Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Holidays

Every year around this time, I feel compelled to write a post like this. I guess it is because I find Facebook friends posting things like the image shown above. It really needs a "damn it" at the end, doesn't it?

I don't ever share such posts, because I do not agree! Not at all!

Here is a post that I would be proud to have written. I particularly like these points:

1. ’Season’s greetings,” refers to that broad expanse of time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Muliple holidays=holiday season. It’s nothing against Jesus, really.

Also, Christians are not the only people of faith who celebrate a high holy day around the winter solstice. Christianity is a global faith with a regrettable lack of global awareness. “Happy Holidays” is a simple means of acknowledging that some of our neighbors–even some of our friends and relatives–are also in the midst of living their faith. And let’s face it: the “this is mine” attitude surrounding December 25 feels less like Christmas cheer, and more like Black Friday hoarding. Just sayin…

7. Speaking of shopping–if you are bothered by all the secular expressions posted around malls and big box stores this season, might i gently suggest that you spend less of your Christmas season at the freakin mall? If you don’t like the signage, spend more time serving the poor, going to worship, getting out in nature, and spending time with the people you love. I’m pretty sure the birthday boy would be all for it.

8. Life is too short to worry so much about what everyone else is saying and doing. Apply this to other areas of life and civilized culture, as well.

9. When you get right down to it, the best way to “keep Christ in Christmas” is to model Christlike behavior. Jesus was for feeding people. Jesus was for healing and compassion. Jesus was for getting a bunch of loud, messy, mismatched people around a table and having a big dinner. Not a moment of his life did he spend trying to get his name up on a sign.

Holidays is a truncation of "holy days." The people who are offended by the word holiday do realize this, don't they? And even if one of those holy days happens to be Christ-Mass, there are others in December too, aren't there, festivals of light that our neighbors and friends celebrate. I just feel no need, ZERO need, to rub my Jewish friends' noses in the fact that it is Christ-Mass. In fact, those people are Jesus' relatives. I don't think he would do it. It's rude. And love is not arrogant or rude. Same goes for people of other faith traditions, and those with no faith tradition who still try to be a little kinder this time of year. Can't those of us who bear the name of Christ find it in ourselves to be a bit more kinder this time around? A bit more humble, and neighborly? Wasn't it Jesus himself who commanded us to "love our neighbor?"

There really is no WAR on Christ-Mass. There is WAR in lots of places in the world, real wars with killing and everything. We are called in those places, as followers of the Prince of Peace, to be instruments of peace. To be kind. To be gentle. To love our neighbors. To love even our enemies.

Happy Holy Days...EVERYONE. No exceptions!

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