I Dare You to Say “Merry Christmas!”
“And, four dollars and seventy three cents is your change.”
The grocery checker handed me my money and receipt.
“Merry Christmas” I said, looking him in the eyes and smiling.
He stared at me and said nothing.
“I don’t think he heard you,” my daughter said.
But strangely, it happened again at the next store we stopped at. Since then, I have noticed that, more often than not, people either don’t respond when I wish them Merry Christmas, or they respond with “Happy Holidays.”
Yes, some people don’t celebrate Christmas. But the majority of people in this country do. And for those who don’t, why would they take it wrong if someone wished them a Merry Christmas?
My guess is it’s a mix of companies teaching their employees to be neutral and “non-offensive” and people being brainwashed by media and popular culture. People are told they should be offended, so they are. The joy of proclaiming Christ’s birth is masked and glossed over into a commercial, gift-giving holiday capitalizing on greed.
I wonder if the early Christians worried about offending people when they were being rolled in tar or burned at the stake for refusing to deny Christ. Why are so many Americans denying Christ at the yearly celebration of his birth?
Commercials advertise getting that special gift just in time for “the holiday” and talk about “holiday gift giving exchanges.” Hmmm, I wonder what holiday they are talking about. Let’s see, which holiday celebrates with a Santa Claus and gift giving? Could it be Christmas?
Why don’t they just say Christmas?
Seriously? Has the word Christmas become a shameful word that no one dares to speak?
It shouldn’t be to Orthodox Christians, or to members of any Christian denomination, for that matter. The problem is that people are confused and busy, and they don’t realize what is being stolen from them.
So, here’s my challenge:
Stand up for Christ, our Savior, and say it as many times as you can.
Be like George Bailey yelling it all over the town of Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life” when he realized he was back to his old, wonderful, imperfect life again.
Let the world know just what holiday it is you and the ones you love are celebrating. Don’t let popular culture bully you into concealing your joy at this miraculous time of year.
And even if you get a silent response or a bland and sanitized “Happy Holidays” instead, you at least had the courage to acknowledge Christ, whether it’s popular or not.
From my family to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas and blessed times with family and friends.