/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » Merry Christmas

I know it’s a few days before Christmas, but I had to get this penned while I still had some spare brain cells. obligatory christmas tree ornament shotphoto © 2006 sarah n | more info (via: Wylio)
Today begins the craziness of Christmas-Eve-Eve at our church, and I’m on deck for media tonight (two services).  Then there are three more services tomorrow – and we’re holding babies for two of them.  Then last minute baking tomorrow night and Christmas morning (Brendan has requested Christmas Cinnamon Rolls – actually, they’re just rolls, but we’ve had them on Christmas morning and now they are imprinted in his brain as “Christmas rolls”).  And we’ll spend the afternoon with 20 or so friends and I’ll be heating a turkey and baking some other things for it.

Phew.

But I wanted to think aloud for a few minutes.  I think it comes from being in a different place and starting new traditions – I have more time to ponder.  😉

One thing that’s occurred to me and annoyed me is the propensity some people have to be offended.  I firmly believe that if you’re going to be offended, it’s because you took offense.  Some people are offended at “XMas,” instead preferring to spell it out.  What these people don’t realize is that the “X” is the Greek letter “Chi,” which is the first letter in the Greek rendering of “Jesus.”  Seriously, folks.  So putting an “X” there is an abbreviation for Jesus’ name, not some dastardly plan to take Jesus out of Christmas.  Those whose undies are in a wad, you may want to make yourself a bit more comfy now.  In our world of texting (160 characters) and tweeting (140 characters), ppl r look’g 2 shortn whatevr they can.  Let it go and remember Jesus’ name is still there, spelled out the long way or abbreviated.

Others are offended at “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas.”  This one is a bit harder for me, because although there is a portion of the population that doesn’t celebrate Christmas, there are celebrations like Hannukah, New Year’s, and other celebrations that are appropriate to acknowledge.  But for the American culture at large, Christmas IS the primary seasonal celebration – and it seems to me that people on both sides of the equation can calm down on this one.  Those who don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s okay to smile and say “Merry Christmas” back – because the person wishing it to you is wishing you good will & happiness.  Spread the cheer.

Those who celebrate Christmas and get offended at “Happy Holidays” also need to take a long swig of (doctored) egg nog and chill out.  If someone is concerned at offending people who might actually be offended at “Merry Christmas,” they’ll offer a more generic “Happy Holidays” as a means of goodwill-wishing and happiness.  Don’t piddle on their parade.  If Christmas is more to you than Santa and Frosty, celebrate it as you will.  But please, I beg of you, don’t define yourself by what you’re against.  It’s a bad precedent, I promise.  Jesus didn’t come in to the world to have you all offended that store clerks are taking the bland-path of “Happy Holiday” wishing.  Make His incarnation real in your life and extend grace and charity to all.  Do not get your knickers in a knot, please.  If Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon5 and Jewish) can dress up as Santa when Christmas isn’t in his normal celebrations – all to give back and bring joy to others – certainly, we can extend the same graciousness and show love wherever we go and with whomever we come in to contact.

When people who know us casually ask Brendan if he’s “ready for Santa,” or afterward, “what did Santa bring you?”  We don’t launch in to a diatribe of why we “don’t do Santa,” we smile and answer the question gracefully, and turn it around to ask about their Christmas preparations & celebrations.  No offense needed, and certainly none taken.

Make this Christmas a joyous one – be good to your family, relax about the house and its condition, and love all those around you.  Celebrate the Season that comes once a year and realize that when you’re old and gray, the only things you’ll remember are the good times.  The messy bedroom or non-white-glove-tested bannister won’t mean a hill of beans.  But the time you spent well will last forever.

Merry Christmas!

And if you celebrate the Solstice, Hannukah, or simply the new year, may your celebrations be bright and full of joy.  My very best to you and yours this season.  :)

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  • Laura Webber

    Beautifully articulated Sue! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Happy celebrating, especially holding those babies on Christmas Eve… I’m still hogging my baby to myself until mid-February, then maybe I’ll share!

  • http://chezsmiffy.blogspot.com/ Misti Anslin Delaney-Smith

    Merry Christmas my dear, wise friend.

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    and Happy Solstice to you, dear Misti. The New Year’s cards are out in today’s mail – although not nearly as lovely and handmade as yours were. 😉

    many hugs!