Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Oh, yes. I just said THAT I'm not sure at what point saying "happy holidays" became a dirty phrase, but it seems to most Christians it is. I'll stand up right along with the rest of you and say that secularism has way overstepped into Christmas, and that that's not okay. I'll scream from the rooftops that it's not okay to be banned from saying "Merry Christmas" or having anything to do with Christ associated with Christmas. No, those things aren't okay, but let me ask you this, why then, do they happen? Why do stores put out Christmas stuff before Halloween? Why are people afraid to say Merry Christmas? Why are people more focused on buying their "holiday trees" and Sponge Bob yard ornaments than on goodwill and peace to their fellow man? Why do we hear so many people say they are tired of Christmas, or they aren't celebrating next year? Why?

I'll tell you why. Because we allow it. We have allowed secularism to infiltrate our lives so deeply that even those that claim to know the Lord have become part of the problem, and not of the solution. I see so many posts on Facebook saying "it's Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays" and I have to laugh because of who's posting them. I don't care what you SAY as long as your actions match your words. If you want to whine about people saying "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas" then you had sure as heck had better be living in a way that says you're celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and not just some over commercialized, over secularized generic holiday. If you were out punching people on Black Friday for a toy for Santa to bring to your kid, slink past every donation bucket and bell ringer you pass, if you ignore every angel tree and person in need, if you skip church to wrap presents, then you my friend had better be telling people "happy generic holiday" because THAT is what you are celebrating.

If you want to claim you're celebrating Christmas, then ACT LIKE IT! Teach your kids about why we give and receive gifts at Christmas, tell them about the birth of Christ, make their Christmas MEAN something, drop a few extra bucks in that donation bucket, help a family in need, faithfully attend church, let someone that's hurting cry on your shoulder, make time to go to a retirement home and hang out with folks that don't have family, make a point to smile at everyone you meet, give a patient smile to every frazzled cashier, and mom with a toddler on a melt down you see. Be the light of Christ. Make an honest effort to not only say it, but act it, and believe it. Then, you can scream "Merry Christmas" from the rooftops. We should be living this way all year, but yes, a little more so during Advent, and Christmas.

If we didn't buy Christmas decorations in October, they wouldn't sell them. If we didn't decorate our homes in November, they wouldn't start the music and movies then. If we truly focused on Christ, on the true reason for the season, if we took time to ponder and contemplate the wonder and miracle of Christmas, no one would be "burnt out" on it. People get tired of "holidays" not Christmas. We get tired of the frivolous stuff, the secularism, the in your face, never ceasing, bright lights, and the go, go, go we associate with this time of year. That's not Christmas, that's a holiday. We don't get tired of the wonder and awe at the birth of Christ, we don't get tired of pondering Mary, and angels, and God.

If you don't want to celebrate Christmas, fine. But don't take away my right to do so. Don't get offended when I respond "Merry Christmas" if you want to celebrate a generic holiday, and call it Christmas, well, don't be surprised when I respond "By the looks of it, I think you meant to say, 'happy random holiday'" and if you don't think I would say that to your face, then you don't know me very well.

You've heard the old adage, "practice what you preach" that's all I'm saying, folks. People couldn't give a hoot what you say, however they care a whole lot about what you do about what you say. If you say it, I want your actions to back it up as proof. I try very hard to do just that, and hope you do too.

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