Happy Holy Days!

Posted in uncategorized by Nathan Creitz on December 12, 2006

I am emerging from my writer’s block to discuss an issue that isn’t a new issue. However, I recently received an email from Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association that raises this issue again in my mind. Frankly, I’ve had enough of it, so I decided to do a little speculative holiday rant. Mostly, I’m writing on this issue because I have gotten out of the discipline of writing and this is the issue that is on my mind. Most of my usual readers gave up on me months ago, so for both of you that end up reading this, I hope to give us some new insight into the issue of replacing “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays”.

As Don Wildmon and others have pointed out over the past few years, we are seeing an increasing trend in our country of retailers replacing our beloved Christmas greeting with a more generic, “Happy Holidays!” To some, this seems to be the first glimpse of what life will be like when the antichrist comes, but as my title suggests, the etymology of “holiday” is “holy day”. What is the big deal about trading Christmas (I don’t even go to mass) with “Happy Holy Day”? Of course, that’s not what Gap means when they put “Happy Holidays!” on all their promotional material, but that’s simply my first point. I don’t care if someone wishes me a happy holiday. I’m going to wish them one too.

Pat Robertson made sure that the nation knew that Boston and DC and other places have renamed, or attempted to rename, their city Christmas tree to a “Holiday Tree”, as if that were such a demonic thing. I wouldn’t care in the least and, to be honest, I think I might actually prefer it. Why not remove the name Christmas from a tree that really has nothing to do with the story of Christmas. When I picture a nativity and when I think about the story that’s told in Matthew and Luke, I don’t picture Mary trimming her Christmas tree or Santa Claus bowing his knee to the newborn Christ-child. For that matter, the wise men have never been depicted bearing gifts of Starbuck’s gift cards, and Old Navy Performance Fleece’s. It seems that all of the holiday stuff that we do has been incorporated into our Christmas traditions.

Why not celebrate this holiday season by exchanging gifts and trimming your tree and spending time with family and engaging in holiday light wars with your neighbor and keep Christmas just for Christ? Celebrate your Christmas holidy by making a donation to your church or to a charity, serve a meal to a homeless person, adopt a family in need, invite people over for a Christmas dinner. Think about Christmas as the time we celebrate the birth of Christ. You give TO the birthday boy, not to everybody else. However, don’t just think of it as any other birthday celebration, Jesus’ birth marked the fulfillment of all prophecy by the incarnation of God into a specific time and place in history. That is worth celebrating! But that’s not what everyone else means when they celebrate Christmas with us Christians. We could stand separating the two holidays and their various traditions.

Personally, I have no problem with a secular retailer or a city councilman desiring to be more universal and inclusive in their holiday greetings. In other words, I recognize the fact that a lost person will act lost. I’m simply tired of Christians acting like they are lost. I’m not offended by the commercialism and, in fact, I would do the same thing if I were in the business of selling something to Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus. They each have their holidays and festivals, we have ours. Let’s give them their holiday and then give them Jesus too. Instead of cramming “the reason for the season” down their throats, why not give them a reason this season to celebrate the reason for the season with us?

What if Christmas was just celebrated by Christians and the holidays were celebrated by everyone else? What if Christians began interacting with the world they live in and stopped rejecting the world on one hand and allowing the world to influence them on the other. What if Christians revealed what Christians love rather than simply what they hate (Disney boycott, need I say more?) What if America was known to other nations as a religious nation and not a faux Christian nation (that think that that means Christians act like Britney Spears and MTV)?

Christians would be real. Christmas would be pure. Life would be harder. Abundant life would be better.

I am inviting Don Wildmon and Pat Robertson to respond.


2 Responses

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  1. Sara said, on January 10, 2007 at 9.53 am

    I said this exact same thing to Mom a couple of weeks ago. Not as elloquently said, but the same thought. šŸ™‚ She asked if I had read your blog (which I hadn’t yet) because you had just written about this topic.

    One thing I would add to your thoughts. You said you are tired of Christians acting like they are lost. I am tired of Christians requiring lost people to even understand morality. They can understand the concept, but they can’t understand the origin of morality. They think it’s an inately human trait, but really it’s a God trait that humans have picked up from Him.

  2. Anonymous said, on April 7, 2007 at 4.25 am

    Is this site still active?

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