Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Not So Merry Holiday

I have heard in the past few years that many businesses tell employees not to wish the patrons a “Merry Christmas”, but rather to say, “Happy Holidays.” Before I go any further, no, this will not be your normal run of the mill spouting off about how Christ should be in Christmas; I have heard happy holidays quite often throughout the past few years because of this. Today I even heard from a friend that they had gone into a store and there was a rustic looking pine tree that looked kind of like a Christmas tree, it was bare, but it still seemed to go along with the Christmas…or holiday theme. While ringing out, my friend commented on the tree, the employee then mentioned that they were unable to add lights or ornaments because that would turn this ordinary pine tree into a Christmas tree and that wouldn’t be acceptable.

What are you feeling right now?

Outrage?

Why?

I hear this from so many believers and while some seem to have a founded argument, others just seem to feel that they should be outraged and yet, have no reason or understanding. I am not even saying you should be outraged. For all that Christmas has become in the past few decades, including how some people even celebrate, why do we feel that since this holiday is so Christian? Sure it began as a holiday celebrating Christ’s birthday, but does it still? Really? We have slapped the Christian label on it, but does the way we (as believers) celebrate this holiday look anything like Christ?

I am not against Christmas, I love the family traditions that can come with Christmas, I love the concept of the whole thing. I don’t quite understand, however, why so many people are so up in a tizzy about something and fight for it under the “Christian” banner, when how we celebrate it doesn’t look very Christ-like at all. I won’t enter into the discussion of materialism, gluttony, and a whole host of other modern Christmas traditions.

Here is what I think, because I know the world is just aching to hear what I have to say, I say we (who are believers) continue to celebrate Christmas in a truly Christ-like way. That doesn’t mean a snotty “Merry Christmas” retort to a poor employee who is forced to say, “Happy Holidays.” I mean, do what you can to make an impact on your family, community, and the world this year. Make sure you spend Christmas day doing what we are hopefully doing every day, but maybe in a different way, by making Christ the center of it. Sure, some of us are going to be hanging out with family, what a great time to be an example. What a great way to teach your children to be counter cultural. What a great way to find a creative way to help others.

Opportunities abound…opportunities to be Christ to others…and not be what society says we should be.

The point is… why do we get so outraged about our culture not being Christian with a “Christian” holiday? We are mad at them for not understanding Him, and that is our job (to help with understanding), but I wonder, how well do WE understand Him? This Christmas season I pray we all search for a deeper and healthier way to shine the light of Christ to others. That we would have true Christmas in our heart, and it would overflow from our hearts to be a joy and encouragement to others.

Merry Christmas everyone!

3 comments:

Kristenparker78 said...

I have always thought that Happy Holidays was a much more appropriate greeting at this time. First, I don't think the Christmas we celebrate today, even in church, is something Christ would attach his nae to. Second, astoundingly, there are people celebrating other holidays at this same time including Hanukkah and Winter Solstice (both of which were celebrated before Christmas was ever even conceived). I think Happy Holidays is a perfect greeting in the secular setting and completely appropriate. I don't see Jewish people in an uproar for not being greeted with a "Happy Hanukkah" at the checkout register.

Adam said...

"I don't think the Christmas we celebrate today, even in church, is something Christ would attach his name to."

That is what I am questioning. This is a mess we have made of Christmas and it looks nothing like Him and yet we fight for it in His name?

Sounds like a crusade.

Fizzibear said...

As bad as I hate to agree with this, because its admitting yet another area that we as Christians have take on as a 'crusade' in the name of Christ, but fall short LIVING for Christ, this is very true!! BTW crusade is a perfect word for this arguement!! No where in the Bible does it talk about a pine tree be decorated or any of the other 'traditions' that we tend to hold so dear. Hmmmmm