Paul believes in the Christmas Spirit, and al the cheer and joy that comes with it. It truly is a wonderful time of the year, .
Not very many years ago, I had a job making deliveries for a small printing company, and I remember one Christmas season when I was required to bring a good deal of last minute holiday greeting card orders to several businesses in the area. Christmas time was near, and as some would say, it was in the air, so I found myself voicing many greetings and wishes of the season, mostly in the form of, "Have a good holiday" or "Have a nice holiday." Often others would beat me to it, wishing me the same, or a "Merry Christmas", greetings which I enthusiastically returned in kind. These were nice, crisp, early winter days, and I was feeling the Christmas spirit, and the cheer of the season. I could not help but to share these feelings with those I met at their places of business, and with those I passed by on the street.
As Christmas day drew near, I found myself making similar greetings to most of the people that I encountered while going about my business. Again, I would mostly say "Have a good holiday." I received various replies like "Same to you", and many a "Merry Christmas." Sometimes I just received a smile and a nod, and that is just as good. But there were times when I would receive a of "Merry Christmas", which seemed to me, less of greeting and more of a admonishment or a correction, as if that was the only thing that I should have been saying. Although I believe that most people would not have a problem with the way in which I voiced my greetings, some did not seem to appreciate it. It appeared to me that my motivations were suspect; that maybe I was trying to be, what was called ay the time, politically correct.
It was not my intention to be politically anything, I wished to give a sincere and friendly greeting, full of the enthusiasm and cheer that I had been feeling. Christmas is all about the cheer and the joy, which like Christ's love, is alive and well in this world and which we celebrate during this wonderful time of the year.
I always try to use the right words when I address others, but the feeling behind these words are equally important. I may want to wish someone a good holiday, a good holy day, a merry Christmas and happy new year, or just a plain good old day. And it really doesn't require much thought, because I trust that if my feelings are sincere, so too will be my words.
Simple greetings when heartfelt can make a difference in someone's day, adding a little cheer to it, brightening it a bit, and again I trust that the enthusiasm I feel will be felt by others and they in turn would pass it along, just as my enthusiasm was increased whenever someone had a kind word for me. This exchange of greetings is nothing short of an exchange of blessings. We salute each other, whether in a word, a smile, a wave of the hand, or a nod of the head. And this exchange of blessings sometimes seems to have a calming effect during this busy time of the year, bringing a little peace to the moment, bringing us all a little closer, helping us feel that good old holiday spirit.
There may be times when I, as well as others who share my beliefs, may feel restricted in the way we express our own religious sentiments, speaking certain phrases, or displaying certain things in public places. As a result, we may find ourselves saying "Merry Christmas" with a bit of an edge to it, and advising others that it is the only appropriate greeting of the season. And while it is still a blessing, it is less so, as it diminishes some of those good feelings that have come our way, and the flow of those feelings that we wish to share with others.. It is very difficult to be mean spirited while we are seeking good cheer and joy. We have the right to assert our religious freedoms, but not, I think, at the cost of forgetting what it is all about. The Christ child is born because God loves the world. Let us love the world and all who are in it.
During the holiday season, I often find myself enjoying some things that are unique to this time of year. A great deal of Christmas music being listened to, and carols being sung. There are also many heartwarming holiday films being watched. And there seems to be a recurring message in these things. Could it have anything to do with the wish of attaining a little peace on earth?
So I say Merry Christmas, not as a statement, but as a heart felt wish, And I continue to keep in mind the freedoms and religious sentiments of others. It is not about trying not to offend anyone; it is about sharing the good will, and perhaps even increasing it a bit in this world where it often seems to be hard to find.
This is the season when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. He is the one who forgives and heals, the one who tells us to forgive others and to love ourselves and our neighbors. Loving our neighbors is respecting for their beliefs and accepting their blessings.
We often say things like, "peace on earth" and "good will to all" during this time of year, but peace on earth is not something that just happens. It begins with us and in the way we behave toward those close to us. It proceeds in the ways we interact with our neighbors and everyone we meet. Peace then works its way outward and forward. With kind and caring thoughts and actions, we continue the flow. All peoples are worthy of our blessings, as we accept any blessings directed our way. A little patience and kindness with relatives, neighbors, coworkers, and anyone else including ourselves can go a long way toward this end, this end being a beginning, a beginning, perhaps, of a more peaceable world.
We celebrate Christmas by giving. We give gifts and we give thanks. Many of us may celebrate in some traditional ways which are aside from, and yet still complement, our religious beliefs. We light candles, decorate Christmas trees, and display colorful lights. We celebrate the birth of the Christ child, keeping Christ in Christmas with our nativity displays, and our Merry Christmas blessings. And then we rejoice, keeping Christ in Christmas, keeping Christ in our hearts. Christmastime comes but once a year, but every day is Christ's day.
And so I say to you, Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings, and I wish you a very Merry, Blessed Christmas.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2012 Paul K Francis