Even if we believe Jesus is the reason for the season, we can't lay claim to all of December as if we invented it - Hanaukah was around for awhile too, you know. And if we cling to religious freedom in our country, that has to apply to everyone - and for some, that means NOT saying Merry Christmas.
But without getting into a political and religious argument, I would like to deal with something a little more basic - and that's kindness. If someone wishes you a Happy Holiday, is it kind to crawl all over them for not mentioning the Christ child? (I have trouble thinking Jesus would approve of such). Could we not respond in like mode, or, if we wish, simply respond with a Merry Christmas? If one works for a company that asks their employees to say Happy Holidays, is it kind to jump all over said employees? While you are in line at the cash register?
On a personal note: I get tired of people asking me to have a nice day - or more specifically, when they tell me to 'have a good one'. But - it's not about me. They are being polite, or being good employees,(or simply being on autopilot, I don't know), but I AM sure they are not trying to go out of their way to aggravate me. That's my very own problem, my personal irritant. So instead I smile, and say 'thank you', or 'you too'. Big deal if it aggravates me - it's the same when people call me Miss Molly. Can you imagine how many times I have heard that over 59 years? Little Richard did the Mollys of the world no favours. When people ask, I will tell them that I prefer to be called almost ANYTHING besides Miss Molly, but over the years I have realized that I need to get over myself. Beats being called something worse..........
Over the centuries, the body of Christ has not always done a wonderful job of good public relations. We are at our best when we allow God's light to shine from within us with hope and peace and joy and love - not when we are arrogant or obnoxious in our insistence that our way must be everyone's way. So let's throw a little kindness into this time of year.
Merry Christmas to you all, from Pastor Molly. Or Rev. Smothers. Or Mrs. Smothers. Or Mama. Or Mamaw. Or Molly Shannon. Or - if you need to hear it such - from Miss Molly.