MassChristmas.jpg

And a Blessed Kwanzaa-tide to You, Too!

One of the teachers at my daughter’s school put this picture up on his Google+ (apparently people do use that!). He added the comment, “Wait…you mean that turning into an indignant fusspot when the checker at Wal-Mart says ‘Happy Holidays’ isn’t the best way?”

Lutherans such as this teacher and myself don’t get so involved in the “War on Christmas” stuff because we believe that Christmas and other big liturgical holy days are mostly celebrated around the altar and pulpit in the church. We do…

  1. Pilli

    I say Merry Christmas to everyone.  I don’t care if they take offense.

    If they want to get all bothered about me wishing them well, that’s their problem.

  2. Fred Cole

    If you never speak to other people, it’s not a problem.

    (Wow, I’m in a mood today.)

    Everybody is cool to wish me a Merry Xmas though.

  3. Jimmy Carter

    “Merry Christmas” offensive or not.

    When told “Happy Holidays,” I ask them,”Do You say,’Happy Holiday’ or ‘Happy Easter[?]‘”

  4. Thom Williams

    I give people the bird year round. It’s just easier for everyone to be consistent, IMO.

  5. oleneo65

    “Merry Christmas”, I refuse to bend to the PC masters. They hold no sway over me.

  6. The King Prawn

    Bah Humbug. I’m a grumpy old man way before my time…

  7. DrewInWisconsin

    Both “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays” come off as awkwardly formal to me. I usually say “Hey!” in greeting and “See ya later” in departure . . . all year ’round. : )

    I don’t really care how people reference the holiday(s), as long as they aren’t telling me I can’t say Merry Christmas. And as I’ve mentioned before, I want to see nativities placed in public locations because every nativity in a city park increases Annie Laurie Gaylor’s blood pressure by about 10 points.

  8. Ryan M
    Fred Cole: If you never speak to other people, it’s not a problem.

    (Wow, I’m in a mood today.)

    Everybody is cool to wish me a Merry Xmas though. · 23 minutes ago

    Haha – I was just about to mirror this sentiment.  Easy solution is to stay in your house all the time.

    I say Merry Christmas when I say anything at all.

    Merry Christmas, Fred!

  9. Trace

    Mollie why would you wish Merry Christmas to people you know are not Christian? Isn’t that simply rude? I don’t understand. If I said Merry Christmas to Jewish friends they would think me purposefully rude. I say Happy Hannukah to them and the say Merry Christmas to me… And I say thank you. I don’t get the logic of your approach.

  10. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    Trace: Mollie why would you wish Merry Christmas to people you know are not Christian? Isn’t that simply rude? I don’t understand. If I said Merry Christmas to Jewish friends they would think me purposefully rude. I say Happy Hannukah to them and the say Merry Christmas to me… And I say thank you. I don’t get the logic of your approach.

    I didn’t say that. I said, “I say it to people I suspect aren’t actually Christian. The only time I don’t say ‘Merry Christmas’ is if I know for a fact that the person will take offense.”

    I take a default position. I want people to know or be reminded again of the joy of The Word made flesh — whether they already know it or are only learning about it now. Oddly enough, my thinking on this was shaped by a Muslim friend who wished everyone a happy Ramadan.

    That he did that in a country where just a tiny percentage of folks are Muslim made me realize it was fine to wish Merry Christmas in a country where the vast majority are Christian.

    Then again, I didn’t think him rude.

  11. flownover
    Fred Cole: If you never speak to other people, it’s not a problem.

    (Wow, I’m in a mood today.)

    Everybody is cool to wish me a Merry Xmas though. · 38 minutes ago

    Xmas ? 

    What the heck supposed to mean ? Merry Crossingmas ? humm?

  12. Nathaniel Wright

    I go traditional and say “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!” Which allows me to send out these http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/christianlindke/cthulhu-claus-greeting-cards cards for the Holiday without feeling too sacrilegious.  I backed this project when it came up as it appealed to my love of Lovecraft and my Gen X ironic sensibilities.

  13. Lady Grey

    It would be lovely if someone could correct the grammar in the picture by removing the “s” from “ways”.

    Joyeux Noël to one and all!

  14. William Laing

    Apparently the practice of spelling it “Xmas” is very old, and the “X”  after all being a form of cross, it has a kind of appeal.

    I had a teacher when I was about six who was horrified at the abbreviation. Despite my opening remarks, I still fear to write the abbreviation. Christmas it is!

    Mollie’s general attitude to calendar seems a great way of weathering the storm of schlock without becoming too grumpy. Christmas proper, we do at church and at home and among friends. 

    Merry Christmas to all, from sweltering Sydney. The only whiteness is the surf. 

  15. Robert Promm

    Merry Christmas!

    Jesus is the reason for the season (after all).

  16. Trace

    @Mollie — I see a distinction with the Ramadan example. That comes at a time of year when that celebration stands alone. Its rareness also conveys something of a cross-cultural sharing.

    However during a time of year where everyone’s faith celebrations are overlapping I feel a need to be more sensitive. After Hanukkah – I might say Merry Christmas to a Jewish friend, but not in the midst of their seasonal celebration. Just as I would not presume to wish them a Happy Easter on Passover.

    I’m not uptight about it and anyone I know that has a Christmas tree in their home is fair game whether or not they attend church — but I am uncomfortable with the using the greeting to make any point other than wishing goodwill.

  17. Fred Cole
    flownover

    Fred Cole: If you never speak to other people, it’s not a problem.

    (Wow, I’m in a mood today.)

    Everybody is cool to wish me a Merry Xmas though. · 38 minutes ago

    Xmas ? 

    What the heck supposed to mean ? Merry Crossingmas ? humm? · 19 minutes ago

    One a friend/coworker and I postulated a society where morality was based on the amount of muscle moment to perform the action.  The less the muscle movement, the more moral the action.

    In that world, the number of keystrokes also mattered.  So through long habit, I’ve taken to noting keystrokes.

    Xmas is 4 keystrokes versus 9 for the alternative.

  18. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    Trace:

    I’m not uptight about it and anyone I know that has a Christmas tree in their home is fair game whether or not they attend church — but I am uncomfortable with the using the greeting to make any point other than wishing goodwill. · 5 minutes ago

    Yeah, mostly I think the key is not to get upset. I have a problem of not picking up on offense as easily as others because I just rarely get offended. I’ve spent time in Muslim-majority and Jewish-majority countries or areas during holidays and I loved hearing/seeing the ways their holy days were celebrated. Sometimes I think Christians in the United States aren’t self conscious enough about the fact not everyone is Christian. Other times I think we’re too self conscious.

    But whatever the case, yelling at the Wal-Mart checker because he said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Happy Christmas” is definitely not the way to go!

  19. Robert Promm

    Molly et al,

    I am reminded that Scripture does say that we Christians should expect that what we believe is an offense to the unbeliever.  Paul said that “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness but to those of us who believe it is the power of God unto salvation.”

    Jesus said ” If the world hate you, know that it has hated me before you.”  And, “In the world ye have tribulation; but be of good courage: I have overcome the world.”  

    Civility and goodwill toward Christ(mas)  should probably be viewed as no more than indifference in the majority of interactions.

  20. Trace
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    Yeah, mostly I think the key is not to get upset. 

    I’m working on this one… every day.

    Merry Christmas!

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