December 7, 2009

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Advent

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!


  1. Good Point! When I worked for Target & Wal*Mart I was told NOT to say Merry Christmas.....& would be fired if a manager heard me. So what did I do...I said fire me now. But they didn't. I still said Merry Christmas to people.
    This even goes back years ago when I worked in a bank & my boss then was Jewish.
    People just don't care anymore why we have Christmas they only care about money!
    Good luck with this post. But I'm on your side
    MERRY CHRISTMAS now & forever~
    Aunt Michelle

  2. I'm pretty sure people say Happy Holidays and not Christmas because there is no guarantee that the person who is patronizing your store, passing you in the street, etc etc, is

    There are other religious/cultures that celebrate in the winter months, and by wishing EVERYONE Merry Christmas, we're assuming that Christians rule the world and ignoring the fact that we live in a global, multi-ethnic, multi-denominational society.

  3. That's AWESOME Rose that's the best post I ever read


  4. Go Rose!!!

    My theory about people not celebrating Christmas after the day is because the business corporations don't make any money off Christmas gifts after Christmas. And this country (excuse me, the whole world) is run by money. Not the people, and not even the government.

    Sorry, I got a little carried away. :-)

  5. The reason why people say happy holidays is because they don't want to offend anyone else who isn't celebrating Christmas like Jews or Muslims--it's all part of the tolerance thing...

    This whole happy holidays thing doesn't make any sense because CHRISTMAS IS A NATIONAL HOLIDAY! Even if you were muslim or Jewish you still get the day off from work--and I'd even be so bold as to say that non-Christians might actually enjoy some of the festivities (not all, of course, because they don't understand the holiday!).

    Another point is that I don't think people are actually offended when someone wishes them a Merry Christmas--after all, as I pointed out, it's a national holiday, as well as an American cultural thing (though I think it would be nice if people would actually celebrate the holiday with the Birth of Christ in mind!).


  6. Excellent post, Rosie! You distinguish the difference between Advent and the Christmas season very nicely. Advent has such a exciting, celebratory spirit of anticipation-it's one of my favorite times of the year!

    I think the thing about "Happy Holidays" is that people want to include everyone, but honestly, it's not inclusive, or celebrating diversity or anything like that. It's just making everything generic and dull. :P I always wish my friends "Merry Christmas!" whether they're Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or Atheist, because I LOVE this time of the year, and I want them to be merry and jolly as well! I'm not ignoring their different beliefs, I'm simply sharing my beliefs with them. And, sometimes, I'll wish my friends who celebrate Hanukkah a Happy Hanukkah as well.

    I think it's absolutely ridiculous to be offended by someone wishing you joy and happiness. How thilly is that? :)

    Anywho, moral of the story: awesome post! :D


  7. Rose,

    I agree! We're told NOT to say Merry Christmas because it offends other races, denominations...etc. But hey, what about us? we're not big on Happy Hlolidays or season's Greetings! what if they offend us? But does that matter? NO. As a fellow Catholic, I feel the same. Next thing you know, they will find out Holiday is derived from holy day...then we'll stop saying that, too.


  8. We only have advent items out until Christmas week, then decorate the house and leave it up until the baptism of the Lord.
    ps. Why (beep) anonomous people?

  9. Anonymous -
    I am not picking at anonymous people in general, just that usually when someone has something nasty to say (not that you did, just saying) they do not include a name with it, because they are too scared to leave an identity.


    Thanks to all the rest of you for your comments!

  10. or because they Don't Have a identity you could identify with. ;D ;D take me. if I wasn't on the forum I would just do "anonymous".


    your post as usual was spot-on! ;D our family is always "late" with Christmas cards because usually they are sent after Christmas. however it's still the Christmas season as we delight in telling people! ;D

    :-* CM

  11. This reminded me of a story which you may find rather amusing.

    A Catholic college decides to become open and tolerant to other religions by removing the Crucifixes from every classroom. So one day, a Catholic Student and a Muslim student are killing time before class, and the Muslim student sees the mark left from the crucifix on the wall. He asks the Catholic if that spot had once housed a Catholic religious symbol. The Catholic student said, "yes," and went on to explain why it had been taken down (to make the non- Catholic students feel "comfortable"). The Muslim student then asks, " if you were at a Muslim college would you be offended if we had our symbols on the walls?"
    "Oh no!' The Catholic student says.
    "Exactly, because only a bigot would be offended. And BTW, I'm offended."
    "Because you thought I would be offended by your crucifix, therefore you have just called me a bigot."


  12. VERY well said, my dear! I think I may have to link to this post...

    Fairy Godmum

  13. Great post! Do we hear people wishing others a "Happy Holiday" around Valentine's Day? (another religious holiday btw) No matter how much people try to escape this fact, America was built on Christian principles and our holidays are based off of Christian holidays. In the end Truth will Triumph!

    Very interesting fact about Thanksgiving...something that hadn't crossed my mind before.


    btw, I wouldn't be offended if someone told me "Happy Hanukkah!"


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