselves Christians spread that joy around and stop focusing on the negative. Wish people Merry Christmas and if they wish you a Happy Holidays they are still giving you a greeting, a wish for a Happy Holy Day, which Christians consider Christmas to be. Maybe if we stop being so negative, and nit picking everything the world does, and allow others to live the lives they have chosen to live, and go about living the life Christ asked us to, maybe then others will begin to actually see the Christ in us and then the Christ in Christmas. And it wouldn't be because it was shoved down their throat. It might just be because they saw something, something in us that they wanted a piece of. The joy and love.

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
~O Holy Night~


Valerie said...

Amen Donna!

I could have written that myself, only I have always secretly hoped someone would wish me a Happy Hannukah or Happy Ramadan, because I hate being left out. :)


Deanna said...

Can you hear me applauding?

MamaJoe said...

Nicely said!!! ditto.

Paige said...

"Christ didn't call us to go into the world and demand that shop clerks wish everyone a Merry Christmas. "


; )

Great post!

Donna said...

Thank you ladies for all your comments! I was afraid I might get backlash, but of course not from you guys! You're the best : )

Mary Ann Kelley said...

It is far more likely that Christ was born during the Feast of Tabernacles anyway; so the whole idea of Christmas as a holiday is man-made. It irks me when the biblical (read God-created) holidays aren't good enough so people create new ones and act like God instated them. Hmph.

Lesa M. said...

Happy Holidays!!!


This year when I get those crappy hate-filled emails, I will respond to them with your post!

I am SO tired of religion!

Colleen said...

Well said!

Cherie said...

Great post! I agree with all you've said. I also wonder whether Christ really wants to be associated with the whole over-the-top consumer frenzy that occurs during this time of Holy Days.

little castle said...

Happy Holidays!

I left an award for you on my blog.

ACRaszman said...

I can't believe I didn't comment on this the first time I read it. Couldn't' agree more :)