People are hustling and bustling to get that last minute shopping done. Running in and out of doors, rushing in and out of stores, wishing one and all a....a what?
A "Merry Christmas!!!??" A "Happy Holiday!!!??" Or perhaps you're a "Seasons Greetings!!" kind of a person.
Which one makes you smile with joy....or grit your teeth in irritation? Does one offend you more deeply than the other? Or is being politically correct not even a blip on your holiday radar screen?
For years, I was on the 'Merry Christmas' side of the Christmas Greetings Crusade. Or 'The War on Christmas' to which it's often referred. If someone, be it on social media, at the mall, at work, at a toll booth, etc., dared to wish me 'Seasons Greetings' or 'Happy Holidays,' I would return their salutation with my own MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! faster and with more force than Serena Williams returning a tennis opponent's serve at the US Open.
But these days, I find myself sad, weary and somewhat irritated over all the arguments and the wars and the ugly back-and-forth, mean-spirited comments I have seen lately on social media regarding these greetings of the season.
This season that is SUPPOSED to be about celebrating a love so deep, so incredible, so amazing, so breathtaking; a love that would cause our Creator God to send His One and Only, kingly Son, Jesus Christ, into this world -- not wrapped in royal robes, but in fragile skin like ours -- to serve and save us.
But which seems more about celebrating consumerism, commercialism and our crowing about being among the Christian illuminati of society.
Now, I'm certainly not saying we who follow Christ and call ourselves Christians should ever be ashamed or afraid of wishing someone -- anyone -- a Merry Christmas. Neither am I suggesting that we refrain from doing so.
But what I AM saying is that there's no need for us to get our noses out of joint when someone fails to say it to us, nor should we respond to someone's wish for us to "Have a happy holiday!" with a pompous and indignant
"WE SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!"
We need to be mindful of how we come across to others.
And it would serve us well to remember that Jesus reserved His harshest criticism of and toughest lessons for those who considered themselves to be the elite and religious 'know-it-alls': those self-righteous Pharisees, who always seemed to spend way too much of their time in the New Testament stalking Jesus; eavesdropping on all of His conversations and teachings; nitpicking about them, and trying to trip Him up on everything He said.
During one such time, the following particular conversation transpired between Jesus and another man:
"...when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees with His reply, they met together to question Him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap Him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” ~ Matthew 22:34-40 (NLT)
In light of this, and in my honest opinion, I seriously DOUBT that Jesus gives a flying fig if we say 'Merry Christmas,' or if we say 'Seasons Greetings.'
Just as long as whatever we say, we say joyfully, with His love flowing from our heart, our soul, our mind...and our lips.