Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Faith Blog

"Merry CHRISTMAS!" There are trees, wreaths, presents, red/green decorations, Santas....they're everywhere! The only major holiday at this time of year IS Christmas....since it's virtually the only holiday in this month that brings out shoppers, why not call it for what IT IS? QVC (home shopping) has trees on every set, candlelight, bedecked shelves, wreaths, Christmas music, but everybody's saying HAPPY HOLIDAY! "Which holiday? Oh. That holiday. Well, you'd better just say HOLIDAY, not Christmas." But, wait!...WHY? Everything on the sets conjures up CHRISTMAS! Gee, that's funny, isn't it ODD? The Food Channel, too. Christmas trees, Christmas dinner...."HOLIDAY FOODS".....WHAT HOLIDAY WOULD THAT BE? :-)

I often wonder at Americans, approx 82% of whom claim CHRISTMAS, who apparently THINK "Merry Christmas!" but "Happy Holidays!" comes out of their mouths instead....what goes on in their heads in that second they decide not to say basically the only holiday's name which we're celebrating this month? Sure, you can say "Happy Hannukah!" when appropriate!... but, most Jews I know don't celebrate it unless they have small children...they tell me it's a kind of holiday that's special for children but a very minor holiday created at this time of the year mostly just for kids to get presents. That's what I've always heard; Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'd like to learn more about that.

This is my Faith Blog today.........Please say MERRY CHRISTMAS! I promise you'll not at all offend any Jewish Americans....my Jewish friends LOVE Christmas' beauty, the music, parties, etc. So, who're the "NO 'Merry Christmas' types" afraid of offending? Who'd get testy? Say MERRY CHRISTMAS.........it is what it is. There IS no other holiday which decorates trees in December. There IS no other holiday during which people sing Christmas songs. There IS no other holiday which has 82% of people shopping for it. It's part of our American CULTURE. Tell me why I'm wrong! WHO IS OFFENDED by MERRY CHRISTMAS? geeeeeeZ!

Thanks! Z (and yes, I know we all blog about this year to year, but who'd have ever thought we'd even want to, or have to?) Have a great Sunday. And, MERRY CHRISTMAS :-)
z

52 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Let 'em be offended.

I say "Merry Christmas!" every chance I get.

Elmers Brother said...

Merry Christmas. Apparently if you take cards to the VA hospital they can't say Merry Christmas or have any religious meaning.

FJ said...

That sounds ridiculous, Elbro. The staff at the VA need to find a different line of work if they can't handle religiously inclined patients or their relatives.

sue said...

I agree. It's always Merry Christmas for me. Happy Holidays is like running fingernails down a blackboard. It's totally bland.

DaBlade said...

I have never lost any sleep worrying about offending the Chistmas deniers.

Z said...

Thanks, everybody.

Elbro, is that true? That's ridiculous and needs airing in the media. I must say that a friend here ordered her cards looking for something religious (she had gone to an extremely upscale card/paper store..)she said she could only find ONE CARD that was religious this year. ONE.
I'm with FJ on this one.

Sue, it irks me SO MUCH every time I hear HAPPY HOLIDAY on TV...it's just not right.

DaBlade, good one. And, let me just say again that your picture treatment of Obama bowing is one of THE BEST photos I have EVER seen on a blog and I sent your link to so many email friends! They wrote back loving it.
Everybody...check out DaBlade (Chattering Teeth)'s blog....you will not be sorry!

Z said...

come to think of it, this year, without Mr. Z, I may never be able to say Merry Christmas...no, when I think about it, I simply CAN'T....but you won't find me saying Happy Holiday instead, TRUST ME.

Say MERRY CHRISTMAS for Mr and Mrs Z. xxx

Johnny Ringo's Word said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SarahG said...

