Sorry folks, but I am really tired of watching that meme float around my social media universe. Really tired.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for anyone and everyone having an opinion. I’m all for anyone and everyone LIVING their opinion (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else). I just have difficulty with sanctimonious drivel. I have even more difficulty with people who are incapable of opening their hearts and seeing a bigger picture.
See the thing is, I don’t think you have to say “Merry Christmas.” But if you want to say Merry Christmas please, by all means say it. And if you want to say Happy Holidays or Season’s Greeting say that. I simply do not believe that the actual spirit of Christmas is served in any way by narrowing down our salutationary (yes, I just made up that word) options. What? We’re only allowed one? Because of course Christmas is a Christian holiday marking the birth of Christ (who of course we all know was a Jew) so we better make damn sure we get his name in there somewhere, right?
Because to me Christmas is something so much more than a religious event. To me it is a time to be a little kinder. A little gentler with yourself and those around you. A time for generosity. A time to be reminded that giving is a good thing. Giving to the poor, the homeless, the forgotten, the disenfranchised. A time to include EVERYONE in your circle of love. No matter what their religion and no matter how they greeted you on the street.
I mean seriously, wasn’t that Christ’s mandate? To love and accept everyone? Like, even Conservatives?
That’s what I don’t get. Why was it cool for Jesus the Jew to love and accept everyone and not give a flying hoot if there was Christ in Christmas? But now I am supposed to. I am supposed to proclaim loudly that I am a CHRISTIAN who insists that two words and ONLY two words be used during this festive (oops … bad choice of word) season?
Um … nope. Please be festive. Even if you’re not a Christian please be loving and kind and generous and festive. The spirit can exist amongst all of us, regardless of our personal beliefs.
Years ago I happened to be dating a lovely Jewish man and come holiday (oops again) time I invited him to my office soiree. It was Hanukkah and he had to light a candle first but he did show up (late) and we had a marvelous evening. Celebrating Christmas with my colleagues. I didn’t care and HE didn’t care that he was an orthodox practicing Jew. What we cared about was each other and sharing the season (I’m not saying oops again).
My son, whilst becoming a rock star, works in the hospitality industry in Toronto. He doesn’t have a hard time getting Christmas Eve, Day and even Boxing Day off work (he loves Christmas and being with his family) and you know why? Because the hospitality industry in large cities is populated with non-Christians. And they are more than happy to work the holidays. And to those fabulous folk I say “Thank you and God bless!” (you pick your deity). I am SO grateful to you because YOU are the reason I get to celebrate with my son.
Do I make a conscious effort to say Happy Holidays to those wonderful people? Ya know … cause they don’t believe in Jesus?
Nope. I say Merry Christmas because that’s what I say. That’s what I’ve always said. Even in England (where I have spent many holidays) where everyone says Happy Christmas I always said Merry Christmas. It’s how I grew up. It’s what makes me happy. Yes, Merry makes me Happy.
But please know beyond any doubt that I don’t say Merry Christmas because I am keeping the Christ in Christmas. I know far too many people who haven’t been to church in decades (apart from weddings and funerals) who have posted that stupid meme. No offence my friends, but walk your talk or please embrace silence. Because here’s the one thing I do know – the God of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians ALL preaches love. And that should be enough.
That should be ENOUGH in December and it should also be ENOUGH in January when the tree is down, the presents are unwrapped and the carols are no longer sung. Love, acceptance, inclusion … should be enough.
I think Christ would have agreed.
So please … say what you want, believe what you want, celebrate what you want and love who you want. Just don’t ask me to blindly be a sheep, simply because you re-posted a meme. The truth is I don’t think that meme is Christian at all.
I don’t think that meme is anything.
I think the Grinch said it best (I wonder what religion HE was?).
“What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”
I’m pretty sure it does.