Some Thoughts on the Holiday Name Wars

(Recycled and updated a post from a couple of years ago.)
Bruce: God doesn’t take vacations. Does he?…
God: Did you ever hear of the dark ages? from Bruce Almighty
 Deus vult!”  (God wills it) 
This was the cry of the Crusaders in the dark ages. They were on what they believed to be a holy mission to take back Jerusalem from the Seljuk Turks, who took over the city in the eleventh century. Pope Urban II sent the Crusaders on their way with his blessing, and the promise of absolution, remission of sins, and wealth and happiness if they died “in the service of Christ.”
Seven Crusades and 196 years later the Crusades ended. They had been a miserable failure. They created a resurgence of anti-Semitism (that Torquemada accelerated and sharply defined in his Inquisition), and fostered a deeper schism between the Muslims and Christians where before had existed a certain amount of tolerance (a blunder for which we are still paying). In fact, the only “benefit” derived from the Crusades was the increased power of royalty and religion.
Some Thoughts on the Christmas Wars

They Will Know We Are Christians….

I’ve been puzzled for a number of years by the “battle stories” of Christians who have taken on the task of crusading for the greeting, “Merry Christmas” in place of  “Happy Holidays.” Christians are not the only ones who celebrate holidays at year’s end.  I don’t understand why something that does not have deep doctrinal significance has become an annual crusade. I think we can do better than that. The words we use are much less important than the actions we demonstrate.

Christians I know will say they want to let Jesus shine out of their lives, and believe  they should share joy he gives them. Consider the post encounter results of  “scrooging” someone who wishes you Season’s Greetings. How well will that work if  you or someone else should try to talk about matters of faith? If a particular business does not put up a Christmas tree and employees are told to use inclusive holiday greetings, would a lecture on the Reason for the Season and taking your business elsewhere win them? 

Then, winter is a difficult season for many people. A number of people are depressed during December for various reasons. Others are over the top stressed and busy preparing hospitality for family and others. Tempers flare easily. If someone takes time and thought to smile and wish you Happy Holidays remember that curmudgeonly behavior overrides any number of Merry Christmases. Be kind and smile.  The stroke you prevent may be yours.

thank you


About Susan P

Reader, writer, mother, grandmother, wife, traveler...
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19 Responses to Some Thoughts on the Holiday Name Wars

  1. Excellent post!! Thank you Susan!While we can use "Merry Christmas" personally, there is no reason to alienate others who choose not to use it. Instead I'll try and let God shine through my smile, and perhaps my "Merry Christmas" will touch someone's heart.

  2. karis says:

    I was just discussing this with my hubby the other day. Another aspect to this argument is that when we are saying Happy Holidays it is a convenient way to lump Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years into one season. We also live in a country that allows religious freedom. There are several different holidays around this time of year. I have no problem urging someone to enjoy a holiday that may be different from mine. A courtesy I appreciate as I celebrate Christmas in the way I feel best represents my family and our heritage.Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Rehoboth says:

    Thank you, Kevin. I do say Merry Christmas, I just don't like to bludgeon people with it.

  4. Rehoboth says:

    Karis, I'm with you. Thanks for stopping by, reading, and adding some good thoughts to go along with the post.

  5. I’ve always been fascinated by the crusades. Richard III is another hero, you know.

    You mean, I can’t play scrooge sometimes?

  6. ladycheetah7 says:

    Excellent information. I will say that I don’t wear smiles and for me that would be inauthentic. Understanding that the issue is not a smile but exhibiting Christlikeness. Having said that with all of the corporate changes at my job and to my dismay left with an atheist who I have no problem with his disposition as it pertains to spiritual matters but have been vexed one to many times with his attempts to manipulate, undermine, slander, and tell lies. Thanks be to God he has received his comeuppance every time. His last attempt to “follow” one afternoon at the end of my work shift not only revealed his motives but was enough for manager intervention. I wrote all if that to say that sometimes the level best we can do is try our best to not sin even when the other party deserves harm. Truthfully I don’t speak to him because it is just a means for him to force himself. Every day I have to refrain from falling into his purposefull traps because I know that he is a hurting soul who chooses to reject God and looks for any reason to justify himself. So for this reason there will be no exchange of nice behavior if it means for me to be ensnared and trapped.

    • Susan P says:

      No and there should not be any exchange of pleasantries in those situations. The atheists I have known are either comfortable with who they are or they are deep down angry people. I have one of those on my FB account. He was deeply wounded by religion and can’t let it go.

      I’m glad that your were able to get help with the one you had to deal with.

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