I also I agree. It's always Merry Christmas for me. At Christmas time. But as for
Chanukkah is probably one of the best-known Jewish holidays, not because of any great religious significance, but because of its proximity to Christmas.
I'm not qualified to answer your first question. But as far as your second question
What you said about Hannukah. Saying that but, most Jews don't celebrate it unless they have small children. You are wrong there. I am Jewish and we celebrate it at our house. Hanukkah is a wonderful holiday to celebrate. And as much as I do appreciate the Christians celebrating Christmas, most of my Christian friends also appreciate Hanukkah. And I cannot say this strongly enough, Hanuka has nothing to do with gift exchange. Jewish people who choose to exchange gifts on Hanuka do so because all their gentile friends are exchanging gifts on Christmas and they feel left out, or don't want their children to feel left out, or something similar.
Many non-Jews think of this holiday as the Jewish Christmas, adopting many of the Christmas customs, such as elaborate gift-giving and decoration. Because of this, it is ironic that this holiday, which has its roots in a revolution against assimilation and the suppression of Jewish religion and people, has become the most assimilated, secular holiday on the Jewish calender

The actual Hanuka custom that bears the closest resemblance to gift exchange is the distribution of small pieces of candy to children so they can play dreidl. I urge you not to burden your family with any sort of requirement to exchange gifts at Hanuka. Whether you choose to exchange gifts with them on the day celebrating the birth of your lord is entirely up to you. BTW, Hanuka commemorates an event that took place about 200 years before the time of Jesus. At the time of Jesus, there was still some question as to how to observe the holiday. It is possible that Jesus may not have lit the Hanuka lights the way we light them today. Judaism, like most religions, is flexible.
So in ending let me say God Bless you all, whatever you celebrate. And God Bless YOU “Z.” Have a wonderful holiday.

Z said...

SarahG, thank you SO much...that's exactly what I'd been led to understand about Hannukah, but you rounded out what I'd been told and I really thank you for that. Your info added a lot to my understanding.

I had a Christmas party years ago, before I met my Mr Z, and I had all women friends....One was Jewish and I asked her if she wouldn't mind bringing her Menorah that night.
She loved that and did bring it and we watched her light it...it was beautiful sharing the traditions.

She sure had NO PROBLEM with my "Christmas Party" including and respecting her holiday. I know this "No Merry Christmas" thing has nothing to do with offending Jews. Thank you for affirming that. xxx God bless you, too, and thanks so much for coming by with that good information.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I've made it my own little Local War come this time, for the past two years. I PURPOSELY greet people, this time of year, in public and in stores, with a nice, loud "Merry Christmas" and a smile. If THEY don't like it they can go to hell. Or sue me.

BZ

Ducky's here said...

Depends on the circumstance. If it is an economic transaction I'd rather say nothing than demean Christmas by linking it with the "black Friday" lines at Best Buy.

Z said...

BZ...good on you.

Ducky, excellent point. And, that reminds me, they don't even say CHRISTMAS SALES anymore. But, I think that IS a good thing; right.

Ducky's here said...

Well z, it seems to me to be a mix. I do see "Christmas" advertising.

Several radio stations have their 24/7 holiday music on and Christmas is prominent as well as holidays.

As it gets closer to Christmas there will be carols and classical works that are distinctly non-secular.

My still puts up a creche every year (in Massachusetts !!!) and the decorations on the Boston Common include a creche, angels and distinctly religious themes.
Last year they were more in danger from vandalism by punks than the ACLU.

You do have some complaints but once again the right often chooses to overdue it. When they start saying Happy Holidays at Mass, I'll start getting worried.

Z said...

Ducky, it's not gone totally, of course.

My post is about people AVOIDING CHRISTMAS...Target stores, the GAP, BEST BUYS, etc etc. I find it odd, considering approx 80% of America buys gifts for CHRISTMAS.

I hear VERY LITTLE "Christmas"....as I mentioned, it's barely on QVC, THE FOOD CHANNEL, etc. My point is why have all the Christmas accoutremants up and avoid the WORD, that's all.

Anonymous said...

Great post Z, I always say Merry Christmas. Last year I even put it in my car rear window (bumper sticker facing out and with scotch tape).

I felt so in the spirit, I even sent the ACLU headquarters in NY a Merry Christmas card with the nativity scene on it and wrote, "now that didn't hurt did it?" I have a bit of the mischievous elf in me!

