Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Simple Christmas/Holiday Greeting...

Every  year the Christmas holiday seems to get a little more controversial.  Many Christians believe there is a "war on Christmas" from people who don't want God and/or Jesus to be part of the holiday, even though that particular holiday is Christian in origin.  Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  It has been commercialized into a holiday for all with Santa Claus and presents and various decorations, both religious and non-religious. 

In the politically correct corner, the greeting of "Merry Christmas" has been pushed aside by many in favor of the more secular greeting of "Happy Holidays".  I find that interesting since the word holiday comes from the root words "holy day", which still has religious connotations. 

Many stores and businesses, in order to not offend anyone of any religious or political persuasion, stay completely away from the word "Christmas".  Walking through stores these days you see the word "Christmas" less and less.  It's truly a shame since Christmas used to be a time when people came together, when they truly looked for peace in the world - even if it was only for a couple of days. 

On Christmas Day, 1914, only 5 months into World War I, German, British, and French soldiers, already sick and tired of the senseless killing, disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with 'the enemy' along two-thirds of the Western Front (in times of war, a crime punishable by death). German troops held Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, 'Merry Christmas.' 'You no shoot, we no shoot.' Thousands of troops streamed across a no-man's land strewn with rotting corpses. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged photographs of loved ones back home, shared rations, played football, even roasted some pigs. Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before. They agreed to warn each other if the top brass forced them to fire their weapons, and to aim high.

This event is documented historically.  And it was because both sides celebrated and honored Christmas and its meaning of peace on Earth.  It may have only lasted hours (although there are reports that in some places it lasted days) but think of it - a war interrupted because both sides wanted to celebrate a special holiday.

A couple of years ago I came across a Christmas greeting that should satisfy my secular, progressive, liberal, and even  atheist friends.  Here it is...

To my liberal/secular friends:

Please accept, with no obligation (implied or explicit) my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.  I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2013 but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great.  Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere.  Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To my conservative/believing friends:

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

May the joy of the Christmas season be with each of you, regardless of how you celebrate it.  God bless you all.

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