The first memes declaring that “it’s Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays” showed up in my Facebook stream on Thanksgiving day. I long ago grew tired of the so-called war on Christmas as it distracts us from the significance and meaning of the season.
Consider why it is you choose to wish another person a Merry Christmas. If it is to offer another good cheer, then a hearty Merry Christmas is appropriate — if you know that they celebrate the holiday. If, however, you know they do not, and you do so to win a battle in the Christmas war then you’ve missed the core message of the Christian faith: extravagant love overcomes even death.
A loving response to another is sensitive to their sensibilities. To cynically offer a Merry Christmas to others to prove a point is not a loving response. It wins no friends for you, it gains no friends for Jesus, nor does it make our culture more Christian. It is contrary to the teachings of Jesus who reminds us that the most important commandment is,
“Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31 CEB