The more people who say Merry Christmas, the more that will. If someone responds to me with Happy Holidays I just smile and say, "aw c'mon it's Christmas, you can say it", and usually they do with a smile themselves.

Pris

Conservative said...

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukkah to everyone.

Z said...

Pris, you hit the nail on the head.
It IS CHRISTMAS, whether they can say it or not. And, yes, people seem almost relieved when I respond to HAPPY HOLIDAYS with MERRY CHRISTMAS..and 90% say MERRY CHRISTMAS though they just wished me a HAPPY HOLIDAY.

I've got QVC on again now....it's almost humorous to see how many ways they can avoid saying Merry Christmas.

"David, I'm making cookies for Christmas and I know these baking sheets will really help"

DAVID (the host) "Well, Marie, thanks...and HAPPY HOLIDAY!"

I guess he just didn't hear or or something? :-)

Z said...

by the way..do Christians just not call/write and COMPLAIN enough?

In this horrible economy, wouldn't you think retailers would be happier to honor our holiday, the holiday of approx 80% of us, then diss us? Just doesn't make sense to me.

Do so many other faiths email companies with "STOP MERRY CHRISTMAS" and we don't say enough PRO Merry Christmas?

Conservative said...

Happy and Merry All Of The Above.

Snarky Basterd said...

Great post, Z. I've taught my kids to always say Merry Christmas when someone says "Happy Holidays" to them. You'd be surprised how often people are pleased to hear them say it.

DaBlade said...

Just returned from the Christmas tree farm... We like to do the hayride and cut our own. My boys are 15, 18 and 20 yrs old, but they still like the field trip and didn't complain once. I can't imagine calling it a holiday tree. Eww. btw, thanks for the plug Z!

Anonymous said...

"by the way..do Christians just not call/write and COMPLAIN enough?"

Z, I did call Target a couple of years ago when I heard they disallowed the Salvation Army bell ringers outside their store. A new policy. It was clear they would not reconsider.

I told them I would no longer patronize their store. I had only shopped there occasionally, but have not stepped into that store since.

Last year there was no bell ringer at my market. I asked why not,and I was told rather hesitantly, she/he was late. Always before she was there early in the morning.

The next week same thing. I asked if the bell ringer was late two weeks in a row, and I said "quite a coincidence". The third week she was there.

This nonsense is ridiculous. Even stopping a good organizaton from helping people. No one has to donate if they don't want to. It's a Christmas tradition for the Salvation Army, and that's the only reason for this political correctness.

What's next, Toys for Tots?

Pris

Z said...

DaBlade, if you can get a 15, 18 and 20 yr old to the Christmas tree farm and they enjoy it, you're even a finer man/father than I'd have thought. That kind of thing makes me feel SO GOOD. I love that you're instilling in your kids such wholesomeness and that they like to be around you. God bless you all.xx

Snarky, I never read your screen name without cracking up. And, no, I'm not surprised..90% of the time I respond to HAPPY HOLIDAY with MERRY CHRISTMAS, the person who said HH, smiles and coyly says MERRY CHRISTMAS...i love that. Let's keep it up!


Pris...great story..I love your advocacy.

John Rudolph said...

Yeah, my company's voicemail message is "holiday" themed so "Christmas" as usual will not be in the greeting this year again. Totally out of my control.

CHeck out the new cover to my book at my blog please? THanks!

Opus #6 said...

Thanks for stopping by, Z. I don't see why diversity is such a good thing, except when it comes to Christianity or Christians discussing Christian holidays. Then all of a sudden it is bad. That is wrong thinking. Everybody should enjoy the holidays they choose to celebrate, without apology.

Elmers Brother said...

It's true at the local VA hospital anyway. Last year when we did it the volunteer coordinator (a member of the Salvation Army) said that the rule was that it could not mention anything religious.

Well what's Christmas about if not the birth of Christ.

She suggested that we look for benign cards so as not to offend anyone.

Elmers Brother said...

They're afraid of offending a very small group of people I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Z, I know a lot of folks complain about O'Reilly, but he's the only one who I know of who gives out a list of stores which don't mention Christmas, including some who instruct their employees not to say Merry Christmas.

