This time of year….the same thing always happens. Many Christians are offended if somebody says to them “Happy Holidays”. I totally understand why they are upset. They believe that there is some totally secret agenda to completely hide or take “Christ” out of Christmas. Some people even go to extremes by boycotting certain stores that won’t allow their employees to wish customers a “Merry Christmas”. Instead, these employees are forced to use a more inclusive “Happy Holidays”. A ridiculous endeavor in my honest opinion. Sorry, but I’m not offended if somebody tells me “Happy Holidays”. And, here are the reasons why.
1. I don’t expect those who are not followers of Jesus to celebrate with me. This is the most common mistake of Christians. They expect everyone else to follow, celebrate and join in on their beliefs. As wonderful as that would be…….that is not going to happen. We can’t expect those who are not Christians, to act like Christians….until they are Christians.
2. Christmas is not the only “Holiday” this time of year. You are very ignorant, if you believe that everyone is going to open gifts on December 25th. This time of year there are many celebrations. Jewish people celebrate Channukah/Hannukah, and there is even a day called Kwanzaa. Candadians even celebrate Boxing Day. Pretty funny, eh? From a practical standpoint….why should non-believing store owners single out Christmas? What if we lived in a dominant Jewish country? How would you feel if someone forced you to say “Happy Hannukah”? Have you ever thought about that?
3. Christmas is not even Jesus’ real birthday. I know that may come as a huge shock to you. Just sit down and relax. It’s ok. Breathe. No one actually knows the day Jesus was actually born.
Christmas has it’s origins in pagan worship. Early Christians, tried to stamp out the pagan festivals and incorporate Christ. The birth of Christ was originally celebrated on January 6th. However, in the year 354 it was moved to December 25th. This was done to give a “Christian” meaning to largely pagan festival at the time.
The birth of the ancient sun-god Attis in Phygia was celebrated on December 25th. Also, the birth of the Persian sun-god Mithras was also celebrated the same day! The Romans also celebrated a festival called Saturnalia. It was dedicated to their god of peace and plenty, Saturn. This Roman festival was celebrated from December 17th – 24th. Public places were decorated with flowers, gifts and candles. Oh and get this! People exchanged gifts to celebrate the “Virgin Birth” of their god. Hmmmm…sound familiar? The earliest English reference to “Christmas” did not come until the year 1043.
For me, Christmas will always be about Jesus. That is what it means to me. But also, Christmas is a time to celebrate family. To be thankful for what God has done! Celebrate the fact that God provided a way to redeem the world from it’s sin. The world would never be restored without the birth of Jesus.
So the birth of Christ is a holy day. Which by the way is where we get the word “holiday” from. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Years!!!!! Happy Holidays!:)