Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Spirit of Xmas

More and more I see and hear people who are incensed at the ever common practice of saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" this time of year. I have even seen it referred to as a "war on Christmas" as if it were an attempt to do away with your rights to buy huge strings of lights, stampede Wal-Mart on Black Friday, and bake your own weight in sugar cookies.

Ok, so that was a little sarcastic, but I did it to make a point. Most Christians I know still feel free to say "Merry Christmas" wherever they feel like. It's often in the commercial context that I see and hear "Happy Holidays." And to be perfectly frank, Christians aren't the only people celebrating chrismasolstikwanzika this time of year—how can we blame the commercial sector for not wanting to offend the non-Christian folk and their money?

The other place I hear "Happy Holidays" is from myself, and others who think like me, when I do not know the religious affiliation of the person I'm speaking to. Emmi has a friend who once said... well, I can't repeat what he said. Let's just say that he colorfully exhibited his frustration at being a Hindu and being told to have a "Merry Christmas" everywhere he went.

I guess the latest chapter in the whole war on Christianity saga is completely askew. An article I recently found on-line says that people are doing away with the common abbreviation "Xmas" because it clearly is an attempt to take "Christ" out of "Christmas." The article also says that most of us aren't Greek scholars. And here's where I get frustrated, because if you know an ordained minister (and I hope if you're Christian "enough" to be mad about taking the Christ out of Christmas, you do) then you know someone who has enough Greek to set you straight on this. The "X" is not an attempt to cross out the word "Christ." It is, in fact, a Chi the Greek letter that begins the word "Christ" in it's original Greek form.

Incidentally, the last time I said "Happy Holidays" to someone I knew for a fact was not Christian (she's a rabbi) she said "Merry Christmas" to me! So, I don't see any war here. If you really want to say "Merry Christmas," to folk, go ahead and do it. If you prefer to say "Happy Holidays" to be inclusive, go right ahead. There's enough business and stress involved in this season without getting upset about a non-existent war on Christmas!

Happy Holidays
Merry Xmas
Rev. Josh

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