Written December 17, 2016
Does this offend you? If so, good because I’m tired of saying Happy Holidays the last few years. I wish I could say I’m sorry if saying Merry Christmas offends you, however I can’t. Allow me to elaborate a bit and give you a super brief history lesson.
Let’s start with the origins of Christmas Day. According to Wikipedia, in about the 4th century the Western Christian Church had decided to put Christmas on December 25 on a calendar and the date was later adopted others in the East. For Christians, the belief that Jesus Christ came into the world in the form of man to forgive the sins of humanity is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating Christmas.
Although it’s unknown why December 25 became a date of celebration, there are several factors that may have influenced the choice. First, December 25 was the date the Romans marked the day as the winter solstice, and Jesus was identified with the Sun based on an Old Testament verse. The date is exactly nine months following the announcement of the Annunciation. This is when the the angel Gabriel told Mary she was going to have a son and the church festival celebrating this is held on March 25 . The the Romans had a series of pagan festivals near the end of the year, and because of this, Christmas may have been the reason it was scheduled on this day. The celebration customs in the countries that had Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins.
Fast forward to present day, rather the last 300-400 years or so. As I just wrote, Christmas has its roots in Christianity – and not just one faith in particular. With that in mind, we need to remember the short version in history of why the Pilgrims came to North America. It was basically for the freedom to worship how and where they wanted to and essentially to speak freely. It was also to be able to give their children a better way of life than what they had in Europe at that time.
Moving on to more present day, roughly the last hundred or so years. After a quick search online I’m unable to pin down exactly when or who first said Merry Christmas but the fact is that it is said to enjoy a holiday that happens to be centered around someone of great importance in the Christian faith. It is not said to disparage any in race or faith since Christmas is a holiday that’s been adopted by many races and faiths, even though some places refer to it by a different name.
So why all the hubbub? Because “Christ” is in the word? Just out of curiosity, those of you who are offended by hearing “Merry Christmas “, the sight of Santa,Claus, nativity scenes, the colors red or green and whatever else, do you celebrate Christmas at all? Those of you who do, how do you celebrate if everything about it offends you? Why do you celebrate it? Do you consider it a commercial holiday like St Valentine’s Day or Halloween? By the way, those holidays are based on Christianity beliefs. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas(or some version of it – aka Hanukkah, Kwanzaa) what do you do? Treat it likes by other day? What about Christmas music played in stores and doctor offices? Do you go and complain about it?
I want to mention a situation as an example and even tho it’s not comparing apples to apples, but it’s the easiest way I can try to get my point across. In America people from a couple of certain religions goes door to door sharing the word of their Higher Power. Most people I know just say, “Thank you but no thank you”. I have yet to hear people being offended and that it should be banned yet it’s ok to assault Christmas? Of course I’m obviously not saying the door to door religious people should be banned. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy of it all.
When our ancestors came here all those years ago they designed the Constitution to ensure that we have Freedom OF Speech and Freedom OF Religion – not FROM, but OF. There are roughly 320 million people in the United States and were all from different backgrounds and faiths. We are all free to speak and to celebrate our Higher Power when and where we want. Yes, we need to be respectful but at the same time, we shouldn’t impose our beliefs on anyone.
As I’ve said before, I understand political correctness when it comes to some things but lately it’s being taken to the extreme(ie certain places banning Santa, Rudolph and evergreen trees). If only we could all just practice a little bit of patience, tolerance, acceptance and balance and a little less judgement and condemnation we can bring about some semblance of peace. I have continued to say Merry Christmas these last few years for 2 reasons; 1) to actually see if I offend anyone(which to my knowledge I haven’t and 2) because it’s my right to speak freely and I will continue to say Merry Christmas until the day I die.
Thought for the day: “When a thing hurts your eyes,stop looking. When it hurts your ears, stop listening to it. When it hurts your heart, stop justifying it.” ~Unknown It hurts my heart to not say or hear it so … Merry Christmas one and all!