Merry Christmas Or Happy Holidays
It’s that time of year again – the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Also bringing with it the great yuletide debate, or what some even call the “war on Christmas”.
- Merry Christmas
- Happy Holidays
- Seasons Greetings
Which do you commonly say?
But be careful, because despite your intent of political correctness and non-offense, someone will be offended—no matter which you say.
Some will become so outraged as to accuse you that the term of “Happy Holidays” is an insult to Christianity. Perhaps it is, however, insult can only be given when it is taken and received as an insult.
Your Personal Reaction
Much of how to deal with this “word” debate has to do with your own personal attitude and reaction.
Perhaps someone saying “Happy Holidays” to you is meant to be an insult towards you and your belief in Christ. However, only you can control whether you accept and internalize it as an insult.
If not taken as an insult, then it isn’t an insult. In this way you cancel out the hurtful intention and you keep focused on the real reason for this season—Jesus.
On the other hand, people are trying so hard these days to say things politically correct, that they will accidentley insult someone, with no intention. No matter which holiday greeting they say.
Only you can control your own personal reaction and whether you will take offense or not.
Personally, I think people are just so full of anger and bitterness that even if you said, “Have a nice day” that you could be accused of saying something hateful. People need to lighten up and not look for the offense in everything—especially where no offense was intended.
So, don’t verbally chew out the checkout cashier, who, by company policy and risk of losing her job, can no longer say “Merry Christmas”. It isn’t her fault. Instead, just accept her “Happy Holidays”. Smile and lovingly respond with,
- “Merry Christmas”,
- “God Bless You”,
- or even, “Have A Blessed Day” in reply.
Return with a loving expression instead of a lecture. Your personal reaction may be the only “Jesus” they see in their day.
What personal reaction do you express to the world?
One of outrage and offense, or one of loving compassion?
What it really boils down to is, what would Jesus do? How would He want you to display His Love in this instance?
Freedom Of Religion—Everyone’s Rights
Would Jesus get upset if someone said “Happy Holidays” to Him? No. Would He be offended if He said “Merry Christmas” to someone and they said “Happy Holidays” back? No.
He wouldn’t be focused on the words, but rather the intent of the heart saying them.
Remember, the words “Merry Christmas” only came into existence due to the emergence of the Roman Catholic Church. This wasn’t even terminology used by the early Christians, those closest to Jesus.
The words “Merry Christmas” is actually a play on words referring to:
- Mary, the virgin who was the surrogate mother of Jesus,
- and the Catholic Mass of the Christ
Instead, Jesus would be more focused that as Christians we were following what John 13:34 states:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” -John 13:34 (NIV)
It’s our duty to:
- spread love,
- shine a light
- and be disciples of Christ.
If you are having heated “arguments” with others over why saying Happy Holidays is taking Christ out of Christmas or whatever spin you put on the conversation, are you helping the situation? Probably not.
Keep Celebrating The True Meaning
Christmas, over the centuries, has become more secular and the true meaning has been taken out of the celebration in the world around us. However, this does not mean that you must give up saying Merry Christmas and your own personal celebration of His birth!
Let’s focus on shining God’s love and loving those around us whether we agree with Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings or any other phrase they may use! If you correct someone who uses a different holiday greeting rather than Merry Christmas you’re probably going to make a non-situation into a situation.
Of course, listen to your gut and follow God’s leading – if you feel led to start a conversation with someone about this, then please do. If not, smile, thank them, move along and know they were probably just trying to be nice (something this world needs more of with everything going on)!
All that to say, I’m not saying we shouldn’t stand up for what we believe in or that we shouldn’t stand up for what Christmas really is about. Just remember, there’s a time and place for everything. The holidays are supposed to bring people together, not further divide them. Let’s help make that happen and let God’s light shine from within as we continue spreading joy and enjoying the holiday season. That means treating others as we want to be treated and more importantly, as if they were created in His image…because they were.
Political Correctness Or Absurd?
Because sometimes the issue of political correctness in our language becomes totally absurd and tries to make issues where there were none before.
Take me for instance—I am Metis. However, when I was a child growing up in the mid 1960’s, I played “Indian” with my papoose doll. (“Papoose” means baby or small child) The term “Indian” was totally acceptable at that time, and did I take offense to it? Of course not! Would I take offense now to someone referring to me as Indian even today? Of course not!
Yes, today we better understand the distinction difference between East Indian and North American Indigenous People. However, really, why are we so ultra sensitive to merely words innocently used in wrong context?
We are all walking on eggshells around each other, that yes, sooner or later, we will each experience “foot in mouth disease” of saying something incorrectly. Does that mean that it was said with malicious intent?
In many instances, it was said innocently, and was actually intended to be a:
- or just a nice comment.
Why we are so sensitive to what words are spoken instead of looking at the intent of the message?
So, I will say “Merry Christmas” to you. However, if you choose to say “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings”, I will not be offended.
In fact, I would love to be able to say, “Happy Birthday Jesus Celebrations”. However, that is too much of a tongue twister and probably won’t become the public norm. But, realistically that is what this season was first started to be–
Celebrating the Birth of Jesus
And that is what we need to personally keep our focus on—Jesus. Not whether someone is saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”. Remember, the other person is just trying their hardest NOT TO OFFEND. Which unfortunately, means they will offend someone. But whether you choose to be offended or not is your own personal decision.
Rather, than be offended, keep your focus on the true reason for the season—Jesus, His Birth, Love and Goodwill to all men.