I had a nice experience at a local big box store last night. I had stopped in to begin my Christmas shopping, and as I exited with my purchases, there was a young man standing next to a Salvation Army kettle, ringing a hand bell. I put a five into the pot, and he said “Merry Christmas”. I thanked him and wished him “Merry Christmas” as well.
Unfortunately, not everyone is allowed to say “Merry Christmas” these days. Many stores and other public places actively prohibit employees from wishing anyone anything other than a bland “Happy Holidays”. Now, I don’t hold that against the employees, as they have little choice if they want to keep their jobs. I do, however, blame the employers, and those who would secularize the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior. The former are intimidated into cowering compliance for fear of offending someone-but apparently offending Christians is OK. The latter are those who don’t believe in God or Jesus Christ and want to force their non-belief upon everyone else. If they don’t believe, I’m willing to pray for them, but I refuse to let them prohibit me from expressing my faith.
So, when someone wishes you a “Happy Holiday” in the coming days, respond kindly. They may not even have a choice in the matter. I suggest that you smile, and wish them God’s blessings and a “Merry Christmas”. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, remember what Christmas is really about.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.