Grrr! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays


My head is spinning over this "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" controversy, so I've begun to ask myself, what would Jesus do?

And I've come to my own conclusion. I don't think Jesus Christ would be worried about whether or not Wal-Mart or Kohl's or Macy's is spelling the Dec. 25 holiday "Christmas" or "Xmas."

I mean, seriously, even His most faithful disciple denied Him three times after The Last Supper, so you'd think He'd be kind of immune to U.S. retail outlets denying His name as well.

More than likely — and this is my Grrr! — Jesus wouldn't care about Xmas.

I don't think He'd care about the whole "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" ridiculousness year in and year out, and He'd probably be aware that X is the first letter in the Greek word for "Christos." X has been used for thousands of years to abbreviate "Christ." Believe it or not, Wal-Mart didn't invent the term "Xmas."

But let's talk about "Happy Holidays" for one minute.

Sure, it's politically correct, but just because someone says "Happy Holidays" to you, they don't necessarily mean "Screw You" if you're a Christian. I think it's safe to say that the person saying "Happy Holidays" simply wants to include everybody in the sentiment. Not just Christians.

Or did we forget that this is America, where Jews, Muslims, Christians and atheists live in harmony?

But we're missing the point here. Isn't Christmas supposed to be about celebrating life and family and being together?

Then why do we always make it about who's right and who's wrong? We do it every year. Someone gets upset that "Christ" is not spelled out in Christmas. And then you've got people on television calling for boycotts of certain stores — where you are buying gifts, by the way — because they are saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

And while we're at it, let's think about the whole gift-buying tradition. No matter how seriously you take Christmas, you're still buying gifts and wrapping paper and cards and fruitcake — so let's not take ourselves all that seriously now, OK?

I'm all for Christmas — believe me. I went to Catholic middle and high schools and know Jesus in my heart.

But I get just as happy and giddy around the "holidays" as I do around "Christmas." I can't wait to see the look on my daughter's face when she sees the Christmas tree or when we light up the house with Christmas lights or the Frosty the Snowman figure on the front lawn. None of which have anything, really, to do with Christmas, if you want to get technical about it.

Even so, I can't wait to get together with my family and the in-laws and the various extended family and friends we see only once a year, at Christmas. I can't wait for the Christmas parties that my bosses throw and the ones we get invited to by friends and business associates.

Holiday cheer is non-denominational (although if you believe the marketing, "holiday cheer" is synonymous with booze).

I have to tell you something, though. You won't see the guy fostering the Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays debate turning down free eggnog at the company holiday party. And indeed, he shouldn't. He needs to lighten up a bit. Have a little holiday cheer!

You want to show your support for Christmas? Try this. Rise above the petty arguments and celebrate Christmas like a true Christian.

Oh, and Merry Christmas. And Happy Holidays.

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