It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!
Over on my Flickr group, one of the ladies asked whether we were in the Christmas spirit yet. I responded that I wasn’t really feeling it yet, that it didn’t feel quite real yet.
Boy, has that changed!!! Now I’m eager and ready to go.
We went to several stores today just to get new decorations. I didn’t need much, but I really and desperately wanted some window clings for the front windows. Amazingly enough, Wal-Mart didn’t have any! I asked the lady in the garden center, and she told me the home office didn’t send that particular store any window clings that year. How is that even possible?? The mind is boggled.
But I did pick up some ornament hangers (I seem to pick up a pack every year), as well as some Christmas candy canes for the sidewalk in front of my garden. Then we went over to The Christmas Tree Shop, and they managed to have some window clings for me. So now my windows are decorated with lovely clings!
Kurt put up the lights on the house and got out the tree for me, and we put that up together. Thank God for pre-lit trees, that’s for darn sure. It’s such a pain to string lights on a regular tree, wrapping around and around and around and around. And I don’t have enough room to twirl ’round the tree to put on lights anyhow.
I even put the Christmas music station on the tv while I was putting up decorations. Kurt started looking at me a little funny, wondering who this strange girl was who’d replaced his wife. I typically don’t really get into decorating for any holiday, but there’s something so wonderful and magical about Christmas and all its accoutrements.
I have to say, though, I don’t really understand all the fuss that surrounds whether someone says, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” I know folks will say, “Happy Holidays” so as not to offend an atheist or a person of another religion who may not celebrate Christmas, but what’s so wrong with that? Yes, I know that “Jesus is the reason for the season,” but how does saying “Merry Christmas” convey that more than “Happy Holidays”? We don’t say, “Christ-mas”; it doesn’t even sound like Christ anymore. So what’s the difference?
Our Christmas in this day and age isn’t really something that Jesus would approve of, I don’t think. Sure, there are aspects that are wonderful and good and Christ-like. When we give to those that are less fortunate than us, when we give gifts to our loved ones, when we put someone before our own needs, that is when we are being Christ-like. But that’s not really what Christmas is about anymore. It’s about inundating people with gifts because we feel guilty for not spending enough time with them throughout the rest of the year. It’s about buying the coolest and most expensive gifts because we need to show off to our friends and our family how much money we have to spend on these gifts. It’s about acquiring more and more stuff because that’s what we do as Americans. We accumulate!
Christmas isn’t even the most important holiday in the Christian calendar anyhow. It’s the birth of Christ, of course, but the defining moment in Christianity happened when Christ was crucified but rose again in forgiveness for our sins. Easter is a far more important holiday in the Christian calendar because the resurrection of Christ is what Christianity is all about, right? So why such a big deal about Christmas? It’s really a very secular holiday now. Should it really matter whether we say, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” to a store clerk?
Even if we are the most religious of people, how arrogant is it that we require people to say, “Merry Christmas”? To me, that just smacks of forcing someone to acknowledge my viewpoint. Why do Christians get to dictate what is appropriate this holiday season? Are you as willing to wish someone a Happy Hanukkah as you are to wish him a Merry Christmas during the appropriate days? If not, why not? Why does this guy not deserve as much respect as you are demanding?
That’s another thing. I know Hanukkah is a minor festival in Judaism, so it’s not like Hanukkah and Christmas can even begin to compare with one another. But how come the Jews aren’t all up in arms seeing Santas and Christmas trees and crosses up all over everywhere? It’s not their holiday, it’s not their religion. Why don’t the Jews and the Muslims protest the movement to force everyone to say, “Merry Christmas”?
It may be because Jews and Muslims are minorities in this country. But the thing is, I’d think that serious, religious, and devout Christians, the folks who are worried about this sort of thing, are in the minority as well. Most folks I know are pretty easy-going about the whole thing. There are only a few of my friends who forward the emails to me about God coming first, and Jesus being the reason for the season, and let’s put Christ back in Christmas.
My point is, let’s be more like Jesus and be accepting of all people. Let’s make our actions more important in this holiday season than whether someone wishes us a Merry Christmas or simply says, “Happy Holidays” to be more inclusive. We’ve got bigger fish to fry in this day and age than what’s said during the holiday season.
I may be totally talking about my rear end here, but this is just my opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree at your leisure.