Also, I'm sure there are others who complain just like I did. The squeaky wheel get's the oil, right?

Pris

Z said...

I complain about O'Reilly being a self-serving egotist all the time, Pris, but I'll never argue that he doesn't make some great points and fights well for many things I believe in!! This is definitely a good cause!

Chuck said...

My issue is more the intent than the phrase. If the intent behind Happy Holidays is to include Hannukak, I am not offended. I want the Jewish people to be recognized. My issue with saying Happy Holidays is that it is an attempt to secularize Christmas and I find this offensive. As usual though, it is irrelevant when a Christian is offended.

As far as stores, I wonder if it is better to say nothing than to say Happy Holidays. Reality is that Christmas shopping (which I enjoy) should be seperated from Christmas itself. It contributes to the commercialization of the holiday IMHO.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
It my special mission to be as non-PC as possible in all situations. I have poster in my room that makes a point of reminding all who read it that the motto of the US is "In God We Trust" and the Ohio motto is "With God All Things Are Possible." Haven't got any flack from it yet. Several other teachers display it too. Merry Christmas? Oh yeah, every chance I get.

Beth said...

I was all ready to join the bandwagon but Chuck did make some goods points, especially about not having the commercialized part of the holiday get mixed up with "Christmas", that is very true!

I know this Christmas won't be easy this year, Z, without Mr. Z, and it may never be. But know that you are in our thoughts and prayers especially at this time of year.

Z said...

Thanks very much, Beth...these are certainly not good days for me, to say the least.

Chuck, absolutely right about Happy Hannukah, except as I said earlier, no Jewish friend I have has a problem hearing MERRY CHRISTMAS, mostly because (sadly) it HAS become a season of good cheer and good food and music more than about Christ. But, that works for me; I'm all for including Hannukah in that.

L&0...I'm just watching a textbook special FOX has on with Tucker Carlson, it's a rerun that makes you want to leave the country....we're pretty much doomed and parents are going right along with the indoctrination of our kids thru our textbooks.
I'm glad there are still teachers here in this country who actually LIKE the country still :-)

I'm going to watch SHOP AROUND THE CORNER NOW on TCM...got to get away from the gloom and doom of America's future; who'd have EVER thought?

Anonymous said...

Liberals are CAREER OFFENDEES.

That's what they DO -- They Take Offense -- at any and every trumped up pretext imaginable.

It's all part of the Master Plan of Marx, Engels, The Frankfurt School-Gramsci-ACLU-New York Intellectuals-New School--Alinsky-New Deal-New York Times-Washington Post-ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS - The Professoriat-Cloward-Piven Strategy to undermine the foundations of our culture, destroy it's institutions, confuse our people and destroy Capitalism.

NO ONE could POSSIBLY be honestly "offended" at CHRISTMAS -- or any one of a dozen other "issues" these people use to bedevil us with.

ALL this anti-Christmas GARBAGE is just the Left HECKLING us -- hopefully in their twisted minds -- heckling is to DEATH.

They want to SHUT US UP. They want our DEATH -- as a people, as culture, as a nation. Above all they want to bring about the DEATH of CHRISTIANITY.

There is no LOVE among the leftists. EVERYTHING they do is predicated on HATRED, RESENTMENT, ENVY, SPITE and MALICE.

This is not to say that ALL liberals are like this, but the forces that MOTIVATE and INSPIRE them most certainly are. Most liberals are ignorant pawns in a deadly Game initiated by Demons.

So, "Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Start by saying MERRY CHRISTMAS with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. MERRY CHRISTMAS is NOT a "Battle Cry." Please don't let THEM turn it into that.

Just CELEBRATE the Good News, and share the JOY.

Don't worry about THEM. Don't let THEM inhibit you. Honest good cheer is INFECTIOUS.

The sour, bitter, hyper-critical, captious attitude of the Left is NOT infectious, it is merely withering to the human Spirit and an insult to the Holy Ghost.

Just DON'T BE COWED by the LEFT. But ANGER is not an appropriate mood for Christmas. LOVE your enemies -- it will eventually kill their hatred. It HAS to, or God is not God -- and who wants to believe THAT?

