Saturday, December 09, 2006

Happy holidays or merry Christmas

When I was a child, I never would have thought I'd see the day when it was offensive to anyone to wish them "Merry Christmas". And, I linked "Happy holidays" with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years combined. But, it never took away from Merry Christmas. Christmas was always a time of sharing with family and friends, Christmas plays at church, and giving of gifts on Christmas morning. We were always taught it was a holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus.

Back then, you enjoyed Thanksgiving, and then came Christmas, followed by the New Years celebration. Children looked forward to having the time off from school at Christmas, and then returning to school after the first of the new year. Nowadays, the advertisements for Christmas starts long before Thanksgiving, along with the decorations in the stores. I overheard a woman in a store yesterday, when a woman was looking for a Christmas item she couldn't find, say to her that "people start buying those in July." Stores put appealing merchandise out early to get the early shoppers - but for the money. Holiday shoppers try to get a quick start on their buying for Christmas. But, why in July? Isn't that rushing things a little bit?

By the time the Christmas season finally arrives, you are worn out! I really haven't gotten in the mood for Christmas yet, and it is the 9th day of December. In fact, I haven't bought a Christmas gift. And, I probably won't buy too many. We will probably give money in a card, and let the grandkids and our kids buy whatever they desire. That way, we don't have to rush out and buy just to get a gift that they may or may not like or need. And, it's one less gift that has to be returned after Christmas.

But, I digress. Around here, we say Merry Christmas. We haven't come in contact with anyone who seems offended to hear you say that. If I hear someone say "Happy holidays", I'll answer with "you have a Merry Christmas." After all, the reason for the season is Christ, and when you take him out of Christmas you are left with mas. And, on another note, I just found the meaning of MAS in the Financial Dictionary - The Language of Money. It stands for Monetary Authority of Singapore How ironic that the 'holiday' is linked with money in the last 3 letters of the name. We tend to think that we have to buy, buy, and buy some more in order to have a happy Christmas.

We've made the day more of a secular holiday through political correctness by omitting the salutation of "Merry Christmas" in exchange for "Happy holidays", as though anything of monetary value can make us happy. Oh, it can, but only for a time. It's like the Stretch toys that were popular when my son was young, during the 70's. He had to have the Stretch Armstrong, which was very popular. But, there was a Stretch Monster, very green, and ugly. Patrick Crispen, of TOURBUS, mentioned in this week's newsletter, that he had asked for the toy, but his parents bought him a
children's citizens band radio base station. He had a friend who got the Stretch Monster, but didn't want it. So, they swapped. He went on to say it kept his attention for one day. He said it was the worse decision of his life. Money cannot buy us happiness. But, when you have Christ in your life (thus, the reason for Christmas), you can be poor and still be happy and at peace.

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