I caught myself yesterday wondering if it would be “ok” to say Merry Christmas to someone in an email, someone I didn’t know well. I was concerned that I might “offend” the person. This morning I am thinking, my, my, how far we’ve come. And it’s not good. I agree there are certain things that shouldn’t be said to people, things that would be downright rude, but “Merry Christmas” isn’t one of them. “Hey you, you’re ugly” would be. That’s a personal, derogatory remark. But Merry Christmas is not a personal attack on anyone.
A long, long, time ago, I was offended at many things. Today, I’m not. What’s the difference? There came a time in my life where I decided to take personal responsibility for my own actions and feelings. If I was offended, then it was my problem; it wasn’t someone else’s fault. Some might say I got “religion” ; I got saved (from myself). Jesus is not touchy, or fretful, or offended all the time and He taught me how to do the same. I’m a much calmer, nicer person now, not all uptight about everything and everyone.
There’s a lot of fuss going on up in Washington State in the capitol building. It seems some people are taking offense to the nativity scene being displayed there, so the atheists are putting up their sign that actually attacks the beliefs of Christians. And now it seems the whole world wants to have a say and put their signs up too, one such as “Santa Claus will take you to hell”. Have we really become such a nation of self-centered whiners (to quote a congressman), where we can’t let others have free speech or even have a party? Maybe these people aren’t as busy as the rest of us preparing for the holidays and they need something to do. Under the banner of free speech, I defend their right of expression, but I don’t defend anyone’s right to be rude. Where is respect for others? Respect…now there’s something we seem to be lacking.
I know, I know, there’s the old and tiresome argument about separation of church and state. In 1870 the United States government declared Christmas a federal holiday, signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant. There was no mandating that you had to observe it, but everyone gets the paid holiday off, even if they don’t celebrate it. Employers have to pay you. If you are against that, well, perhaps you could work and not take the day off. I’m sure you have a choice in the matter. I have never heard anyone complain about getting paid to be off work for this holiday.
So, if someone wishes you a Merry Christmas this season and you don’t like it or you don’t celebrate the holiday, just let them have their party. Don’t be mean about it. This too, will pass. If you were having a party, I’m sure they wouldn’t interfere. That is, unless your music is too loud for the neighborhood.