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Personally , I tend to respond for wishes of happy holdidays with a loud.."Have a merry and blessed Christmas."

If you want to make a statement, I say , make it.

WVDOTTR

Z said...

FT; We don't have to be angry but we should be concerned, don't you think?

WVA...I like that..good suggestion!

Anonymous said...

Chuck - It isn't the commerce, it's the sharing of a joyous time with others whom you might not greet at any other time of year.

It's small children sitting on Santa's lap, or looking into large store windows with their colorful, animated displays of moving trains, dolls waving, or Christmas trees.

We could settle for a bland colorless, joyless society, but why? Because some don't adhere to it?

Our special holidays mean something to most of us and to celebrate and make things beautiful in honor of those holidays brings happiness to most.

If stores decide not to recognize Christmas it is a politically correct stance, and a purposeful denial of recognizing the holiday, not because they don't believe in doing it, but because some people don't like it.

Christmas is a federal holiday. Some may choose not to celebrate it, but most do. There is nothing that pleases everyone and there never will be. Tradition matters, and as in many other countries this celebration is an American tradition.

Pris

sue said...

This has always been a sore point with me - for as long as I can remember. Happy Holidays is the same as saying Xmas - which I also avoid. If I have bought stickers that include Happy Holidays, I have never used one of them. I would hate to see that generic expression habitually used instead of Merry Christmas.

wilbur said...

You know, something has bothered me these past few years and that's why do liberals hate Christmas so much? So, in my puny little brain I started to put together a few items on what Christmas means to me and equate this as to why liberals hate Christmas so here it goes:

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. That there is reason #1 why liberals hate Christmas because they hate Christians in general so hating on the birth of the Christian messiah isn't much of a stretch.

This brings us to the spirit of Christmas. When I was growing up, people always tended to be a little nicer to each other at this time of year. Peace on earth and good will toward men and all that, right? Well, as we all know, liberals are miserable little people and they simply cannot stand the thought of people actually being nice to each other because of a stupid holiday? So, with all of their might they try to make the rest of us as miserable as they are.

Christmas is also a festive time of year. Well, this goes along with the above where misery is all these people know.

However, Christmas has become a commercialized holiday. This means big business to places like Wal-Mart, the Great Satan to the liberals. It also, at least to them, signifies greed because we're all out spending money like idiots contributing to corporate greed when we could be helping others. True to a degree. but what also happens during this shopping season? That's right, charities boom as well and 2 of the biggest charities are the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots which is sponsored by the Marines. Well, this is both a religious organization and the military and the left simply cannot have that.

So, there you have it. My hypothesis as to why liberals and leftists hate Christmas

Anonymous said...

Z, of course we should be concerned. I'm VERY concerned, and I have a great tendency to let this -- and many other leftist-initiated problems -- infuriate me. But once we let them get our goat, they've WON their foul little game.

My point is that once we recognize the source of these aggravating policies, the best thing we could do for our cause is not to rise to THEIR bait.

Which means BE Merry and BE Grateful, instead of focusing emotional energy on how much we resent the Left.

I always make a point of wishing every shop clerk and waiter or waitress a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Some of them look startled and look over their shoulder to see if anyone is watching them, but MOST return my greeting with a smile.

So far this year, "Merry Christmas" seems to be back in greater force than in recent years.

One of MY pet peeves, as a serious contemplative Christian who has devoted most of his life to traditional sacred music, is being forced to hear horrible, "pop" versions of the carols sung by rock and folk singers who haven't the faintest idea what the music is supposed to convey. It's like Roseanne singing the Star-Spangled Banner. Remember that?

Cocktails with Christ, Mau Mauing at the Manger, Hootnannies for Him, Jazzin' up Jesus, Cheering for the Chalice and all the rest of it is like representing the Stations of the Cross in blinking neon, or serving gin and vermouth with a twist at the communion rail. THERE"s an idea: "Put Ale in your Grail, and pep up the Host.'

Imagine a Creche in the Round outlined in neon on a turntable in the public square with electronic synthesizers blasting the old carols as the Mary-Go-Round whizzes rapidly by.

