Happy Holidays - a Christian Greeting?

As it has been used in the US in the last 10 years, "Happy Holidays" can be framed as an attack on Christmas and the Christian worldview in general. But does it have to be?

(Please understand that the next paragraphs aren't intended to criminalize saying "Merry Christmas" - instead, they are intended to help Christians be less offended by other, less Christ-inclusive Yuletide greetings.) 

Instead of immediately running for cover or fighting back when we hear someone use a generic Christmas term,  let's find ways to use that situation for our neighbor's benefit.

Maybe using a more generic term than Christmas is a way to tell the people around you that you're sensitive to the differences we have and that you care. 

Maybe "Season's Greetings" can just mean, "Hi" at a special time of year.  

Maybe saying "Happy Holidays" doesn't have to mean "I despise the thought of God made man for the salvation of all people." 

If you're a Christian person who has watched the pro-Jesus America of a former era dissipate, maybe the gift you can give the skeptics and the unchurched around you this year is not so much to be more sensitive about their belief systems as it is to be less sensitive about your own. Are we concerned that since news anchors and public teachers don't say "Christmas" anymore Christ won't be born? Are we concerned that God will smite America if our politicians and cultural icons won't say "Christ is born" on camera? Does America, by being Christian or celebrating Christmas, deserve any of the goodness God has shown or will show? 

Of course not, to all of the above. Despite all this talk of naughty or nice, Christmas is a time of love undeserved - the only kind of love that conquers all. 

Since Christmas means that God has done what it took to be victorious, Christians can squabble with losing worldviews, mentalities, and religions less and focus instead on evangelizing. You must realize that if you run into anyone who is on a war or rampage against Christmas, Christ's victorious and undeserved love means you don't have to be afraid of losing to them - instead, you should be afraid of losing them. 

Realize that it might take 1000 baby steps to bring them across the bridge from unbelief to Christ, and you need to do whatever you can to help them take the next step. Not some amazing, miraculous leap; just help them take the next step. 

And maybe, just maybe, that step might be showing them that a Christian person can love them even when they say Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings. 

God bless your Christmas celebrations.  

Kent Reeder
Pastor - Illumine Church