Yes, it is the Christmas season. A time to give thanks and be appreciative for all that we are, and all that we have. A time to celebrate the birth of CHRIST…a time to recognize that IF we did not have the ‘birth of Christ’ as the reason for the season, we would not be celebrating Christmas.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons for this editorial. I cannot tell you how many times I hear good wishes, such as “Happy Holidays.” My response is a quick, “Merry Christmas to you too.” On one occasion while shopping, the employee look stunned at me when I said, “Merry Christmas.”
“We can’t say that,” she replied. “We can only say Happy Holidays.”
“But…this is America. The land of the free. We can express anything here in America.”
She looked down at the floor. “We can only say “Happy Holidays.”
I recall when I worked in the retail sales industry and we were told it was better to say “Happy Holidays,” than to express “Merry Christmas,” after all, we did not want to offend anyone. The philosophy at the department store was that Happy Holidays covered all of the holidays. Still, I expressed, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” covering both. I didn’t care that I might offend someone. If they were shopping for the holidays, then I wished them a Merry Christmas.
I remembered my grandmother and how furious she got when she read “Merry Xmas.” “That isn’t Christmas,” she expressed. “They’re leaving Christ out of Christmas.” As a child I didn’t fully understand what she was saying. Now older and wiser, I do understand and I make certain I write Christmas, not Xmas. I will not leave Christ out of Christmas.
I do not believe that I am the most religious person in the world, but I do believe in Christ and I believe I am a Christian. I do my best to be a good person, and to treat others as I wish to be treated. Of course, I am human, and at times, I am just a bit opinionated, as you will read in this epistle! Yes, I am a feminist and an advocate against domestic abuse of all types. I look for the good in everyone and I believe that everyone in life has a purpose; however, I believe that when we make mistakes, we must admit them, apologize and rise above the controversy or pain we caused to others. Everyone deserves a second chance. We must make the most of every day and live life to its fullest. I attempt to treat everyone as an equal and I do not understand that IF America is the land of the free, where we can express our words freely, then we should be able to keep Christ in Christmas, and by saying Merry Christmas, there should not be any offense to anyone.
Let’s consider Christmas:
C – Christmas, a time to Celebrate and to share our love with others. Most of all, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Christ child. A time for change and growth within our lives.
H – Hope. Something our entire world needs now more than ever. Hope for the future.Hope for peace.
R –<ins Reflection. A time to reflect on who we are, where we are going, and what we are doing in our daily lives.
I – Integrity. Everyone needs to strive to have more integrity for ourselves, and for others.
S – Salvation.
T – Time. We need to share more of our time, especially quality time with our loved ones. We need to make time to shut down or unplug the technology and to share quality time without interruptions.
M – Making the most of each day while recognizing that life is short and we should appreciate those who are important in our lives.
A – Adoration. Appreciation.
S – Simplicity.
Last year, during the Christmas holidays, I was sick. Dreadfully ill with acute bronchitis. My body lacked energy. Every breath was a struggle. My oxygen level was ‘less than 85,’ and I was told to get plenty of rest. Resting was not a problem. Throughout the day, I rested in bed, watching Lifetime and Hallmark channel Christmas movies until I could almost recite the dialogue of each movie. When the phone rang, I ignored it. I told my friends to simply let me rest. I suppose it is easy to say I basically shut the world away as I drank coffee, took my pills, coughed my head off, struggled to breathe and to rest. I was miserable. My precious schnauzers could not understand why they were tucked inside the gated community of the breakfast room while I sauntered ever so slowly towards the bedroom. Housework was ignored. My stove actually got so dusty I could write my initials on it. My Christmas holidays were a time of reflection. For weeks I wondered IF I would ever get well. What did I learn during this time?
I must say, my husband was my angel during this time. You must remember, my husband has PTSD. When things do not go as he anticipates, let’s just say, he can be a real grumpy bear of a man. Never did he ask me to do anything at home, with exception of resting and getting well. I recognized my neglect of my home and him when he asked me during the week if I could teach him how to do the laundry. He glanced at me, apologizing to bother me saying, “I’m out of clean underwear and shirts.”
Just how long had it been since I did laundry? Glancing at the calendar I realized this illness began in late October. The calendar staring back at me was December. It was time to do laundry!
Life is precious. It is to be cherished with those we love and we should make the most of every day we live. After all, we never know when the wheels of life may turn and we never know when Father Time may start ticking away. Last Christmas, I didn’t shop, at all! My life and health was in a fog, so I learned that Christmas should not be a time to rush around. It is a time to reflect and to appreciate.
Christmas time is a great time to change our lives. To celebrate and appreciate our loved ones, freedom and the belief and faith we have.
So many of us get wrapped up in the hustle, bustle of the holiday season. We rush to get to the next social event. We rush to get our families prepared for the holidays, and we rush to complete our shopping. Maybe we should slow down and appreciate life.
How many times have you seen the actions of someone during the Christmas season? The rushing in traffic. The rudeness of others? Yesterday, a driver that was behind me in a torrential rain storm decided I wasn’t going fast enough in the center lane. He drove so close to me that If I had to slam on my brakes, he would’ve rear ended me. I tapped my breaks lightly, to give him the message to back off. Instead, he swiftly changed lanes, cut me off, then tapped his break. He displayed his arrogance driving by, giving me the finger. Such a nice man!??? Perhaps a new and tormented “Mr. Scrooge!” Yes, he sent me a message and I hope wherever he was headed in the rain storm, I do hope and pray he made it without causing an accident.
It is my perception that we should slow down and appreciate life, especially during the Christmas rush season. Perhaps while shopping, we could stop and smile at someone. How many times have you noticed someone with a frown on their face? Maybe if you said hello to that person it might change their perspective. Have you ever visited a nursing home at the holidays? There are so many people there who never have a visitor and during the Christmas season they do not receive mail, phone calls, or visits. These residents deserve to have a happy holiday season. I have added a few to my Christmas letter list and I enclose a Christmas card with the letter. My hope is to put a smile on someone’s face during the holidays. After all, Christmas is the reason for the season.
My Christmas wish for all of you reading this is one of simplicity. May you appreciate your family and friends while taking the time to realize Christmas is a time to share your love to others and to man kind. May you never get so busy with the demands of your life that you forget to smile and say hello. May you not over indulge with the spirits of the season, the foods, and the gift giving that you forget the true meaning of Christmas. May you stop for a moment, inhale, exhale and say, “Merry Christmas” with a smile on your face.
Merry Christmas to all, and may God bless us – EVERYONE!
Little things mean a lot, especially at Christmas.