"Merry Christmas" doesn't mean much, unless you say it with some dignity and class.

~ FreeThinke

Brenda Jean said...

I ran a message board for women (mostly) for a long, long time. We had one lady who lived in Israel and she was never offended by our Christmas discussions and even participated. The only time I had a problem was with a few members who didn't like her being on the boards--they were somehow offended. They left, she stayed, and we continued on. She shares her traditions; we share ours and all is well. I love hearing about her life and she loves hearing about our Christmas celebrations. It's really that simple.

Z- {{{hugs}}} I wish I could be there to help.

Z said...

Wilbur, thanks for visiting geeez...great point about how the HAPPY ANGLE of Christmas coming from a religious source ticks some liberals off.

I KNOW there are liberals who are Christians, I just wonder that it's mostly conservatives fighting for the end of trying to take God out of everything in America.

sue said...

wilbur - So anyone who is a liberal hates Christmas and Christians.

Anonymous said...

extripAnother way of looking at it:

Ever since I can remember, people in my family and places where I grew up referred to Christmas and New Year's Day as "The Holidays."

People were always asking each other, "What are you planning to do for the Holidays?"

It's only lately that this innocuous phrase has been politicized and has people drawing their swords from their scabbards.

Once again it is the LEFT who has DELIBERATELY created a bitterly divisive issue out of nothing as part of their large-scale, long-term scheme to disrupt, confuse, disenchant and ultimately to DESTROY our way of life.

It may sound kooky to say it out loud, but this manufactured Christmas crisis really IS part of a COMMUNIST PLOT.

Don't be upset. Don't be angry. Instead be like Jonah, Shadrak, Mesack and Abednego, Daniel -- and Our Lord, Himself, who willingly endured CRUCIFIXION for our sakes.

If ever there was a test of Faith that time is NOW.

~ FreeThinke

sue said...

I have no objection to using the term 'the holidays.' I say it myself. But when I do that I am referring to both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

When I am talking about Christmas alone, I say Christmas, and never say Happy Holidays.

Z said...

sue, YES there are liberal Christians! But do you see may liberals fighting to keep God in the American landscape? I hope so. I could very well be wrong in my surmisal but, of course I know there are liberals who are Christians! Also, who's to say who's a Christian or not, right??
Sadly, groups like the 'liberal' ACLU represent liberals in the minds of most Americans...that's as bad as the lefties feeling the Klan represents Conservatives! Except the ACLU is Far more mainstream, which IS worrisome.

And,sadly, it's the liberal churches which are implementing some pretty non Biblical things in their churches...gay bishops, female pastors, etc...Also, they misinterpret Christ in suggesting that giving to the poor is a government thing and not a personal thing done from one's Christian heart, etc etc.


And yes, I say Happy Holidays before Thanksgiving SOMETIMES to cover both holiays....but rarely.

sue said...

z - I want to make this clear: I meant that I refer to Thanksgiving and Christmas as 'the Holidays.'
Such as ' I'm getting ready for the holidays.'

I did not mean that I ever say,
Happy Holidays.

There is someone who knows what we hold in our heart - and who is a Christian and who is not. And He is the only One.

Mark said...

Zee, last year I wrote a blogpost
concerning the issue of "Merry Christmas" vs "Happy Holidays". I made the point that the word "holiday" is a contraction of a two word term, "holy day".

So, in that context, whenever someone wishes you a happy holiday instead of Merry Christmas, they are, in effect, wishing you a Merry Christmas whether they know it or not.

I also sent the post to our local newspaper and it was published in Letters to the editor.

Anonymous said...

Mark, that's a very nice way of looking at it.

God bless you, and

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

~ FreeThinke

Elmers Brother said...

YES there are liberal Christians!

Theologically there are quite a few...

United Methodist Church, American Baptist Church to name at least two denominations

there are exceptions but overall theologically both of these churches are very liberal

UMC believes in theistic evolution and ABC supports abortion rights

sue said...

As I was coming out of Walmart today the SA bellringer said 'Merry Christmas'. I replied, 'Same to you,' then thought better of it and said 'Merry Christmas.'