It is a bit of a dilemma, but we always manage to survive, don't we? I have a speaking topic, titled, The Perfect Christmas. On several occasions this season, I will attempt to entertain my audience with 30 minutes of slides and words about the impossibility of achieving that goal...the perfect Christmas. We do however, receive the perfect gift: Jesus.
This time of year seems to be the 'perfect' occasion for articles, Facebook posts and e-mails about avoiding stores and merchants who wish us a 'Happy Holiday' instead of a 'Merry Christmas.' I received an e-mail last week with a cute little ditty included. The singer states we need to just walk right by that door (of the store) if they don't say Merry Christmas when they greet us. Just for the record: I think that is a very UN-CHRISTIAN way to act. I have no patience with the 'holier-than-thou' attitude contained in that thought process.
We bemoan the fact the world is trying to take Christ out of Christmas or delete the Merry Christmas greeting. I see FALSE postings about how the White House tree is called a holiday tree instead of a Christmas tree. THAT IS A FALSEHOOD SPREAD by ignorant people whose only goal is to stir up hateful emotions in people. Check it out for yourself. The official tree has always been called a CHRISTMAS TREE.
No one can take Christ out of my Christmas, but I can certainly take Him out of others' thoughts when I act disdainfully toward them.
If I was a merchant who held a different set of beliefs, I would still say, Happy Holidays, but not Merry Christmas to my customers. The ball is in our court, my fellow Christians, to respond in a God-pleasing manner.
How about this: Store Employee: "Happy Holidays!"
Customer (me or you) : "Thank you. Merry Christmas to you."
We are responsible for spreading the good news of Christmas; the birth of Jesus. Are we doing that when we refuse to even enter a store or business of someone who believes differently than we do? It is a perfect time for letting people know what Christians are really like instead of the world's view of us. We are called to be witnesses of God's love and still, we quibble about a greeting.
The devotion I read this morning stated the (researched) definition of 'holiday' is: 'a holy day, set apart for devotion to God, the celebration of something specific'
So, please don't refuse to say or accept the greeting of Happy Holiday. If you want, you could even respond with, "And a happy holy day to you too."
One more thought: Read Colossians 4: 5-6: 5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Have a Blessed Christmas season and Happy Holy Days.