Personally I really don’t like seeing Christmas decorations before All Saints Day, but I’m not offended when I do. I don’t take offense at Happy Holidays either because the month of December is chock full of them.
Advent may or may not be in December depending on the number of Sundays predating Christmas Day, and I know a number of people who begin special daily devotionals for Advent. Many people knowingly wait for Advent to begin Christmas decorating or what some of Grandpa’s generation back at St. Margaret’s called displaying of green with the evergreen wreaths symbolizing everlasting life. That’s why I prefer waiting until at least after Thanksgiving for Christmas.
Saint Nicholas’ Day and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Day prior to Christmas are special holidays for many. While I’m familiar with the feast for Saint Thomas the Apostle recognized by some on the day, only recently did I learn that some Christian congregations conduct special services on or near winter solstice for those suffering the grief of loss. If you hear Blue Christmas or Longest Night service, this is it.
Most who will read this are aware of Saint Stephen’s Day in the Christian calendar. Naturally many recognize Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Thanks to Seinfeld, Festivus has increased in celebration.
To my knowledge nativity scenes continue to be set up on private property. With my cross country travels this month, I’ve seen several already this year in multiple states. Like other presentations or decorations, the primary issue is when something is so elaborate that its display infringes upon the privacy and rights of others that it presents problems. Most neighbors don’t appreciate people parking cars in their yards, bumper-to-bumper traffic, loud continuous noise, or lights bright enough to shine through blackout curtains. Yes, people tend to focus upon what is displayed, but often the real issue is how it is displayed. It’s like many things. We support them as long as it affects another neighborhood and not ours.
On public property, there are legal battles. Some in my opinion are ridiculous. Again, however, it is ridiculous on both sides. That small display is not infringing upon the rights of anyone, but if one group has the privilege to set up a display then other groups should be afforded the same privilege to set up their own displays. Just because something always was doesn’t mean that it is right and the only way.
I prefer a society where people greet each other in a friendly manner. Hello, Hey, Hi, How’s it going, pleasure, please, a smile, wink of an eye, nod of the head, handshake, fist bump, high five, bro hug, kiss on the forehead, the little shoulder hug, chest bump, or even what a former MSU lineman used to do to me “Hey Mr. R, What’s Up, tosses me into the air and chuckles you are my brother, catches me, and laughs as he gently returned me to my previous position.”
I don’t mean to be PC, but I say Happy Holidays during the month of December, and I say Merry Christmas at pre-Christmas get-togethers and on 25 December. Words really don’t offend me in these situations because I care more about one’s intent. Kindness, common courtesy, and good will are more important than a particular phrase. I have a hard time believing that Jesus would throw a 1, 2 combination followed by some type of takedown and proceed to an arm-bar or blood choke if someone said Happy Holidays in his presence.
Donald Trump during his little multi-city tour is convincing people that he is reinstating the phrase Merry Christmas. I have heard Barack Obama say Merry Christmas, and I have heard Joe Biden say the same. Despite all the claims to the contrary, Christmas trees are still at the White House and Capitol Hill for the holiday season.
Network television for longer than I have been alive has shown schoolmates saying Merry Christmas to a fellow classmate who cried out asking if anyone knew what Christmas was all about after everyone listened to another classmate recite from Luke in the Holy Bible.
No President-elect Trump, many have claimed that there is a war on Christmas. This supposed war dates back many years. It’s a war that resides in the hearts of a few because those hearts welcome that war. We cannot change that, but we can let Christmas into our own hearts. Christmas can be merry by just doing what we can to make all holidays happy for us and others.
One way to do that is to accept the sentiment expressed by the Trump Hotel Collection.
I’m not offended by that advertisement Sir, and I hope the same for you and yours along with the Obama family, Biden family, and to all who read this quickly typed unproofed draft.
Happy Holidays to all and may everyone enjoy a Merry Christmas.