For centuries on the lips of people passing by others on the streets and in stores around the winter holiday would be ‘Merry Christmas’. The time of year when most of us are courteous, benevolent and full of good cheer! We reach out in human kindness to those who are less fortunate and regard the elderly with compassion because sharing and caring are the marks of true Christianity.
‘Merry Christmas’ brings with it the message of hope, salvation and goodwill towards all men. It unites humanity under the one banner of God’s love fully shown to the whole world through the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son.
Yet, there are those who are averse to the greeting of ‘Merry Christmas’, to say this most endearing term has become offensive to some. In fact, so much so that political correctness has entered the light against darkness show down of how to meet and greet each other in this festive season. ‘Happy Holidays’ fits the general consensus of all peoples and religions nicely enough, except Christians of course. Even that might still be too cheerful for the anti-Christian atheists who would like to see it done away with altogether, along with anything else that has a hint of Christ.
Well Bah Humbug to those people! They fit the description of old Uncle Scrooge in Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”, when he declared:
“If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!”
Scrooge’s hard heart had not been touched with the miracle of Christmas. Life had been hard and the death of his beloved sister had made him so bitter. Money and greed turned his heart to stone, he cared for no one and if not for divine intervention his salvation would be lost. His nephew replied forthrightly:
“I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. We have never had any quarrel to which I have been a party. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas, and I’ll keep my Christmas humour to the last. So A Merry Christmas, uncle!”
I suppose, all we can do is let those who do not wish to say ‘Merry Christmas’ get on with it, but we Christians should never been intimidated to lovingly say . . . “Merry Christmas!” . . .