‘Twas six days before Christmas and all through the Web
The ultimate battle was refusing to ebb.
Happiness and cheer were nowhere to be found
And clicking of computer keys was the only sound.
Each side wishing to be the victor
But the holiday season is about so much more.
As I checked my Facebook feed, I expected to see festive posts. Friends happily talking about coming home for the holidays, proud parents displaying photos of their children on Santa’s lap. And of course, dogs in adorable Christmas attire.
However, what I saw was a feud as old as time itself. How should you greet someone during this time of year? Do you say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays?” Either way, you are bound to offend someone.
I have found that the people who offer up “Merry Christmas” are typically Christians. They choose to celebrate the birth of Jesus, God’s one and only son, on Christmas day. So, in saying this phrase, they are keeping Christ in Christmas because He is the reason for the season.
People who choose to say “Happy Holidays” may or may not be Christian. This phrase encompasses all the holidays that occur during this time (Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, etc.) and has no religious connotation.
So, the M.C.ers tend to automatically assume that when greeted with the “Happy Holidays” phrase, that the greeter is a non-Christian. And their devotion to the Lord makes them feel that these well-wishers are trying to take Christ out of the Christmas season/celebration.
The H.H. ers do not like the M.C. ers because they feel that these people are trying to force their religious beliefs upon others. They may or may not believe in Christ and by echoing “Merry Christmas” back, might fear they this will be taken as a religious stance. In addition, the H.H. ers may not even celebrate Christmas. They may partake of Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, so the phrase “Merry Christmas” truly means nothing to them (although I believe the sentiment is understood by all).
I am a Christian. I have been my entire life. And my birthday is on Christmas day, too. That being said, I honestly take no offense how I am greeted at this time of year. The purpose of all of the holidays that occur during the month of December is to spread love, peace and happiness. Each holiday involves people coming together with their friends and family to celebrate a holiday that is important to him/her.
As Christians, we need to avoid being overly sensitive when the vast majority of H.H. ers do not mean any ill will towards us or our beliefs. By the same token, H.H. ers need to understand that not everyone who says “Merry Christmas” is trying to make a religious statement. If I really wanted to force my views on others, I would say, “Happy Birth of Our Lord and Savior!”
Plus, has anyone looked at a calendar recently? What does it say on December 25th? It says “Christmas Day.” Just like how December 26th says “Kwanzaa begins.” I do not get offended by seeing these holidays listed. While some of these days have no significance to me, they do to others. And I respect the fact that not everyone has the same ideas and beliefs that I do. The world would be a pretty boring place if they did.
As Christmas continues to draw near, I would like to invite the entire world to set aside its quarreling. Focus on what truly matters: spending time with loved ones. Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope that you find peace, joy and comfort. Merry Holidays and Happy Christmas!