It’s that time of year again – the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. And for some folks, a yuletide debate— to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?
It’s been happening for some time now; more and more people have given up the traditional ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting. It’s even a rule in some places of work. That their employees are not allowed to wish anyone a Merry Christmas but must use the greeting Happy Holidays instead. And instead turned to the more generic, and what people see as the non-religious, greeting of” Happy Holidays.
That was the case for me when I was a Social Worker. It was strongly suggested that we say Happy Holidays. I remember one family I worked with. As I left their home for about two years, I’d say, “Have A Good Holiday.” They said nothing back to me. Then one year, I said my usual ” Have A Good Holiday,” and the mother said rather sternly,” in this house, we say Merry Christmas.” From then on, at least at their home, I knew I was welcome to say Merry Christmas.
What it really relates to is, what would Jesus do? Would he get upset if someone said Happy Holidays to Him? No. Would he be offended if he said Merry Christmas to someone and they said Happy Holidays back? No. He wouldn’t care about the words people were using during the Holidays.
Instead, I believe he would be more worried that, as Christians, we were following what John 13:34 says:
“I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”John 13:34—NASB
If we disagree with others over why saying Happy Holidays is taking Christ out of Christmas, are we helping the situation? Probably not. We must spread love, shine a light and be disciples of Christ.
Yes, Christmas has become more secular, and the true meaning has been taken out of the celebration in the world around us.
So, let’s focus on shining God’s love and loving those around us. Whether we agree with Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, or any other phrase people may use! Suppose you correct someone who uses a different holiday greeting rather than Merry Christmas? In that case, you’re likely making a non-situation situation.
Follow God’s lead— if you feel led to start a conversation with someone about this, please do. If not, smile, thank them, move along, and know they were probably trying to be nice (something this world needs more of with everything going on)!
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