Wednesday, December 05, 2007

How to Not Let “Happy Holidays” and Winter Concerts Ruin Christmas

Like most Christians it upsets me that so much politically correctness has seeped into the celebration of Christ’s birth. I remember how angry we all got when public schools changed Christmas break to winter break and had to represent every December holiday when it came time to decorate the classroom (Chanukah, Kwanza, Christmas—meaning Santa and the elves not Jesus—and a few took advantage by adding Wicca’s winter solstice celebration). Communities have “tree” lightings, winter concerts, and holiday craft fairs now. We can expect to find Kwanza cards in Wal-Mart and rarely hear a store clerk say “Merry Christmas” anymore. I could go on and on and in the process probably get pretty irate. But what good would that do?

This morning I received one more in a long string of e-mail “alerts” about another store that is apparently anti-Christmas because clerks are required to say “Happy Holidays” and the only reference to Christmas found in their catalog was a selection of pajamas. Suddenly, instead of feeling the need to fight for my rights to free speech and decoration choices, I wanted to send a rather snotty reply and say, “Enough! Someone needs to get a job if they have so much free time to count words in catalogs and tally store clerk greetings. Nobody is stopping US from saying Merry Christmas, displaying angels, and singing Christmas songs. Can we just enjoy the holiday? Excuse me, Christmas?!” I was very tempted to send a list of all the positive reminders of Christmas I have seen so far this season. Since I doubt they have time to read my rant, I’ll post my findings here instead. They are actually pretty cool.

1) Josh Groban’s newest CD Noel – I don’t know where he stands spiritually but his selection includes so many Christian Christmas carols that a Christian organization offers it as a free gift for donations over $25 and a Christian bookstore had it playing over their sound system when I went in to buy my son’s a . . . (in case they read this I better not say). I also heard it in Border’s last night. Josh sings the words “Christmas,” “Christ” and “Jesus” many times. I own the CD and have already played it to death (I’m a huge fan) so I can promise you that “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” has not been changed to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Holiday.”

2) Whenever I venture into Wal-Mart (always for “the last time until after New Year and this time I mean it”) they are playing carols like “Away in a Manger” and “O Holy Night.” Okay, they are usually being sung by an entertainer whose lifestyle reflects anything but godly character, but still. They are singing about Christ not Frosty.

3) In a new shopping center in Reno they had a concert the weekend before Thanksgiving, gave away cider, and ended with fireworks and lighting of the CHRISTMAS TREE. A local high school choir sang and their repertoire included several Christian carols. The director admitted to getting chills during “Silent Night.” When Santa arrived he shouted “Merry Christmas” between “Ho Ho Ho”s.

There’s more but I want to give you a chance to share your own evidence that Christmas has not been completely replaced with generic holidays. What have you seen and heard in stores and other public arenas this Christmas season?

And by the way, when a store clerk says “Happy Holidays” I always reply with “Merry Christmas.” I feel like such a rebel.

Merry Christmas!!!


Katy said...

oh my goodness...i totally agree with you! i made a post about this last week, i think, on my blog. You won't hear "happy holidays" from my mouth. it just makes me angry!

Sisterlisa said...

I was happy to see Merry Christmas in our county offices here in Northern California. I thought the state would have eliminated them, but they're all over their offices and hallways.

You know what I find sad though. People in my town are looking everywhere for a manger scene for their front yards and we can't find ANYONE who carries them anymore. Just a simple nativity for the lawn! None! Now where do we find one?

Jan Kern said...

I'm joining you in the "rebellion," Jeannette.

Clerks are often forced by policy to say "Happy Holidays." A few light up and offer acknowledging smiles when I respond with "Merry Christmas," or even "God bless your Christmas."

I just hope it takes a very long time for the policy makers to figure out that "Happy Holidays" literally means "Happy holy days." :)

Have a wonder-filled Christmas, Jeannette.