Saturday, December 24

Merry Christmas

Okay, I have a confession to make. I am a classic "last minute shopper." I did not start buying Christmas gifts until Dec 15 (which is an improvement over last year's date: Dec 18). I made a big order at a website that shall remain nameless (think of a long river in the southern hemisphere). Four days later I checked on the status of my order and found that it had not yet shipped. In fact, it was not going to ship until somewhere between Dec 23 and Jan 3, arriving sometime early in the new year! This would have been fine if our family was Eastern Orthodox, but since we celebrate Christmas on Dec 25 with the rest of the Western world, it posed a slight problem. So I cancelled the order and started driving all over the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago to find those same gifts.

This was an sobering experience. Every store that I visited wished me a "happy holiday." But none of the clerks said "Merry Christmas" unless I said it to them first. Sometimes a clerk would respond cheerfully with the same greeting; othertimes the clerk would look like he had been sucking on a lemon. I started looking around at all the signage and found that "holiday" was ubiquitous, but "Christmas" was strangely absent (unless it appeared on a product). My wife and I had decided not to shop at Target or Walmart this Christmas because of their corporate decisions to expunge the word "Christmas" from their stores, but I found out that they are not the only ones. This was the case in all the stores I visited.

What is going on here? Has Jesus become so politically incorrect that the major holiday held in honor of his birth can no longer be called by its name? This is astounding, especially when you think about the fact that most people in our country do celebrate Christmas, and do not mind it being called by that name. Apparently, a small minority of people have decided that it this is one potato too hot to touch. I wonder what they're going to do when they find out that holiday is a derivation of "holy day"?!

So let me buck the trend. I wish you and your family a merry Christmas. May we all ponder the wonder of the incarnation--how God became man and dwelt among us. Apart from Christ's death and resurrection, the birth of Christ is the most significant event in the history of the world. Let's give it the attention and reverence that it deserves.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live up here in Ontario, Canada and I've had the same experience. I asked the one girl, who said Happy Holidays, why she didn't say Merry Christmas, and she told me her boss informed all staff to use the more "acceptable" greeting so not to offend anyone.