Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Don't Say "Merry Christmas," Say "Happy Holidays"

That's what Dr. John Stackhouse, who holds the Sangwoo Youtong Chee Chair of Theology and Culture at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, says in an essay published at He writes:

I’m a Christian and I love Christmas. That’s why each December I greet shop clerks, tradespeople, dentists, and everyone else I happen to meet with "Happy Holidays" and not "Merry Christmas."

And why, as a Christian, does he do this?

... “generic goodness” is what Christmas has become for most Canadians. We're now a nation largely of Christians and sort-of-Christians and occasional Christians and ex-Christians and anti-Christians. Christmas thus has metamorphosed into whatever anyone wants it to be. “It’s all about family,” some say, while others coo over “the miracle of a baby’s birth.” Christmas means love and generosity and just being a little nicer to people. The vaunted “Christmas spirit” is whatever we happen to value as the highest and best in human nature.

Christmas is about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob becoming a human baby at a particular time and place. This baby was not merely a symbol: He was to be the Saviour, the one and only Saviour needed by his people, Israel, and indeed by the rest of the world. The angels, shepherds, and wise men came to adore this unique infant King, not merely smile and nod at each other about yet another cute kid.

Christmas is therefore a Christian holy day that, when understood properly in its Biblical context, offers indeed a great commemorative feast in stark contrast to the spun sugar of the Santa Claus myth. But it’s not a feast to everyone’s taste and certainly not everyone will be partaking of it this year. So let’s not talk as if everyone will.

Read it all.


Discount coupons said...

Ya you are right say happy holidays.....
have a great holidays you too.. :D

Just Me said...

I say "Merry Christmas" to everyone I encounter during this blessed time. It is of no concern to me how it is received; only that it is given.

Merry Christmas!