Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Merry Christmas

christmas cottage
Originally uploaded by hahwriter
I have noticed a trend in the past couple of years. People don't say "Merry Christmas" any more, really. They say, "Happy Holidays" because they don't want to offend anyone who may not be a Christian by wishing them "Merry Christmas". This makes absolutely no sense when you think about it, because Christmas is a Christian holiday.

In the early Church the festival of the Sun was held on December 25th, and as countries, villages, and people became Christians, they gave up the celebration of the Sun Festival, so, the early Church decided this would be a good day to celebrate the Nativity of Christ. The Son of God. The play on words was quite intentional.

You need to understand, too, this was the early unified Church before the Roman Catholics branched away from the Orthodox faith, and have remainded separate from it for these past many centuries.

No one "took over" the Sun festival or banned it or anything of that nature. It was exactly the date of nine months past the time of the Annunciation and was as good a date as any. This isn't unheard of, though, in history, and where people are concerned. We enjoy celebrating birthdays. I know of stories where older people have not known when their birthday was, so the family gets together and decides when would be a good time for it, and from that moment on, they celebrate that person's birthday on that date. It is a sign of love.

Why is it so hard to acknowledge the same thing happened in Christianity for Christ? Our traditions and our faith are strong, how much more logical it is to want to celebrate the Christ's birthday than to "force" a people to celebrate it against their will?

A lot of atrocities have indeed happened under the banner of Christianity. There isn't any way to get away from that, but, sadly, it has been under the Roman Catholic banner, the Church of the West, rather than the Orthodox Church, the Church of the East. Even though this truth cannot be denied, nor should it be, it isn't a reason not to wish someone a very Merry Christmas.

Trying to take Christ out of Christmas is like taking flour or meal or water from the baking of bread! If the main ingredient isn't there, it isn't bread, and without Christ it isn't Christmas.

I am a firm believer in not offending anyone. But what should I do when people are offending me by trying to take away one of the most beautiful holidays, a Christian holiday, celebrating Christ's birth and making it a pagan holiday of just buying presents and having an excuse to drink too much?

So, this year I will be wishing people a very Merry Christmas as well as every year to come. I believe it is time we take back one of the most beautiful times of the year if you are a Christian. Presents are wonderful-we exchange gifts because of what Christ did for us: He gave the greatest gift of all-His life so we would know how we can live.

Christmas is a remembrance of hope. Besides, doesn't it sound so much more musical to say Merry Christmas rather than Happy Holidays?

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