Too often people greet one another with a hearty, “How are you?” without any genuine concern, and when the recipient begins to inform them of exactly how they are doing, the greeter tunes them out. We have a sort of linguistic apathy or sterilization that takes place in our society. Our language undervalues the meaning of certain words and phrases over time.
One such phrase that we cannot allow to be devalued is Merry Christmas. In truth, the phrase is most sacred in meaning and expression. When offering someone a “Merry Christmas” we should be fully attentive to its precise meaning and present it with a genuine smile. I cannot imagine a better greeting or farewell than a sincere Merry Christmas.
There has been much attention in recent years to the use of Merry Christmas in stores, cards, and promotions, or more accurately its lack of use in our society. I personally disapprove of the use of “X-mas” and I do indeed feel it leaves Christ out, but I mostly keep those thoughts to myself. I have never really felt that people use it to be purposefully disrespectful, and I have even heard arguments that it is Christian in origin, as ‘X’ was the Greek symbol for Christos, or Christ. Still, it is not for me. As for the use of “Happy Holidays” I am not so bothered, but I still prefer Merry Christmas. The word “Holiday” is a compound word formed originally from “Holy” and “Day” which is exactly what Christmas is, the holy day.
For me, the concern is more about the tone and expression of the greeting. Regardless of whether we share a “Merry Christmas” or a “Happy Holidays”— is our heart and soul into it? Or are we just going through the motions? Christmas is our most sacred holiday. The music, food, decorations, singing, lights, and all the merriment is meant to celebrate the birth of Our Savior. Our attitudes should also reflect this great joy.
Charles Dickens’ creation of Ebenezer Scrooge is a holiday classic. His Christmas Carol succeeds because all of us can identify a “Scrooge” in our lives, and to be honest, within ourselves from time to time. The holidays can create stress, anger, and even depression, but only because our focus is tuned to the distractions and not God. Let Christ truly be our focus this holiday season in both our greeting and in our hearts.
It is so easy to get caught up in what Christmas isn’t really about. Let’s set aside our worries and pains this Christmas season, and celebrate, with great merriment and joy, the birth of Christ.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas. May your homes be filled with much laughter and happiness.
Kelly is an inspirational speaker, author, and artist.
Please visit our website to book Kelly for your next event.
www.kellycroy.com firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-831-4825