This story is making headlines in Canada right now. In short, some guy is filing a complaint with the Human Rights board because he thinks it is a violation of his rights as a Canadian that city buses display the saying “Merry Christmas.” It makes me so angry.
And then, today, I’m sitting at a red light behind a car that has this car magnet. This magnet got me equally as upset. Not because I don’t think Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus, but because it just shows how irritating and intolerant people are in today’s world. Much like the news story that I mentioned above.
And, my own mother makes my blood boil over this same idea: She absolutely refuses to say anything other than “Merry Christmas” to everyone she meets. In fact, she goes so far as to say “Have a Blessed Christmas.” She will get very angry and correct anyone who says “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” in her presence.
Let’s get the facts straight:
Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of the Christian Saviour, Jesus Christ.
North American culture was founded on Christian beliefs and while Canada and the US (I believe) are considered multicultural in nature, it does not preclude this original fact.
In recent decades, Christmas has become overly commercialized: More than any other holiday or celebration on our calendar.
Not everyone celebrates the birth of Jesus. However, many, many people celebrate Christmas.
Considering all of these facts, Christmas means many things to many different people. For some, yes, it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. For others it is about Christmas trees and Santa Claus and presents. There are some people who enjoy having a day or two off of work to spend time with their family and friends. And, there are also the people who don’t want to celebrate christmas at all. All of these options are fine and, in my opinion, perfectly acceptable.
I don’t care what your preference is: What I do care about, however, is that you are tolerant and respectful of EVERYONE’s beliefs and idea (of lack thereof) of Christmas.
This tolerance goes both ways. If you don’t celebrate Christmas because celebrating the birth of Jesus is not part of your belief system, don’t take that right away from those who do celebrate it for that reason. If you celebrate Christmas because it is the day or Jesus’s birth, that’s great too, but don’t alienate the people who don’t believe what you believe.
Also, if you live in Canada or the United States, you should feel privileged to live in a part of the world that allows you the freedom and the opportunity to practice your beliefs openly and free of prosecution. But also, please remember that this society was founded on Christian ideals and as such, it is part of the North American culture to celebrate Christmas. Accept it. And while you’re accepting that, please celebrate whatever holidays and celebrations are important to you.
I celebrate Christmas for everything that is stands for. I was raised in a Christian faith, but I don’t consider myself a very religious person. Jesus was a man who was born into this world, and he happens to be the central figure in one of the world’s largest religions. (There are also a few other important men who were also born into this world and are the central figures of other major world religions). Christmas is also a time to celebrate our family and friends, and the relationships in our lives that mean the most to us. It is a time to give and receive gifts. I celebrate it for all of these reasons. And, I respect that there are people who do not celebrate Christmas.
I say “Merry Christmas” to the people I know who celebrate Christmas for everything is stands for.
I say “Have a Happy Holiday” to people I don’t know very well, who may or may not celebrate Christmas.
I say “Happy Hanukkah” to my friends who are Jewish
And when it is Ramadan, I respect the fact that my Muslim friends do not eat when the sun is up.
That is what it means to live in this wonderful land and to be tolerant of the Multicultural society that we are becoming.
- The Real Meaning of Christmas (bloggingwithjoy.wordpress.com)
- Merry Christmas (coffeemuses.com)
- Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays (mapletreedruidry.wordpress.com)
- Happy Holidays? (theteentheme.wordpress.com)
- The Baby Jesus Loses the War on Christmas. A Good Thing (bloggingwithjane.wordpress.com)