When I say Merry Christmas in public, I’m often rewarded with an Oh, that’s right, your generation doesn’t know any better look, and a corrective “Happy Holidays.”
Just for the record, I do know better.
The Christmases I grew up with were nearly as secular as our modern “Happy Holidays.” True, back then department store employees (whether Christian, Buddhist or agnostic) said Merry Christmas when they handed you your hula hoop or argyle socks. But most of the time it had no more spiritual meaning than when one atheist says “goodbye” (Old English for “God be with ye”) to another.
Likewise, although my Christmases were filled with food, decorations, gift-giving and (best of all!) receiving, they were missing the Person the holi-day is about. We celebrated the day but not the holy.
This is not a political statement, btw. I honestly don’t care whether store clerks say Merry Christmas or not (many still do), I’m just looking for an excuse to talk about the reason I do. When I wish people a Merry Christmas and they look askance, I want them to confront me, I want them to ask me why. Because after growing up saying those words without knowing their ultimate meaning, I long to share what they mean to me now!
I don’t want to impose my beliefs on others, I just want them to have the joy I have! And when I say Merry Christmas, it’s not because I’m an insensitive boob (well, not in this case anyway), it’s because “Merry Christmas” isn’t some secret club-member code, it’s an announcement of “good news of great joy for all people.” (Luke 2:10).
If I had a package for you that contained a million dollars, but you didn’t believe it contained a million dollars, I’d still want to give it to you. In fact I’d be even more excited about giving it to you. Have you ever seen someone open a box that contained a gift far more valuable than they were expecting? There’s nothing better!
So Merry Christmas…
From your friend the insensitive boob!