I say “Merry Christmas.” When I’m greeting people this season, both friends and strangers, I often greet them that way.
But I don’t say it to start a fight. I don’t say it to offend non-Christians. And I certainly don’t do it to take sides in the trumped-up “culture war” going on between those who say there’s an evil conspiracy out there to subvert Christianity or rob Christians of our right to celebrate the holiday.
In this week’s columns, we have talked about some of the conflicts over the celebration of Christmas in our society, and I am afraid these themes have been a downer, especially yesterday’s entry, about Elvis Presley and his version of “Blue Christmas”. Believe me, I side with those people who think it’s okay to share religious beliefs in the public square.
And I say “Merry Christmas.”
But this debate over whether we say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” to each other really seems to throw a lot of Christians into a funk, poised to jump into an argument whenever they are handed a receipt at a cash register. This debate has the potential to take the real joy out of the holiday. And this so-called “War Against Christmas” might be something we don’t have to fight.
Instead, we Christians should take heart from the message of peace that’s at the heart of our celebration. And know that that peace can begin with me.
Those are my thoughts—but what are you thinking on this Christmas weekend?
Please, add a Comment below.
(Dr. Baker is away and has invited writer Terry Gallagher to carry us through the year-end holidays.)