When I walk in a department store or pass by a sign and it reads “Happy Holidays”, I have to tell you – I am not offended. Yes, I understand this may come as a shock to you, but seriously I do not let it rattle my cage too much. I am indeed a God-fearing, Jesus loving, born again Christian – follower of the one true God of the Bible, but yeah… I am not offended.
Many moons ago before I knocked the chip off my shoulder and gained a little perspective I may had been offended, but now – not really. The fact of the matter is this – there are many “holidays” that are celebrated this time of the year and I think that when most people say “Happy Holidays” that they are not trying exclude Christmas, but rather include holidays such as Hanukah, Kwanza, and even New Years. I will admit that this is not the case for all, but I am sure it is the case for some. While my family and I celebrate Christmas and the true meaning of the season (the first coming, the birth of Christ) I do understand that not everyone does – as right or wrong as it may be.
You want to know what is most disturbing though? What disturbs me most is that so many who rant and rave about “Happy Holiday” signs are those that have themselves taken Christ out of Christmas. They have taken it to an entirely new level with all the crazy shopping, spending themselves into debt that takes them until the summer or even next Christmas to get out of. Instead of giving to make a difference, we (I will include myself here) spend until it hurts. Oh yeah, and do not even get me going on Santa Clause.
As a mom I want more than anything for my children to really understand why we celebrate this season. One way that Chris and I are trying to accomplish that is to keep the gift giving to a minimum. We decided right away when we had Colton that we would only buy our children three gifts each. Three gift were brought to Jesus when he was born (gold, incense, and myrrh) and thus we will work over the years to explain this to our children. Our hope is to make the season less about receiving gifts, but more about Christ and the gift of giving.
So when I am in the check out line and the cashier says, “happy holiday” I simply smile and respond “Merry Christmas!”.