Happy Holidays!

So, you walk into a store. “Happy Holidays!!” the signs all declare. You think to yourself, “I wish that they would change those meaningless signs.” you walk through the aisles, looking at at all the over-priced trinkets. You find a rack with the gifts you’re looking for… You observe that there are lots of different models and prices of that item… You choose the one in the middle price bracket, after all, who wants a low end gift? So, you spend slightly more than you were intending, but who cares? It’s Christmas, you’re in a giving spirit! When you’re through checking out, the cashier tells you: “happy holidays!” (she can’t say anything else, the company won’t let her.) You proceed to lecture her about the “true reason for the season” and say, “you should be saying Merry Christmas!” You walk away, leaving the cashier disgruntled and slightly embarrassed that she upset you. You however, are quite proud of your noble action. You go home and complain to your family about the “Happy Holidays” hoax and how annoying it is for “people these days” to shove Christmas aside. You then plug in the tree lights, set the table with red and green, play some happy music about winter wonderlands and glistening snow… You write lots of cards to relatives, even those you don’t like. (After all, it is Christmas…) You hide all of your newly found treasures to be wrapped in special paper later; you check the fridge for food, you call your family together to frantically clean for Christmas day… You set up your nativity scene, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and some shepherds and kings. You focus on Christmas this, Christmas that, you talk to your co-workers about who’s coming home for Christmas and what food they’ll be eating. Christmas Eve rolls around, you’re quite happy “the day” is almost here! It’s Jesus’ birthday kids! We should all sing happy birthday to Him! After talking about Christ, and his lowly birth in a manger, you say: “Santa will be here in the morning with some gifts for you!” Sleep well tonight! Christmas day comes around, everyone is busy. The kids are opening presents, you’re fixing food, the relatives are all driving in from various places… You have so much …stuff… now you’re taking all your …stuff… and using it all to make yourself happy… Christmas is celebrated as the day to remember that Christ came to this earth as a human child. So what do we do to honor the Son of God who died for our sins? We eat extra food, we give gifts to our kids who have so… much… stuff… already… we spend more money on trivial items than we normally ever would. We glorify the King of Kings by sing about the weather, putting lights on a dead tree, and buying special paper to wrap gifts to give to those we love. Jesus said that if Peter loved Him, that Peter should tend His sheep. We love Christ, we make such a big deal about making sure that EVERYONE knows it’s Christmas time, not just any holiday. We have attached God’s name to a pagan holiday, changed the rituals to suit our religion, and looked at our work, and said: “it is good.” Now that the stores are saying “Happy Holidays” we fight to make sure they relate this over commercialized buying, giving, and eating festival to the one who died for our sins. Then we smile at what we did, and we eat our turkey, and say… Merry Christmas.

Chris Schultz – 28 March 2011

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