Thursday will be Thanksgiving here in America. I am one of those people who think it is, well, stupid to have Christmas stuff in the store as early as mid October. You know, the kind of person who thinks that since Thanksgiving is a holiday and Christmas is also a holiday that stores and such should wait until the first one is over before going all out with the second one. That is the way it was 20, 30, 40+ years ago. I remember having to wait until the weekend after thanksgiving to be able to start hearing Christmas music on the radio.
Wait, hold on a minute. Did I just call both Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays? I did. They are really close together. It seems they have always been that way. After all, like I said, I would wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving to be able to hear Christmas music on the radio. So if Thanksgiving is a holiday and Christmas is a holiday and when you have more than one of something, in this case a holiday, that makes it plural. So instead of just having a holiday we have holidays! Oh, wait. If I am not mistaken New Years Day is one week after Christmas. So that would mean three, yes I said three, holidays really, really close together! Wow, maybe there should be a phrase to describe this phenomenon. Oh wait, there already is one. It seems that it has been around for a long time. Why, I can remember saying it way back when I was preschool age. Yes, I do mean what you probably think I mean. Happy Holidays.
Growing up the phrase “happy holidays” always referred to the fact that there are three holidays very close together. It was just fine to say the phrase and it was everywhere. No one complained if a store had signs up that said happy holidays. Now, some of the same people who complain about stores having things for one holiday (Christmas) out before another holiday (Thanksgiving) is even over complain about people using that phrase. Why? Because they think it is replacing the phrase “Merry Christmas.”
When I first started hearing people talk about the “war on Christmas” thing I thought it was an urban legend or something like that because it was just too ridiculous to be true. Saying “Happy Holidays” does NOT replace the phrase “Merry Christmas.” It didn’t mean that 20, 30, 40+ years ago so WHY would anyone think that now? It is not being “politically correct” it is just using common sense. To be honest, I still haven’t heard a valid reason for anyone to be offended by the usage of the phrase.. The only true reason I can see is that people just choose to be offended by something that is not offensive.
How insane has it become? Several different organizations have made lists of stores to boycott because they won’t use the phrase “Merry Christmas.” Every year one store makes the list: Victoria’s Secret. Now let me make this clear. Many, if not most, of the organizations making these lists are religious groups. Victoria’s Secret is a company that all their advertising and promotion has women in their undies. They have huge pictures of nearly naked women near and in their store at malls all over the place yet these religious groups call for a boycott because they don’t use the phrase “Merry Christmas” and not all the pictures nearly naked women plastered all over malls where young children can see them?
Now, of course, lets not forget at least one other holiday: Hanukkah. The eight day holiday is, long story short, a celebration in remembrance of the defeat of the Syrian oppressors and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the occupying forces had desecrated it The word Hanukkah means “dedication” and has been celebrated by Jews (including Jesus and his disciples) everywhere for over 2000 years.
And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
(John 10:22-23 KJV) [I used the King James version due to lack of copyright issues.]
If Hanukkah was an important time for Jesus shouldn’t people who say that Jesus, and more specifically his birth, is important to them not degrade and minimize it? Hanukkah is always close to Christmas and is always in the same date range of the whole Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years Day thing. Is demanding that Jewish people who don’t celebrate Christmas because it has no significance to them tell people “Merry Christmas” in any way shape or form Christ-like in nature?
Have you ever heard, and I mean really paid attention to, the lyrics to the song “O Holy Night”? Given the insanity over the made up “war on Christmas” nonsense it would seem to me that not enough people have. I’m sure a lot of these people are familiar with the opening words:
O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
But then don’t pay attention to the rest of it, especially the beginning of the second verse:
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
What I believe is that Jesus is probably more offended by how the people who are being offended by the words “Happy Holidays” treat others than that phrase itself.
Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets.
(Matthew 22:36-40 ASV)
People who claim to be using the birth of Christ as a justification to harass and insult people just because they don’t act or talk the way they want them to should not be taken seriously and here is why.
According to National Geographic There has been a horrific and bloody war, a Jihad actually, against Christians in Nigeria by Islamic extremists that are in some way related to Al Qaida that has been going on for many years. A war that has includes attacks on schools and hospitals on a regular basis.
According to International Justice Mission (a Christian organization) there are at least 2 million children being bought, sold and traded in the international sex trade. When I say children I mean elementary school or younger, including toddlers and infants. Yes, I did say infants (see article “Lostprophets rockstar Ian Watkins admits plot to rape fans’ babies”). At least 27 million men, women and children are being used as slaves and Human Trafficking is an industry that makes over $32 Billion annually.
The PBS program FRONTLINE did a special on Poor Kids and according to the US Census Bureau between 13.4 and 16.5 Million children (under 18) live in poverty. Also, only three developed countries have worse child poverty rates than the USA: Turkey, Chile and Mexico.
What does this have to do with the imaginary “war on Christmas”? Everything. If people really wanted to be Christ-like there are many things, such as those listed above, that they could legitimately be offended and outraged about. I highly doubt that many, if not most, of the people who are the most vocal about the whole “Happy Holidays” nonsense are anywhere near as vocal about human trafficking, childhood homelessness and poverty or even the genocide of African Christians. That is if they are even aware of it. If they were as concerned and horrified about injustice and cruelty they would have a lot less time to whine, moan and complain about words because they would be actually concerned about what Jesus made very clear are his priorities.