Holidays: what's in a name?

Monday, December 5, 2005

A movement is underway to urge people to replace the word "Christmas" with the word "holidays."

They are being urged to speak about their holiday preparations beginning with Halloween and Thanksgiving and ending on December 25th with the gift-giving. In our now pluralistic nation, never say "Christmas" - it has the word "Christ" in it.

The lines are drawn. It is reported that Wal-Mart asked its employees to wish customers "Happy Holidays," not "Merry Christmas."

This, in spite of the fact its founder, Sam Walton, was a Sunday School teacher and an elder in the Presbyterian Church. His widow is a major giver to the Presbyterian Foundation.

The real problem is older and larger than Wal-Mart's encounter with the Catholic League. It is America's downhill slide into secularism, agnosticism and atheism.

In interesting contrast, the Post Office has issued and is selling Christmas stamps with pictures of Mary and the Christ child on them.

It is decision time. With only a few weeks left, are you shopping for the holidays or are you Christmas shopping?

It's time for Christians to unite and speak up if they wish to save the most beautiful, meaningful and precious season of the year.

It is an enlistment call for those who feel celebrating the birth of Christ is what makes Christmas and its theme song should be, "Joy to the World the Lord has Come, Let Earth Receive its King."

Finally, something has developed to give Christian churches and pastors an opportunity to really unite to save the birthday celebration of one who came to earth to save us.

Which would you rather sing in preparation for December 25th gift giving, the Holidays' Christless favorites "Jingle Bells," "Deck the Halls" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?"

Or, do you prefer "Silent Night," "Away in a Manger, No Crib for a Bed, the Little Lord Jesus Lay Down His Sweet Head"?

How about singing in our churches on Christmas Sunday morning worship services, "Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday Dear Jesus, Happy Birthday to You."

We need to remind the world that this is what the the holiday celebration is all about.

God bless.

* Clarence Richardson is a retired Storm Lake pastor. Comments can be sent to letters@stormlake pilottribune.com.