First I just want to say that I fully expect to get at least one irate comment from 'anonymous', because they didn't read my post carefully enough. So if you think you may fly off the handle, spare yourself and don't even read what I have to say.
Walking around the stores a week or so after Halloween, I noticed that the stores had already started decorating for Christmas - excuse me, the Holiday - and stations began running "Holiday special" commercials. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this seemed even earlier than in past years where stores at least waited until the day after Thanksgiving. And right on schedule, on Black Friday lights went up and turned on.
Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem with decorating for Christmas. What I DO have a problem with is the reason most people have for putting up their decorations. The majority of America is not decorating to celebrate the birth of Christ, they are decorating because it's "the holiday" and it's what people do every year. I can pretty much guarantee that they will all be down two days after Christmas at the latest.
Why doesn't anyone celebrate Christmas after Christmas anymore? Why do the decorations come down, the radio's stop playing music, people stop wishing each other "Merry Christmas?" (We're ignoring the fact that it is politically incorrect to say "Merry Christmas" for now.)
Do you go to the funeral before the person has died? Do you have the wedding reception before the bride and groom say "I do"? Do you have the baptism before the child is born? Then why does our culture 'celebrate' Christmas before Christmas? Honestly now, why is that?
(Mwhaha, if everyone were good Catholics, we wouldn't have that problem. The church gives us until the Feast of the Presentation - February 2nd - to celebrate the birth of Our Lord!)
Right now is Advent, not Christmas. We are to be preparing for the birth of Christ, not celebrating it yet! It's like the engagement before the wedding, or the pregnancy before the birth of the child. There is a spirit of celebration, certainly, but not the celebration itself.
The American culture irritates me, to say the least.
AND another thing... this whole "Happy Holidays" deal... why do people have to get offended by "Merry Christmas"? I mean, that's what the holiday is! Christmas! Not "The Holiday!" Do they have any idea how utterly stupid it sounds to call Christmas 'The Holiday'? They might as well call it "The nameless holiday", because holidays (derived from "holy days") are a group, not one specific event.
People get offended when you tell them, "Merry Christmas", but does it matter that I get offended when someone says "Happy Holiday"? Apparently not. But I have every right to be offended, because people who say Happy Holiday - intentionally or not - are denying the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They are denying that He was born to save us all. They are denying His very existence.
It's not just at Christmas either. Has anyone else noticed the surging use of the term "Turkey Day" in place of "Thanksgiving"? Hmm? If you haven't... think about it for a minute. It only makes sense that those who are trying to eliminate Christ from society would change the name of Thanksgiving, because obviously they don't believe in Christ so who do they have to offer thanksgiving to?
Just some things to consider this CHRISTMAS season.
This Christmas - as always - I'm going to wish people a Merry Christmas, dirty looks or not. Particularly to those who wish me a Happy Holiday. To some I may even take the advice of our wonderful priest and politely inquire "Which holiday do you want me to be happy for?"
I'll wish you Blessed Advent now, but come Christmas tide, don't expect any "Happy Holiday" from me. All you'll hear is Merry Christmas!