Having a baby makes you think about everything differently...well, maybe not differently, but more. Or at least, it's been that way for me. I don't know if I've matured or if it's those good ol' maternal hormones, but I spend a lot of time brooding over things (not necessarily dark brooding, but just being very thoughtful).
Unless you've had your head stuck in the sand, for the past few years at Christmastime, one of the most controversial topics of conversation/debate is "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas". Some stores have gotten rid of any signs/products that say "Christmas" and replaced them with "Holidays". Christmas tree lots have been replaced with "Holiday tree" lots. I had a really tough time finding any "Merry Christmas" cards amidst the "Season's Greetings" and "Happy Holidays" cards while browsing through the 50% off sales yesterday. Schools call the mid-year vacation "Winter Break" instead of "Christmas Break".
Why the controversy? Well, apparently, some of those who don't celebrate Christmas are offended by the word. Plus, when greeting people during the holidays, one wants to encompass all the holidays. You know: Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, etc. Just in case.
Of course, it doesn't matter if Christians are offended by the lack of the word.
Whatever. I will continue to say "Merry Christmas", because whether you believe in Him ot not, I hope He blesses you. Plus, tolerance is so one-sided in this country (I say this country, because I hear that this is not as much of a controversy overseas). Christians must be tolerant of everything: other religions, different sexual orientations, bad language/sexuality on television, false doctrine about our country's origins, etc. The same tolerance is not shown to Christians in return. God forbid Christians judge anyone, but our actions and beliefs are constantly judged.
The latest strand of debate over "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" has me the most disturbed. More than once in the past few weeks, I have heard Christians admonish other Christians for getting upset about the whole "Happy Holidays" shebang. The reason? Oh, there are several:
1. December 25 isn't Christ's real birthday anyways, so why celebrate it as such?
Well, despite its somewhat disturbing pagan origins, Christians have chosen to celebrate
December 25 as Christ's birthday for centuries. Why should we celebrate his death
and not his birth? And what is wrong with celebrating his birth on December 25?
2. Well, the real meaning of Christmas has been ruined by the rest of the world through commercialization, gluttony, etc., so I'll just celebrate it for what the world has made it to be and celebrate Jesus every day.
Well, good for you, and we should celebrate Jesus everyday of the year, but as for
celebrating Christmas without Christ "just because everyone else does", I seem to
remember a verse that says, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Plus, you
know, mama always said, "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?"
3. If I was really going to celebrate Christmas as Jesus' birthday, I would serve the poor, just as Jesus did.
Then, why don't you?
4. Christians should get off their soapboxes about "Happy Holidays" and practice their faith quietly. To do otherwise, would be like the pharisee in Luke 18:10.
The issue about the pharisee in Luke 18:10 is not that he is praying loudly, but that he is
praying loudly about how much better he is than other men. Peter and Paul were not guys
who prayed or talked about God quietly and I'm pretty sure God didn't have a problem
These are just a few.
If we really believe these things, we have become too complacent! We have given in!
I will be the first to admit that I spend too much time decorating my house, too much money on gifts, and eat way too much food during the Chtmas. I'm sure God is disappointed in the way I spend his birthday celebration. Heck, I'm disappointed in myself for not focusing enough on Him during the year, much less on December 25. That being said, the sanctity of Christmas is still not lowered in my eyes, just because of the way the world (including me) chooses to celebrate it, just as the sanctity of marriage is not lowered in my eyes, jut because of the way the world treats it. Jesus is still the most important part of Christmas. The Nativity is still the centerpiece of Christmas. Christmas is still CHRISTmas to me and to many other people. And that, is why we fight for it. Because we don't care what the world thinks or what the world does.