In the last few years, I’ve seen an increase in resentment by Christians who insist that they need to say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays.” I, as a Christian, do not understand this attitude. Not even just a little. I’m also a teacher, and I respect an honor all religions and cultures represented in my classroom (I know that not all my students are Christian). I have 95 students, and teach at a diverse school. Many of my students know that I am a Christian, but more importantly, I think most of my students know that I love and respect them. Isn’t that the main part of being a Christian…loving people for who they are? How are we disciples of Christ when we act as if our way is the only way by being stubborn? Alienating others is not what Christ is about. Yes, we believe that God is the one true God, and that Jesus was born, died, and rose again for our salvation, but forcing our beliefs on others is not being a witness of God’s love. I, in no way, feel that my faith is threatened when I say “Happy Holidays.” This phrase has been in existence for as long as I can remember, and it just now is a problem?
After each midterm exam last week (except one…just too much chaos at that moment because of scheduling issues), I passed out mini candy canes, said, “Happy Holidays,” and told the students I hope they have a Wonderful Winter Break. (Yes, “Winter Break”…We have Spring Break and Summer Break, and Winter break.) I don’t think they were offended because I didn’t say “Merry Christmas,” but they did notice that their teacher recognized them as human, not just little beings taking a test, and they loved getting candy!
Outside of public service, I don’t think anyone is forcing anyone else to say one thing and not another (btw, I, in no way, feel forced to say anything). For those who live in my general vicinity, the Houston area is the most diverse in the nation. Why not spread God’s love by accepting differences? I don’t think most people are offended by “Merry Christmas,” so by all means, keep saying it if you want to, but there’s no need to be belligerent about it or to be offended by someone saying “Happy Holidays” to you. Maybe they don’t know what resonates with you, but they still want to wish you happiness. Is that so wrong?
Too all of you..Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays…enjoy your time with family and friends! For those of you grieving or in emotional or physical pain, may you find some source of comfort during this time. Please reach out to someone whom you can trust and just hold on. I know the Holiday Season can make hard times harder. You can get through this, and the sun will rise again after all the trees and lights are down and the ribbons and bows are gone.
Wishing you all peace and love!