“Merry Christmas” and the Spirit of Giving

Recently a Facebook friend wrote that he wasn’t going to stop saying “Merry Christmas,” no matter who it might offend. Comments to his posting were equally supportive, some going so far as to say it’s a bunch of “bullshit.”

It continues to amaze me that at this (supposedly) time of peace on earth and good will towards all, people continue to exhibit such animosity, hostility, and rancor towards those who don’t believe as they do.

I personally do not honor December 25th in any religious way. For one thing, although popularized as the date Jesus was born, evidence from all fronts indicates this is in error. But beyond that, I simply am no longer a “believer.”

It’s a long-standing tradition to give gifts at this time of year. In fact, kids have learned to expect toys and other goodies – to the point that people are urged to donate to “Toys for Tots” and other organizations just so the floor under the tree isn’t bare. And adults aren’t much better. They will spend money they don’t have simply to fulfill the obligation of the season.

giving

If people truly want to demonstrate the “Christmas” spirit, why limit it to words? Why not help others to have that Merry Christmas they speak of by giving to those less fortunate – expressed through donations of food, money to help pay the bills, blankets and clothes to keep warm. (And dropping loose change into the Salvation Army bucket doesn’t count.)

Pay attention to requests from your local paper about families in need. Buy a little extra when you go to the grocery store and drop it off at the Food Bank. Go through your stash of old blankets and take them to a local charity. In other words, take heed to that old saying: “Actions speak louder than words.”

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5 thoughts on ““Merry Christmas” and the Spirit of Giving

  1. I’m an atheist to the core, but Christmas is so much more to me than some pseudo-religious holy day, so Merry Christmas to all, and here’s your gift:

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    • I tend to agree, but my posting was not so much about how Christians celebrate the holiday as it was the use of the traditional greeting.

      I have no objections to people wishing each other “Merry Christmas.” They’re just words.

      What bothered me was the display of bigotry that I saw in the Facebook posting. If people are going to use the greeting this way, then I feel they should put their money where their mouth is and demonstrate the “true meaning” of the season, as stated in The American magazine, vol. 28 (1889): “to give up one’s very self — to think only of others — how to bring the greatest happiness to others — that is the true meaning of Christmas” (Wikipedia).

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