I think I've changed my mind. Through most of my adult life I have resisted the “Merry Christmas” club. Not because I have anything against gift giving or having great family times, but the whole thing is born of pagan folly. This year, however, I’ve begun to look at it a bit differently.
“Christmas” is simply “Christ” (our Savior) plus “mas” (a coming together, as in the Catholic “mass”), and originated in the Roman Catholic attempt to assimilate pagans and their culture under the control of their Church. Hence my problem with the term/event.
As an aside, it is important to remember that the real miracle of the coming of Christ was not His birth/nativity (although there were certain miraculous things involved in that too!), but the real miracle took place at His conception. Being born of a virgin makes Him unique, indeed! Luke 1 gives the historical details necessary to locate the time of the conception of Jesus Christ as being in late December. Hence the pagans attempt to commandeer that season for their own corrupted ends.
But now it has become “politically incorrect” to use the “Merry Christmas” greeting. Employees, for example, are told not to mention “Christmas,” but instead to say, “Happy Holidays.” But herein lies a bit of humor: The word “holiday” comes from “holy” (as in, holy is the Lord) plus “day.”
I find it ironically amazing that our language is so rooted in Biblical tradition that even the attempts to root out every reference to the Savior falls so flat on its face. Oh, the worldly wise don’t get it, but I’m sure the God of Heaven finds such things amusing (as should we)!
So I’ve put “merry Christmas” back into my vocabulary—just for the fun of it. Cynthia has been saying it to store employees just to see their reaction! When they respond, “happy holidays,” we just ask if they are believers too! Its made the shopping lots of fun.