In any event, the battle is near; and so we offer to you the following, our five suggestions for fighting back against those who want to rid the world of "Merry Christmas." (P.S.: these really work!)
- First of all, be of good cheer. Nothing drives the secularists crazy like a cheerful Christian. While they're looking for a frothing-at-the-mouth, hard-line knuckle-dragging fundamentalists, their systems often have to reboot when confronted with something else. Show to them that when we say Merry Christmas, we mean it!
- When someone wishes you "Happy Holidays," smile and reply, "and a Merry Christmas to you, too!" You'd be surprised at how many times people smile back and wish you a Merry Christmas as well. As The Curt Jester points out, a lot of these people are under orders; that doesn't mean that they agree with them. Wishing them Merry Christmas gives them permission to be themselves. And as for those who scowl at you, - humbug!
- Send a message to the marketplace by buying cards that actually say "Merry Christmas." If you've got that really, really great card that does say "Happy Holidays," be sure and write Merry Christmas on the inside.
- Make the celebration last. One shopping mall boasted that their Christmas (whoops, I mean holiday) decorations would be down by New Year's Eve. That's ridiculous! Remember that Christmas lasts until Ephphany, twelve days later (hence The Twelve Days of Christmas). Of course New Year's is part of the holiday season - if not, just what other holidays are they talking about?
- Finally, but most important, remember what Christmas is all about. In our home we tend to celebrate both the secular and the religious Christmas; we put our tree up the first weekend in December and play Christmas music all month long. We enjoy the decorations and the specials and the cartoons, we brave the crowds in the malls as we do our shopping (and people-watching), we invite our friends over for parties and go to their houses. In other words, we enjoy all the trappings of the modern secular Christmas. However, we also have our Creche and our Advent wreath, we attend Midnight Mass, we read Luke's rendition of the Nativity before eating Christmas Eve dinner and the story of the gifts of the Magi before opening our own presents on Christmas morning. If we are to convince others that Christmas is not just another "holiday," we need to believe it in our own hearts first.
Five simple suggestions. They work for us; we think they'll work for you too. Don't be afraid to try just one; the more you wish others a Merry Christmas, the more you'll believe it yourself. And remember what it means.