By Greg Price
I never understood the ‘War on Christmas’ tirades I see on social media.
Apparently Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly has declared that the ‘good guys’ have won citing more stores are using ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of ‘Happy Holidays’ in the last decade.
I’m sure the Son of God can rest easy now if Wal-Mart is using his name as greeters meet people at the door, as they do an activity that really has nothing to do with the core message of Christ in the first place, on a date where religious scholars have confirmed it was impossible for Him to be born on.
Apparently consumerism and the teachings of Christianity need to be fused together as documented cases involving Sears, Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Gap, Chase Bank, Wachovia Bank, Philadelphia’s Christmas Village and Starbucks have all felt the wrath having all suffered damage on both sides in the hyper sensitivity over simply what words they use in their promotional materials or the designs or colors they use on their coffee cups.
People are taking Christ out of Christmas if they dare say Happy Holidays one side says while another side is so hyper sensitive to being politically correct, that saying something that is meant as a warm greeting to their neighbour by most is seen as cramming one’s religion down someone’s throat and so a celebration that has its focus on one religion must be pre-empted by others for fear of offending.
‘Boycott, boycott, boycott!’ screams many a religious or ‘family’ organization for any store that dares mutter the words ‘Happy Holidays’ as one enters their store – nearly a month and a half before Christmas is actually celebrated.
It would be interesting to see how many of these Dennis and Dorothy Do-Gooders use their higher level of disposable income they now have from their boycotts to use towards a warm jacket for a homeless person, some food hampers for a family that just lost their jobs or some extra kibble for stray animals caught in the cold of winter.
Now with various boycotts of several stores, the boycotter now has the extra time to serve food at a soup kitchen, help coach a hockey team or visit a lonely senior to play cards with in assisted living. You know, things that if one was more concerned about the actions of Christ rather than the semantics of saying the word, should actually be caring more about. Love of one another in both big and small ways, instead of annoyance, hate and pettiness.
And for those who are so determined for others to respect their non-Christian religion or belief system that one must walk on egg shells at a time that should be about love, fellowship and and kindness, I say – chill.
It seems like the victim in the War on Christmas on both sides is the message Christmas is about in the first place. A Christian holiday can be celebrated by other religions and atheists alike in a similar manner, if people follow the message instead of the medium.
That message hit close to home for me as I was on the razor’s edge of not being able to see my family this Christmas due to weather and mechanical problems for my flights coming out of Lethbridge.
I was lucky enough to have a good friend drive me to Calgary in rough road conditions on Christmas Eve and rebook for the last seat on one flight straight to Nanaimo.
For the holidays I got see my dad, mom, sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew, uncles, aunt and numerous cousins.
One fellow traveler was not so lucky as rebooking to her destination was not possible with cancelled flights in Lethbridge. She told the story of this being her family’s first Christmas without their father and she could not be there for her family in support, as she broke down crying. My heart sank.
All she cared about was not spending money on her family with presents, but spending something more valuable in her time with loved ones, surrounding herself with the family and friends she cares about.
So while some may continue to waste their energy on this ‘War on Christmas,’ I’ll focus my energy on other things… showing the people I care about how much I truly care about them and trying to be a better man than I was yesterday with actions both small and big rather than words, all year around and not just Christmas.
So Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to you… whichever one you prefer.
I’ll care about you either way… Christ would want it that way.