In today’s spotlight I would like to discuss an issue that shouldn’t be an issue in my opinion—and that’s the idea of Christmas wishes. It seems that for the past few years we have been encouraged to send holiday wishes instead of those of a Merry Christmas variety. There are reasons behind this but to me, the most interesting comes down to one of politics. According to a PRRI poll, 61% of Republicans are in favor of Merry Christmas while 66% of the Democrats favor a secular greeting such as Happy Holidays.
Why the political divide? According to the Atlantic, it’s a bit ironic that folks would have a preference between the two greetings at all. They write, “Ironically, it’s a Christian-friendly greeting at its root; “holiday” stems from the Old English for “holy day.” For much of the United States’s history, it would have been given and accepted by Christians without a bat of the eye, understanding that the holidays in question were those of Advent, or perhaps Christmas and the Gregorian New Year. Only relatively recently has it become a catch-all for people of other religions.”1
I think it’s more than that, however. It appears to be an attack on the meaning of Christmas, or the Christ in Christmas. Now I fully understand those who might find it unfair that as a predominantly Christian country, we celebrate Christmas and fail to formerly designate an official holiday for other such celebrations by non-Christians. Still, legislating additional holidays should be the answer to this instead of substituting a generic greeting from what is officially a Christian holiday.
Unfortunately in my view, the secular movement has so encouraged the abandonment of Christ in Christmas that today we have substituted Walmart, Sears, J C Penney, Costco or Amazon and the like for Christ. It seems Christmas has been reduced to a commercial enterprise with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. dominating the mood of our nation.
Personally, taking the Walmart out of Christmas and replacing the spirit of Christmas with the Christ of Christmas serves the best interest of all faiths. It was Christ who admonished that whatever we do unto the least of our brethren, we do unto him. It was Christ who suggested turning the other cheek, finding forgiveness in our hearts, loving one another, and so forth. How this message becomes the target for change in the name of secularism, fails to make any sense to me. For our secular friends argue that to be a good person, we should be forgiving, charitable, moral, and otherwise behave in an ethical fashion. So the message seems dissonant to say the least, unless what they’re arguing is we don’t need Christ in order to be virtuous. If that’s the message, I totally agree, but then why argue against a celebration that honors exactly that?
Now, if you’re using Christmas to evangelize, then I must add this caveat: Please do not do this! The spirit of acceptance is synonymous with the admonition known as the Golden Rule. It matters not what religious view a person holds if indeed the intention of Merry Christmas is, “May you know peace, balance, harmony and joy during the Christmas season!”
For me, it’s Merry Christmas to all of you and it is my wish that the Christ in Christmas be remembered, for in so doing, we might just leave the Walmart out of Christmas and return to the real meaning behind this special occasion.
My thoughts anyway, what are yours?
- McGilll, A. 2016. “Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays, Round 2,016.” The Atlantic. Dec. 20, 2016.