When stores started advertising “Xmas Sale,” people complained they were trying to take Christ out of Christmas. Who knows what their motives were, but in church history, the letter “X” came to symbolize Christ. “X” is the first letter in the Greek spelling of “Christ,” so Xmas is the same thing as Christmas.
Today, stores are telling employees to be considerate and say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Once again people are up in arms, crying foul. But have you stopped to think what the word “holidays” means? For one thing, it is plural. So instead of encouraging people to be merry on one day, when we say, “Happy Holidays,” we are encouraging people to be happy several days. That’s sounds like a good idea to me.
The word “holidays” literally means “holy days.” The word “holy” means sacred, or set apart as something special. Apart from God nothing is sacred or special. Saying to someone, “Happy Holidays,” is telling them to recognize everyday as a sacred gift from God. It seems to me that a nonreligious person would be more offended by the word “holiday” than the word “Christmas.”
During this time of year the Jewish faith celebrates Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. The word “Hanukkah” means “dedication.” Hanukkah celebrates the defeat of the Greeks by the Jews under Judah Maccabee, and the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C. The Maccabeean Revolt (as it was known) is a key event in the history of Judaism, as well as Christianity. This revolt took place between the Old and New Testaments, and prepared the way for the Messiah. Even Ramadan (the dates change every year because it is based on a lunar cycle) is a “month of blessing” marked by prayer, fasting, and charity. (On a side note, did you know that the Quran records the virgin birth of Jesus as a historical fact?) And Kwanzaa is an African celebration of what it means to be human in the fullest sense. (Since Kwanzaa is cultural and not religious, a Christian could adapt Kwanzaa, understanding that it is Christ who makes us human in the fullest sense.)
What am I trying to say?
This time of year is special, no matter what a person believes or if they don’t believe at all. I think sometimes we, as Christians, protest too much, and then when we do have something important to say, no one listens. Instead of griping about a “cultural war” on Christmas that may or may not exist, we need to spread a little holiday, I mean, Christmas cheer.
In my opinion, if a person doesn’t celebrate everyday as a precious gift from God, then that person shouldn’t care what one day out of the year is called. In my opinion, if a person does celebrate everyday as a precious gift from God, for that person, it doesn’t matter what everyone else calls a particular day, that day will always be Christmas.
No matter what anyone says, December 25th is Christmas. Furthermore, everyday leading up to Christmas, and everyday following Christmas, are holy days. Every month is a month of blessing, all that I have is to be dedicated to God, I was created in His image, and without Him I cannot be fully human.
In the spirit of the season, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Merry Xmas. Happy Birthday Jesus. Have a blessed month. May the Lord be with you and keep you as you dedicate yourself to Him.
And have a very Tebowing New Year!