Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Great Debate

OK - so I tried to pawn this topic off on my wonderful bloggy friend Alisa, over at Faith Imagined, because God is using her in a tremendous way to explain things of God in a practical and easily applicable way. I emailed her my thought for this topic, and she writes back telling me that I did a great job explaining it and she'd love to read it on MY blog. WHAT???!!! (hehe, love you Alisa!) You want ME to step out of MY comfort zone, and allow the Holy Spirit to use me on my very own blog that is only sometimes sprinkled with my spiritual thoughts? Ummm...I think I have to wash my hair. What if people don't like it, what if it's not applicable, what if, what if, what if??? But then God says, "What if it's what people need to hear, regardless of whether or not they agree?" Ummmmm....OK.

So, here goes - the title for this topic is the "Great Debate". What debate, you might ask? The Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays debate. (eeeeeeeeeek!! I can hear the shrieks and gasps now) Is she really going to go THERE? Yep, I am.

So, I personally have not taken a strong position on the whole Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas thing - I don't get up in arms when people say Happy Holidays to me. My grandma, on the other hand, totally does - even to the extent of no longer shopping somewhere because they say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. And I know that a lot of Christians feel the same way.

I was just talking to my co-worker yesterday who is also a Christian - and I was telling her that this year, I was experiencing way more people telling me "Merry Christmas" (Costco, Verizon, Cable company) - and she said she just had the opposite experience when she went shopping this weekend, and everyone was saying "Happy Holidays", and it was really bothering her. It's almost as if when we go out, we are waiting with baited breath at the end of every shopping transaction to hear what the person behind the counter is going to say.

So, then I said to her, "I'm pretty sure the word 'Holiday' is derived from the two words 'Holy' 'Day'. And the only person I know of that is Holy is Jesus. So, the people that are trying to be politically correct, are still telling us to have a Happy Holy Day". And she said "Wow, thanks - I guess I won't get so irritated by it anymore".

Just to make sure I was telling her the right thing, I did some internet searching as to the origin of the word "Holiday" - and fortunately I was right. hehe :) It comes from the Old English word "hāligdæg" (hālig = holy, dæg = day).

I think sometimes we spend so much of our energy being upset about something that rubs us personally the wrong way, and in the grand scheme of things, it is SO not about us. So, we react negatively, and then wonder why people don't like Christians? In my opinion, I think if someone tells us Happy Holidays, we should say "Thank You"...and not get mad that someone is offering a nice statement to us. The world is watching us as Christians, and a big part of what they are watching for is how we react in situations. If we aren't acting any differently than anyone else, what draw does Christianity have on a non-believer?

Phew...I did it...please don't stone me now. hehe :) And have a very Merry Christmas, and Happy Holy Day.


Faith Imagined said...

I'm lovn' this! I've got tears, I tell ya!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!!!

This post is going on my Facebook!

Carolyn said...

Hi Crystal,
I'm one of Alisa's friends & this is an AWESOME post!!! Be stoning the truth behind our Holy Day and also the love we can show others! Merry Christmas & Happy Holy Day to you & yours!

The Double Dipped Life said...

Wonderful thoughts. I worry a little when I tell strangers "Merry Christmas", but you know what? That is what I believe. If they (and you) are a good person, they will understand that you are just being nice!

I'm glad I found your blog on SITS!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Amen, honey. You and the Holy Spirit NAILED it (naturally). It's about love. Bottom line. And saying what YOU believe. Merry Christmas.

Crissy said...

This really spoke to me! I don't get offended with 'Happy Holidays' and was thinking maybe something was wrong with me. Now I have a good reason for not being offended!!!

Angela said...

Have a very Merry Christmas Crystal and a Happy New Year

Unknown Mami said...

I think you did a wonderful job of articulating your thoughts! I never want to assume that someone is Christian as I grew up with many non-Christians so I say Happy Holidays quite a bit and it is not meant to be dismissive or upsetting; it's meant to be inclusive.

Angela Hill said...

this was a really interesting post for me. I never realized that people would be offended by hearing happy holidays as opposed to merry christmas. I'm agnostic but I still say happy holidays and merry christmas to anyone I see because I want everyone to enjoy this time of year no matter what they are celebrating. I also still love hearing merry christmas and would even thoroughly enjoy getting a happy hanukah if someone wanted to wish it for me. I think this time of year, more than anything, should be about expressing love and appreciation for those you care about, and even those you don't really know.
Also, I think everyone needs to stop looking for reasons to be offended and just start appreciating what it is other people have to offer. After all, hearing happy holidays is still a lot better than hearing "go to hell"....