This year, the seemingly endless debate on “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays” continues.
The heated words, offended people, and ridiculous insanity that ensues over such a simple phrase intended for nothing more than to wish someone well during a time of year we set aside to give honor and thanks to God for the most precious gift ever given, God’s son Jesus Christ.
I recently got into a debate with someone on this topic, and it made me realize a few key arguments against Christmas and how wrong, petty and just plain silly they really are.
Argument 1: “December 25th isn’t Christ’s real birthday.”
I remember most years my birthday fell on a random weekday, and with busy lives and conflicting schedules I wasn’t able to actually celebrate my birthday until a few weeks after the fact. Does that make the birthday celebration I did have with friends and family invalid? Of course not! We celebrate birthdays to show appreciation for someone, to say “I’m so glad you were born and that you are a part of my life!”
The fact that Jesus was probably not actually born on December 25th makes no difference, because the purpose of Christmas is to acknowledge a miracle, thank God for it, and show reverence and appreciation for our Savior coming into the world to save us from our sins and cleanse us. The same day, every single year for hundreds of years we choose this day to set aside in the spirit of gratitude and honor.
Argument 2: “Christmas came from a pagan holiday.”
This is absolutely untrue. There was a pagan roman holiday that was celebrated around this same time of year, but early Christians choice in celebrating our Saviors birth on this day is not because of the pagan holiday. It is actually believed that December 25th was chosen because it is exactly nine months after the churches celebration of Christ’s conception. Whatever the reason a certain date was chosen, doesn’t take away from why a date was chosen at all. No one knows the exact date of Christ’s birth, so because that information is unrecorded to modern knowledge, that means we shouldn’t celebrate it at all? Oh course not!
Argument 3: “Christmas isn’t the only Holiday this time if year.”
It is quite true Christmas is not alone in being celebrated this time of year. The most popular holidays are Hanukah (Jewish), Ramadan (Islamic), and Kwanza (African). People argue that we should use the term “Happy Holidays” because it is inclusive of all of this seasons holidays. If a Jewish friend wished me a “Happy Hanukah” I wouldn’t be offended even a little bit, because I know that is the holiday he/she chooses to celebrate. So if I say “Merry Christmas” why should someone be offended? I am a Christian so isn’t it my right to celebrate that holiday and wish others a blessed, safe and joyous season as well? An estimated 96% of Americans celebrate Christmas. Not all of them choose to acknowledge the religious aspects behind the holiday, but still 96% is a HUGE majority. Why should 96% of Americans be made to feel guilty about celebrating a day because 4% choose not to? I’m not saying people should be forced to indulge in Christmas traditions, but don’t infringe on the rights of those who do choose to.
Argument 4: “Christmas is totally commercialized and isn’t even about Jesus anymore.”
Sadly, there is some truth to this statement for many people. Christmas, for many, is about gifts and Santa, magic reindeer and little elves. I don’t support our culture in the lying to your kids phenomenon, as I expressed in my blog “Little White Lies” several months ago. I feel that Santa Claus is a lie we push on our kids, and for what? So they can believe whole heartedly in something only to realize they were naive for having faith, because he isn’t real. It teaches kids believing in something you can’t see or feel or explain is foolish, and that people can’t be trusted. It breeds a generation of sceptacle, angry and hurt kids who were lied to and betrayed by the people who love them. The sales and deals and Black Friday shopping all only accentuate the commercialized ideals, that this day is about nothing more than competition and buying the love of the people in your life with the best gifts. It’s great to show people you care, that they matter to you and you love them, but it’s not the reason we celebrate. The reason we celebrate is never lost, though the secular world tries so desperately to cover it up with hidden agendas. The reason is still true and firm, unwavering and quiet and calm, it is Jesus. We celebrate hope and faith because without Jesus’s birth all of us are lost forever. Without him, hope does not exist. So we honor Him, we rejoice, we praise and give thanks for the wonderius gift we were all so unworthy of receiving.
Yes I am a Christian, and I say “Merry Christmas” because I honor the reason for the season; the reason we sing, we celebrate, we exchange gifts and are merry. It all comes down to a tiny baby in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, surrounded by animals and dirt. He came from the humblest of beginnings, and grew to be the man who would redeem the world.
I say “Merry Christmas” because nothing and no one will ever diminish that gift in my heart and mind and life. I am grateful, and owe my very heart and soul and life to my God and my Jesus. Nothing and no one will ever take that gratitude away from me.
So to all if you Scrooge’s out there, you may say whatever arguements you would like, you can “Bah Humbug!” to your hearts content, but I still wish you A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR =]