On July 5th, Super Mega-Low-Crazy-Deal-Mart began putting up the decorations and ads for their Pre-Pre-Pre-Pre-Christmas/Chanukkah/Kwanzaa/Generic Holidays Sale. You could save a whopping 10 cents on the always needed Dr. Toothies Flossing Picks.
In September, the sales started in earnest. Super Mega-Low-Crazy-Deal-Mart kicked off their Pre-Pre-Pre-Christmas/Chanukkah/Kwanzaa/Generic Holidays Sale with a sale on all kinds of holiday related merchandise. Look! You can save $2 on an authentic, pre-wired tin foil Christmas tree that lights up and plays an electronic version of “Jingle Bells” or “What Child Is This.” It’s kind of hard to tell.
Then Thanksgiving rolled around and Super Mega-Low-Crazy-Deal-Mart got serious. They started their Black Friday Sales on the Monday before the Monday before Thanksgiving.
Everywhere you look you can find banners that say, “Happy Holidays,” and under each of those banners you will find a disgruntled Christian with a frown on their face, saying “It’s Merry Christmas, you atheistic Christmas hater. Jesus is the reason for the season.”
Okay, it may not be that bad, but it’s close. If you have read any of my Christmas rants, you know that Christmas time drives me crazy. My mom’s singing Christmas tree drove me batty! I don’t like snow, elves scare the crud out of me, and egg nog is an affront to anybody with taste buds. In fact, the only thing I like about Christmas is those little licorice flavored Pfeffernüsse cookies. I love those things, and they are only available at Christmas-time. Oh, and butter cookies in those rounds tins that I store nails and screws the rest of the year. I may also be the only person in the world that truly likes fruitcake.
What has driven me crazy about Christmas lately is the Christians who are so adamant that people say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays or the equivalent. I was in a Starbucks last year and overheard the following:
Starbucks barista: “Here’s your latte, happy holidays.”
Disgruntled Christian lady: “It’s not happy holidays, it’s Merry Christmas. Jesus is my Christmas.”
The Starbucks employee dropped to her knees and cried out, “Lord, forgive me, I am a sinner.” She became a Christian right then, and went on to be a missionary to Zimbabwe. Okay, the last part didn’t happen.
What really happened is the poor Starbucks kid shook her head and helped the next, hopefully less rude, customer.
What do you think the Starbucks kid felt about Christians at that moment? Was it a positive, life-changing moment? Or was it a “What the heck is wrong with those people” moment. I can tell you how I felt. I was embarrassed to be called a Christian. When I picked up my coffee, I gave the kid an extra tip and told her, “I’m sorry that happened, not all Christians are idiots.”
Here’s what I know for a fact: Not one person has come to Christ because a Christian corrected them about Happy Holidays.
Hey, Christians, this year let’s try something new. Let’s act like Jesus would have. Let’s show love to people, instead of disdain for them. Let’s have actual acts of mercy and compassion instead of judgment.
I understand that people think we have forgotten the meaning of Christmas. Of course Christmas is about Jesus. Everybody, even the Happy Holidays folks, know that. Sure, some people are trying to drown out the message of Christ’s birth. I get that. I’m just asking that we honor Christ’s birth by trying to be like him.
Let’s show that Jesus is the reason for the season by loving him and the people around us he loves. And yes, Jesus loves the Happy Holidays people, too. If Christians are called to be like Christ, shouldn’t we be the reason for the season, too? I guarantee you that when you show Jesus’ love to others, they wil understand what Christmas is all about.
Still hating egg nog, but loving people… Jerry