Life has changed in 2020, individually, society, culture, and religion. Currently, striving to remember that change is inevitable. Change triggered by life choices, community growth or decrease, medical, culture, and social change as events and individuals age and change their view on life and how they impact society’s culture and society. Contemplating the United States community, I see from behind a register and on the floor helping people find things. People used always to thank and wish the employee a Merry Christmas. Now, very little is said, even for my part personally. Christmas is a time of incredible joy from a faith perspective. We are celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ.
No, this is not; it would be best to say Merry Christmas, or I feel attacked religiously. I felt joy when someone wished me a Merry Christmas when mental health-wise struggled with my depression. It was just a reminder of seeing children get gifts, celebrating family and friends, calling or sending cards to people in the address book that brought up memories of why they were in that book. Sometimes calling them because you realized you had not talked to them in six months. I feel on edge now in saying Merry Christmas. I ran across the below articles when I searched for why it has become a stressor and taboo to say Merry Christmas. Even Happy Holidays can set people off.
Had gone in search of why the increase in past years and even worse this year there is no joy but hesitancy in wishing someone Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays.
One was from Politico Magazine, who presented the article written by Daniel Denvir, who works at the Philadelphia City Paper written on December 16, 2013, A Short History of the War on Christmas. Found it fascinating that as many things impacting our culture, it began from a small Society or Association that wanted to change their culture. Does reinforce a small group of individuals changes whether that is good or bad; we shall see as the years move forward. The information presented was excellent in that it showed the polarizing extremes of liberal versus conservative sides. My takeaway is that Christmas is not to listen to the extremist and celebrate Christmas based on a family tradition, not a small society segment.
Christmas meant to generate hope and goodwill for all, not anguish unless there was a loss personally. If there are no traditions, make some of your own. It could revolve around helping an individual or groups all of next year or getting together with friends in the same situation. Get out there, be creative, make your tradition, meditate on your faith, or begin contemplating what worked and what did not, and how to make changes starting in the new year. Moving away from the minefield of Christmas, I tried to find a positive spin toward Christmas.
I came across an article in Country Living by Rebekah Lowin written December 9, 2020, reviewing how Merry Christmas came around. Here’s the Origin of ‘Merry Christmas’ and Why We Say It Today short article but was packed with information that Merry Christmas may have begun in the fifteen hundreds. Found it fascinating that the phrases in many forms have been around for centuries. My takeaway is that using Merry Christmas is not an insult; it is a tradition. Let’s bring joy back by returning to a practice that was an aspect of culture, not an attack on religious freedom. Ground roots action, let’s say Merry Christmas.
For some prayerfully many, the words are the reminder that Christ Our Saviour was born. For others, it is a celebration of family traditions. Merry Christmas is a cultural phrase of joy, peace, and sentiment. Many need this more than ever to figure out how they will make the money stretch to handle the basics. Others need the reminder of joy in the world, not the negative.
For me, Merry Christmas brings back memories of being at my grandparents baking cookies, helping decorate, and helping cook the Christmas meal. Remember listening to Christmas Music on records from John Denver, Frank Sinatra, and many more, and the Snoopy Christmas Album and love the below song. Sitting writing this up cannot even tell you why, but I feel joy just listening to it again.
Since I went from two ends of the spectrum of information, let me wrap this up with two videos from Matthew West presenting first the season’s sentimentality and faith this year. The other is the nitty-gritty of this year. WARNING the second video shows a negative view of Santa for little ears and eyes (children) and does finish with a fantastic reminder of ‘the reason for the season.’
Thank you, Matthew West, for your exceptional talent and ability to put this all together.
Get out and start your traditions and memories of Christmas. Ignore the stores putting up Valentine’s stuff. Let’s strive to go into 2021 with hope and peace for a future year of more change and adapting to a new way of life.
MERRY CHRISTMAS. For those from different religious traditions, may you find joy and happiness? Maybe even start the practice of using your religious connotations. Merry Christmas and _______________! Let’s strive to bring joy to those around us. Let’s not feed conflict from both sides of the aisle. Merry Christmas in whatever form you find yourself celebrating. Life is change, and that is okay.