My wife and I were out shopping recently when a cheerful cashier said “Happy Holidays” and I replied “you as well”. I do not know if the cashier is a Christian or otherwise but her cheerful disposition is infectious. That encounter helped me remember what this season is all about.
Why are we so quick to be offended by the phrase Happy Holidays? Do only Christians have a license to celebrate Christmas? This is the time of year that many religions celebrate holy days. It coincides with Winter celebration. As a Christian I hold December 25 as a special day set aside to honor the birth of Christ Jesus. Others do not but they still celebrate something this time of year.
Christmas has it’s own kind of magic. The joy and anticipation seen in children waiting for gifts from Santa Claus. Festive music, colorful lights, Caroling, hot cocoa, all sorts of baked goodies and family gatherings are all a part of the celebrating.
Happy Holidays is meant as a special greeting. A way to offer a blessing of cheer and good fortune this time of year. When offered from a sincere heart such a greeting is an act of kindness born out of love. Isn’t that keeping Christ in Christmas? As the Grinch said Christmas came without boxes, ribbons and bows… Maybe it’s something more.
To you all I wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays as well.
Rev. Burt Schwab