‘Tis the Season to Be Grouchy?

I have never been offended by the term ‘Happy Holidays.’ To be fair, though, I’ve also never thought the term ‘Merry Christmas’ should offend anyone.

But apparently it is a war or something now. Which is so weird because I thought wars were extremely serious things where guns and armies got involved and lots of innocent people died. I didn’t think a ‘war’ had anything to do with entitled people writing argumentative Facebook statuses that claim faux-religious persecution. Huh.

This isn’t going to be a very long post, but I just want to direct a couple of words toward Christians who think their holiday is being attacked or co-opted or something else equally nonsensical.

First off, Christmas is not the only holiday (and, I dare say, not the first) that has been secularized and adopted by people other than the ones for whom it was intended. Look at Halloween. Look at St. Patrick’s. Two holidays originally meant for specific people to observe specific traditions, and now the world has made them about candy and costumes and alcohol and leprechauns (and having a ‘legitimate’ excuse to sexually harass – excuse me, pinch – someone who isn’t wearing green).

What is the Christian beef with the secularization of Christmas anyway? The consumerism? The removal of Jesus from the picture? If someone wants to celebrate Christmas but not acknowledge Jesus, shouldn’t Christians be glad they use Xmas instead? That way they aren’t claiming Christ at all, whether falsely or accidentally or otherwise. As far as consumerism goes, Christians ought to be honest with themselves in admitting that the consumeristic way the world celebrates Christmas is often not different from the way Christians celebrate it. So you do an Advent calendar during December and you make sure to read Luke 2 before commencing the present-opening frenzy. So what? Many Christian families still spend a lot of money on “stuff” and “things” and “toys” at Christmastime. Is it Christlike to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on new toys and gadgets all at one time? Hard to think so.

As far as Christ being taken out of Christmas, who has taken him out of your Christmas? Does someone not acknowledging Jesus or saying “Happy Holidays” take Jesus away from you personally? Do people who don’t claim Christ make you feel as though you can’t celebrate Christ in your home on Christmas Day in whatever way you want to? Spoiler: The answer is no.

The thing is, church, there are a lot of worthy battles to fight in this world in the name of Jesus (human trafficking, child soldiers, extreme poverty etc.), and this just isn’t one of them. December is one of my favorite months of the year because people are kinder during this time. People smile at total strangers and say “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!” and it makes you feel warm and happy inside. People help one another shovel snow and scrape ice off of cars. People let others go in front of them in lines at the store and in traffic on the road. People smile and laugh and say “please” and “thank you.” In December – in my experience, anyway – the world is simply a kinder, happier place. And the only threat to all the peace and joy and good cheer being spread around and shared is this silly non-war Christians have tried to manufacture.

Certain people who celebrate Christmas may not see a reason to add Jesus to their celebrations. But something that is universally understood about this holiday, Jesus or no Jesus, is that it is a time to be with family, to love, to be kind, and to celebrate. Which, like it or not, is everything that is Christian about the holiday too. So, if we actually want the same thing – and it appears that we do – then Christians ought to lead by example in spreading peace and joy, rather than religious strife.

The church gets enough bad publicity. Stop giving the world one more reason to turn away from Christianity. It is possible to be both “yay, Jesus” and “yay, holidays” at the same time. Try it, church. You might like it.



Filed under bloggy, irreverent

4 responses to “‘Tis the Season to Be Grouchy?

  1. samantha

    Stumbled upon your comment and found it quite rude. I am a Christian and I am proud to say Merry Christmas to anyone and everyone. It is offensive because it is our Lord and Saviors birth! Amen. If Christians find it offensive then good we have a right to. We as Christians get jumped and ridiculed ALL THE TIME for raising our voices and speaking out. Why? Because people are offended by us. Why don’t people ridicule gays for saying Christians all hate them. That’s not true. But yet everyone believes and hears what they want to hear. We need to stand up for ourselves otherwise we won’t have any rights to do anything. People are so judgemental when it comes to Christians we are actually very polite, loving, and caring. But one person messes up and all Christians are seen as terrible. But everyone else has the right to mess up.. I think not. Not one of us is perfect. Which is why God sent us His son Jesus to die for our mistakes and sins. So if we are coining the term Merry Christmas and want others to say it to.. then let us be. Don’t blame the whole church and all Christians for being awful people. That is very biased. But of coarse ill probably get someone to reply who thinks I’m rude and terrible. But I’m praying for this world we live in. Everything that was once bad is now seen as good.

    • I won’t say you’re terrible, but there isn’t much truth or logic to what you said, so I’m not going to attempt a thoughtful discussion either. My post isn’t directed at all Christians, only the ones who are manufacturing things to be offended by (like you, it appears). But hey, thanks for reading anyway.

  2. You know, I let these comments simmer for a week, and I was able to summon this one question, which I think is important.

    Do you think this is the only country in the world where this is a “problem” for people? (i.e. the “war” on Christmas)

    I’m going to go ahead and say yes, at least as far as I can tell. It’s not like I have a lot of sample to go by, I just don’t see it anywhere else… and not that I’m specifically looking, so you can take that for what it’s worth.

    I’m not Christian, I dare say I don’t have an affiliation with any particular religion. I have my faith and that’s enough for me. Christmas, for me at least, hasn’t been a celebration for religious purpose since I was about nine. For me, it’s just been an excellent time to get together with family members and be merry.

    Does that mean I’m part of the “war” on Christmas?

    • Jason,

      You could be right. In some ways that’s because this country has a serious problem with actually separating church and state like we’re supposed to. In other ways it’s because we are privileged and entitled in ways other countries don’t have the luxury of being, so we manufacture petty conflicts out of boredom.

      And no. You aren’t part of the war because there is no war.

      Thanks for the comment & discussion!

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