Lately my inbox has been inundated with emails from people complaining, or rebelling against the removal of the word "Christmas" from advertising, cards, schools, stores, billboards, etc. etc.
At first I was angry and frustrated too. It does make me angry somewhere deep inside when I think about "them" trying to remove Christ from every aspect of our lives. But come on, if it hasn't happened yet, do they really think it ever will?
I realize it's the principle of the thing, but even so, I actually think "they" are hanging themselves by trying to save themselves from admitting there is a God whose birth is being celebrated right now.
In an effort to clarify the meanings of the words "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays", (the latter being the words "they" have for this time of year), I dug out my handy dandy Webster's 1828 Dictionary. Here's what good old Webster had to say about those phrases:
Merry=gay and noisy; jovial; exhilarated to laughter.
Christmas= The festival of the Christian Church observed annually on the 25th day of December, in memory of the birth of Christ....
Happy= fortunate, receiving good from something that falls or comes to one unexpectedly, or by an event that is not within control....
Holiday comes from the 2 words: holy and day
Holy= from the root of heal, hold, whole. Properly, whole, entire or perfect, in a moral sense. Hence, pure in heart, temper or disposition; free from sin and sinful affections. We call a man holy when his heart is more or less sanctified or purified or when his heart is conformed in some degree to the image of God and his life is regulated by the divine precepts.
Day= the whole time or period of one revolution of the earth on its axis, or twenty four hours.
Wow. Looking at it that way is amazing. They are just about the same in meaning. We wouldn't be happy or merry without the birth of Christ, and it's through His birth (and death and resurrection) we are made holy. In some ways I actually prefer "Happy Holidays" to "Merry Christmas", but like I said, it is the principal of the thing that matters here....