There’s always a lot of 'talk’ this time of year, especially on facebook (the great source of all things social) about how folks will be wishing others a ‘Merry Christmas’ rather than ‘Happy Holidays’. This chatter runs the gamut, especially by way of pictures posted.
Some are as simple as:
Others are much more explicit in their religious overtones:
I get it. I do. Well, to a point. Christians who wish to celebrate the birth of their Lord and Savior want to wish folks, and be wished, a Merry Christmas. However, some folks become very vehement about their reasons and responses to being wished something other than Merry Christmas (almost to the point of being a little un-Christ like, if you ask me).
I grew up in a Christian home. Albeit a laid-back, non-denominational Christian home. Yet, Merry Christmas is a part of my vernacular. My husband grew up in a Buddhist home. Guess what? Merry Christmas is a part of his vernacular as well. Punky wishes folks ‘Merry Christmas’. I have absolutely no problem wishing folks, or being wished, a Merry Christmas. When I say those words I know what they mean to me as I say them. What they mean to the person receiving them is their business. When someone says those words to me, what they mean by them isn’t my concern either.
Arguments, of the historic and academic variety, can be made that show celebrations during the month of December did not begin as a Christian holiday. Only the most unlearned of folks, or those suffering from severe cognitive dissonance, would deny the very Pagan roots of the Christmas festivities. A simple internet search can provide one with a wealth of sources regarding the origins of the various traditions associated with Christmas.
The origin of the word Christmas comes from the Roman Catholic Church and literally means Christ Mass. It sorta ends there. Christ wasn’t born on December 25th – I believe it was Saturn, the god of Sun, who was. The bible (the last time I checked- and it’s been a while, so let me know if I missed something) does not ask followers, let alone require them, to celebrate the birth of Yeshua. Christianity, through the years, has absorbed the pagan traditions and in some cases given new meaning to them to align better with the Christian faith. To all that I say……sure. Whatever. And I still say Merry Christmas.
But nonetheless, during this time of year, Christmas is not the only holiday, religious or otherwise, that is being celebrated. Long before there was a Christmas there was Chanukah. In more recent news there is Kwanzaa, which I’m sure was celebrated for longer than I was aware of it. I could get into a history lesson here on these two holidays, but it’s all on the internet for anyone to look up themselves. My point is, not everyone is celebrating Christmas and more than that, not everyone who is celebrating Christmas is doing so for religious reasons (hello, that’s me). I have friends and associates who are Christians that do not celebrate Christmas - either at all or with any religious attachments.
I still say Merry Christmas. But guess what? I’m fine when someone wishes me Happy Holidays. I am fine with it now and I was fine with it when I was a participant in the religious movement of Christianity. If saying Merry Christmas is what a person desires to do, with whatever meaning it holds for them, that is what they should be wishing folks. If one is more inclined toward ‘Happy Holidays’ that is what one should say. Duh, right?
But the overall point is this: Let's all GET OVER IT.
Everyone stop making a big damn deal out of what is wished this time of year. Wish what you want to whom you want and let them wish what they want to whom they want. How someone else believes should have no bearing on how I believe or how anyone believes. If it does……well, there might be a problem there that’s bigger than how one sends out Season’s Greetings!