Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Celebrating Our Better Natures

For me, Christmas merriment begins the day after Thanksgiving. Our friends, the Gore family, come to visit that weekend, and their arrival ushers in the festivities. We cut down our Christmas tree; the Christmas lights go up; and Christmas music floats on the air for the next four weeks. Everyone you meet seems more patient, more understanding, and more caring. Peace on earth and goodwill toward one another shimmers all around the world. Briefly each year, we celebrate our better natures and glimpse what heaven might be like.

But one verbal mine is hidden below the surface, and it can explode all the goodwill with just two words: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. Already the "war" has begun. On my Facebook page, I am greeted with "let's keep Christ in Christmas," and the gauntlet is thrown down for the unwary agnostic, atheist, Wiccan, Buddhist, Muslim, or whatever other believer in a non-Christian faith to pick up, and someone always picks it up, whereupon a heated exchange of words takes place. For the life of me, I do not understand why expressing goodwill towards one another, regardless of the phrasing, can instead bring about an absence of goodwill. It is counterintuitive.

While I do not wish to belittle anyone, at the risk of doing so, the whole phrasing thing is silly. If there is God and Jesus is our Savior, which I personally believe, I doubt either one gives a hoot about how we express goodwill to one another. God doesn't need anyone to keep Christ in Christmas. He doesn't need defending. Good heavens, he's God after all. When we get on our high horse about keeping "Christ in Christmas," we aren't defending Christ, we are being sanctimonious prigs, and we are creating distance, when God wants us to be close. God wants us to get along with one another anyway we can. So if we who believe in God have a hissy fit about someone saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," it is we who need an attitude change to become more gracious and tolerant because we are supposed to be reflecting a loving God.

Furthermore, you individuals who prefer to say "Happy Holidays" should not make it illegal to say "Merry Christmas." That is just as nutty and just as disparaging to Christians as Christians have been to you. It is not a legal battle we should be waging with one another; rather, we should be appreciating that both phrasings are ways of sharing with one another the spirit of love and joy that the season represents. We need to understand that we are saying essentially the same thing--peace on earth and goodwill to everyone. And we should smile in agreement, reach out a hand, hug, and cherish the brief time each year that we feel connected to one another, no matter how we express that connection.

So this year and every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I shall merrily go about my days saying "Merry Christmas" to you, and I look forward to hearing "Happy Holidays" along with various other greetings from my Wiccan, Jewish, Buddhist, and Muslim friends because, bottom line, what we all want is to celebrate our better natures and bring Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all at Christmas time and all the year long.

Merry Christmas

Kate

If you wish to make a comment and do not have one of the accounts listed under "Comment As," please click Anonymous and sign your name on your post. Thank you.




19 comments:

  1. Kathleen/Kathy/Kate (I love all three, so I'll let you decide just "who you are" at the time you read this!)
    While I found your posting to be heartfelt, and yes, inspiring, I just want to throw my comments out there: As you know, I'm Jewish, and although Jim and I celebrate Hanukkah (which comes up in two weeks) and Christmas (over a month away!), I dare say that I have thought for years that it would be a "blessing" if Christmas would be more about "wishing good will and peace to all" as well as spending time with family and good friends, and (my favorite) listening to wonderful music like my Andreas Bocelli Christmas CD, madrigal music,classical Christmas carols along with modern Hanukkah songs (jazz, rap, humor, folk). I can think of no better way to conquer the short days and darkness of the winter months! One of the reasons I love lighting my Hanukkah candles as my little way to dispel "darkness in the world".
    This time of the year I tend to get so exhausted, distressed, and even depressed watching all those merchandising ads every where I turn. TV ads; catalogs in the mail and newspaper, and even in the sidebar of my computer! I'm left wondering how many people actually buy someone a luxury car for a holiday gift? Ridiculous!How 'bout all those electronics for their kids? I guess whomever buys their kids "Smartphones", iPods, iPads, other tablets, or the other latest,greatest, tiniest, or fastest, electronic "toys", (or,if you believe the absurd ads)even those huge flat-panel TVs) are the ones who buy their older kids or spouses a new Lexus! (BTW, I'd rather have an Audi, but hell, I'd settle for a Lexus, or even a Cadillac.)I will wish anyone whose path I cross, "flesh and blood" friends, old friends & acquaintances with whom I'm in contact on Facebook,via email and even phone(!), as well the friendly checker in our local market, who always greets us with a smile, "Happy Holidays". When I lived in NYC, in an amazing heterogeneous neighborhood,we all seemed to have the same solution: To wish everyone greetings for their own particular holiday(s)!
    I'm not being a Grinch, or saying "Bah-Humbug", but what I am trying to convey is my wish that 1) Retailers would hold off until after our anniversary (Halloween), before putting the Christmas "stuff" into every aisle of our local CVS; and 2) I hope that in these hard times that just perhaps, people might be a little less pretentious about their shopping and gift-giving (and receiving), and stop to think about those "less fortunate", both financially, in material "possessions", and those who are not sharing fully in the blessings of "good health". Oh yes, we'll put up our (pretty pathetic, according to those who have seen them)holiday lights on our house, but we'll wait at least until some afternoon next week. And of course, we'll be sending out our holiday cards, wishing everyone "The Best of Everything" for the holidays and of course, 2013! I guess what it all boils down to is that Christmas and ALL the other holidays I do believe, as a favorite quotation says, (but can't exactly remember its source, at the moment!) "The United States is NOT a Christian nation; rather,it is a nation where a lot of Christians live". I see it it is a time when, in the dead of Winter (unless you live in Australia!)people can "come together" and live "kinder, gentler" lives. And then, perhaps carry the good will into the new year...Susie Kahn Parker

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sources said that the 26th round of cheap nike jordan shoes negotiations will Cheap LV Handbags be held the ugg boots second Bags Louis Vuitton round Discount LV Handbags of talks, but the Belarusian Foreign Ministry wholesale jordan shoes spokesman said, you may want to 26 am ugg australia that christian louboutin shoes day to determine whether to proceed with negotiations.September 5, Ukraine christian louboutin remise 50% Tripartite Liaison Group with representatives of the Ukrainian armed eastern folk, including the signing of the Protocol, including a ceasefire agreement in Christian Louboutin Daffodile Minsk. September 19, the Contact Group christian louboutin signed a memorandum with the eastern Ukrainian folk armed representatives, provides for the ugg pas cher establishment of discount christian louboutin 30 km wide buffer. Due to the conflict lack of mutual trust, Air Jordan 11 Gamma Blue the ceasefire discount nike jordans agreement and memorandum were Discount Louis Vuitton not effectively implemented.According to the Office of the High Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags Commissioner ugg soldes for Human Rights Christian Louboutin Bois Dore on December 15 released a report, since mid-April this year, the armed uggs outlet conflict in eastern Ukraine, killing at least cheap christian louboutin 4707 people were cheap jordans killed uggs on sale and 10,000 ugg wounded.

    ReplyDelete