I saw it again, on Facebook, this morning. Generally it's been posted by a family member... I have fairly vocal and opinionated family members. Sometimes, it's been posted by a friend. My friends are also opinionated and vocal.
It goes a bit like this, "The Christmas season is being held hostage! Why do we have to say Happy Holidays? It's Merry Christmas and I don't care what anyone else says!"
I understand why some Christians feel the season is being held hostage... we hear on the news every day that one district or school or organization is being taken to task for displaying holiday (Christmas) decorations...and they don't like it. This is Christmastime, after all. It's all about... the manger and the Christ child and Mary and Joseph and the Wise Men and... all that. It's a celebration of Christ's birth.
I think that's what it used to be. I think now, it's about Target, and WalMart and Cyber Monday and shopping, shopping, shopping... trampling anyone who gets in your way... putting up hundreds of decorations so you can get on TV, while you WASTE electricity...and it's about screaming at people who don't celebrate as you do... because they want to wish you a happy day, but they do not participate in Christmas.
NO ONE is holding the Christmas holiday hostage. NO ONE is asking Christians to stop shopping and spending money they don't have. NO ONE is saying, "don't send those surypy holiday cards"... Go for it. If you do those things, if having all those presents under that fake tree, is important to you... I don't mind. Merry Christmas and all.
But, I, for one, don't celebrate as much as I used to. I feel less and less celebratory every year. I see too many instances of anger, criticism, and prejudice all around me. I see people wasting time, energy, love, and even their good sense. Instead of understanding that there is a big world out there and that not everyone is Christian, and that even while some folks dont' celebrate "that" holiday, they do celebrate another... so, it makes sense to say, Happy Holidays, these people just want to denigrate anyone who doesn't think or feel the way they think or feel.
Here's what I have to conclude with: Happy Holidays. Each and every day can be a holiday and I wish each and every one of you out there, a happy one.
Now... go forth and enjoy. Because the world will keep turning, and Emily (below) will keep smiling, no matter which phrase you or I use to represent the time of year we're in.