Here it is again, the crazy news segment defining which retailers use "Happy Holidays" and which use "Merry Christmas" in their public interactions. Facing off on opposing sides of the battle...the WAR ON CHRISTMAS.
In my opinion, there are several main points which need to be broken down for this news story. Make no mistake: This is a story. It is entirely fabricated to create a ruckus and a false sense of frailty.
If you are NOT Christian and/or DO NOT celebrate Christmas:
- By all means, you truthfully should say "Happy Holidays." Approximately 24-40% of Americans fall into this category.
- If you are conducting business and do not know to whom you are speaking, it is safe to say "Happy Holidays." I mean, if your new boss invited you to dinner on December 24 with no details, you might have no idea if that's a Christmas Eve dinner or the fifth night of Chanukah. Better to bring chicken than pork, right? "Happy Holidays" is the chicken of December.
- If you are in a hurry and throwing a quick warm wish to the Wal-Mart cashier, "Happy Holidays" is more economical than "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year." Not every phrase in your day needs to be substantiated.
If you are NOT a Christian and you DO celebrate Christmas:
See the above points and use your own discretion.
If you ARE a Christian and DO celebrate Christmas:
This is where I have to check my righteous indignation. I am a Christian and I love Jesus with my entire being. He walks with me in every moment of my day. I know that He is the reason for this season. That being said...
- If you care what Macy's or Martha Stewart or any other retailer says in their marketing, your focus is in the wrong place.
- If you see a War on Christmas, you are also seeing a division of sides. Christ was born to bring us together, so please don't draw a battle line. Look at this baby. This baby was not born for a fabricated news "war."
- If you think it's "them and not me" drawing a battle line, that's ok. Just don't take part in it, and do everything you can to BE CHRIST.
- Unity does not mean conformity. Spreading Christ's message doesn't mean clobbering America over the head with phraseology and theology.
- If you know that someone else is of a non-Christian faith and you purposefully say "Merry Christmas" just to make a point, you are acting spiteful rather than exuding a loving spirit.
- No matter what you or anyone else says (Holiday or Christmas), it is what you hold in your heart that matters. Be confident in your faith rather than conscientious of anyone else's attack on it.
- While God is surely sad when people turn their backs on Him, if you believe in Him, you also believe that His message will rise above the world. I don't think "Happy Holidays" is the beginning of any end.
- Show your heart and teach your children to show theirs.
- LOVE. It's not cliche and it's not a wimpy aspect of faith. It's what Jesus is. He is Love, and so are you.
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Christmas is a time of joy, celebration, giving and loving. Regardless of your faith, it's a time to hold your family close and invite others to share with you. If you want a battle, fight the fight of loving one other. It's not easy every day, but it's what we're called to do. Do it with open arms.
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Printable Service Jar Slips (created for Thanksgiving but perfect for December, too)