A Christmas Letter From Me to You

December 13, 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope this Christmas season finds you well, and that you are finding joy and peace in the holidays.

It’s certainly been an eventful Christmas season in our home.  It began with a long and arduous journey, much like the Magi traveled to visit sweet baby Jesus.  We journeyed far across town, guided by the light of midnight Black Friday sales.  Of course, we had to cut Thanksgiving short with the relatives, so we could nab as many cheap electronics as possible.  It certainly will be a happy Christmas morning in our home.  I doubt we’ll have much to say to one another as we become engrossed in the warm glow of shiny new toys.  We do adore staring for hours on end at glowing rectangles.

Of course, the Christmas season is all about spreading glad tidings and Christmas cheer to everyone, and we’ve been doing that every chance we get.  For example, the other day, I noticed our local grocery store was actually not playing Christmas music.  Well, I sharply questioned our cashier, who did not even look old enough to be shaving, much less know the true significance of the holiday.  After a few minutes of interrogation, Tiny Tim had still not acted to fix the situation, and the customers behind me were complaining that I was holding up the line.  How ungrateful!  I’m just trying to spread some Christmas freakin’ cheer.  Last time I do them a favor.

Well it seems the grocery store isn’t the only place full of Grinches.  During another Christmas shopping trip, I took a break and headed for a local Starbucks.  I figured they are probably in the Christmas spirit, since they have such wonderful holiday specialty drinks.  I ordered a large cup of Cool Whip with candy cane sprinkles mixed in it.  But the “barista,” if she actually is one, handed the beverage to me, bidding me, “Happy Holidays!” Excuse me?  Which holiday?  Because I certainly am not happy about any of those other Godless holidays that I can’t pronounce.  Happy holidays, my holly jolly butt!  I marched right out of there, never to return again, until they get their act together and figure out which holiday we celebrate here in America!

You would think my troubles would be over.  But no, my efforts to spread the love of Christ Almighty are being thwarted even by our local government.  They have displayed some god-awful “non-denominational” holiday riff-raff decorations that looks like the courthouse is having a yard sale.  I was so disgusted, I thought I would lose my sugar cookies right there.  I marched right up those steps and demanded to know from a surly looking woman where in God’s name sweet baby freakin’ Jesus was.  How am I supposed to spread peace on Earth and goodwill to men when my own government is persecuting me like this?  Later that day, I got on eBay and bought a hundred plastic baby Jesuses and am having them shipped right to the courthouse steps.  Next time, they’ll remember to keep “Christ” in Christmas, as well as decorations, parades and all other public events, or I’ll be forcefully inserting Christ myself.  I thought we elected these heathan chumps to protect our freedom of religion!

Of course, I was a bit confused by so many people selling Jesuses on eBay.  Who would try to profit off of Jesus?

Yes, Christmas is a special time of year.  I hope you find a new appreciation in the miracle of the holiday, and are able to spread some holiday cheer to those around you.

How are you spreading the Christmas spirit?  With protests and boycotts?  Or maybe just reaching out to some neighbors or strangers?  Have you noticed your local stores and governments subtly leaving Jesus out, or subtly putting him back in to keep us happy?

29 responses to A Christmas Letter From Me to You

  1. I moved to a small city, and the entire town center (a few blocks radiating in each direction from a roundabout) is decorated with wreaths and garland and lights. It’s super pretty at night; I honestly feel like I’m in Bedford falls or something. The center of the roundabout has a Nativity scene and a menorah…but they’re on totally opposite sides from each other. That was one thing that stood out to me. I understand why they would do that, but it would also be nice if they were closer together.

    Also, confession: I may not have paid full attention during service this morning. Is it bad that in the middle of service, I looked at the Nativity scene and thought, “Wow, that’s the whitest baby Jesus I’ve ever seen…” (This is one of my gripes about having Nativity scenes.) Note to pastors: Nativity scenes and Christmas decorations may be a distraction to your congregation.
    Jo_of_TSN recently posted..Not Crazy Just a Little Unwell

  2. I find myself saying Happy Holidays more these days than of previous teenage, rebellious years. I was the employee at the grocery store that went against store policy to say Merry freakin’ Christmas, you jackwagon!

    So I must ask, does this make me a bad Christian, or good American?

  3. I think you’ve lost your mind. :-) It’s still Advent, silly. It’s not Christmas yet! Why do you think the song says the “Twelve Days of Christmas?” tsk tsk tsk. Protestants. 😉

    • Now Steve, I thought, I may have lost my Protestant mind, that the 12 days of Christmas come after Christmas, at which point comes the day of “Epiphany.” Yeah, I know the days. But my Christmas tree does not stay up for 12 days after Christmas.

  4. My one act of rebellion: I say Merry Christmas. I don’t say Happy Holidays. If someone asks and makes a comment, I point out that “holiday” most likely came from “holy day.” As for boycotts and getting riled up when professional riler-uppers pretend offense, nah!

  5. I go by the adage: Choose your battles wisely. I, for one, choose not to fight the government thing nor do I boycott or preach against certain stores. I do respond with Merry Christmas but sometimes I think our attitudes speak so much louder than our words. So please go don your gay apparel and have a holly, jolly holiday…oops I mean Christmas.

  6. I used to be strangely offended when Happy Holidays was mentioned but I could really care less now. I’d rather receive a sincere “Happy Holidays” than a forced and arrogant “Merry Christmas.” We’re doing something weird with our tithe, i.e. giving 5% to our church and the other 5% to people around us who are in need. It’s good once in awhile to see the fruit of that giving and the results.

    It’s funny Christians are the only ones who are so adamant about keeping Christ as the major theme during this holiday season. I don’t see Muslims getting offended when others aren’t yelling their holiday cheer and I don’t see Jews doing that either, i.e. “It’s Happy Hanukkah not Merry Christmas!”

    Hopefully you don’t get any hate mail due to someone not understanding your satirical post for today.

    nicodemusatnite.blogspot.com
    Jonathan Chang recently posted..My Christmas presents

  7. Funny stuff!

    Hmmmmmmmm, how am I spreading the Christmas message……well, one thing I do is I wear my new politically correct shirt while shopping……

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31123095&l=d8d0492302&id=1235351820

    :)
    *~Michelle~* recently posted..Matthew 18-20 a testimony

  8. I don’t really care what others do. As a Christian I believe some of our religious freedoms in the public sector have been taken away at the same time other religion are given more grace – well here anyway. Towns fighting over a Merry Christmas sign on the firehouse after 45 years seems really stupid to me. And 30 years ago I thought that Santa was the issue – like who’s birthday is it?

    As long as Christmas is a federal and state holiday, then “Merry Christmas” should be just as legal. I think that Congress should make Hanukah, Kwanza and April Fools Day national holidays so we can enjoy other cultures and get some much needed time off.

    I actually think it’s funny that I have seen a couple of newscaster here in Boston say “holiday tree” and “Christmas tree” in the same segment… If Don Imus does it he’ll get fired.

    In the end it is the churches job to spread the message of Christ and his redemption all year. I believe the crèche scene is a fitting symbol for this season.

    Me, I say “Merry Christmas” to anyone without a turban, a Star of David or some other symbol that would probably identify them as a non-Christian. I certainly don’t mean to be offensive – but I am pretty happy about the birth of Christ and the Christmas season. Every church I have ever belonged to does some sort of toy, food or clothing drive for Christmas on behalf of the community.

    Merry Christmas, Matt. Thanks for making me laugh – sugar cookies indeed.
    David @ Kingdombloggers recently posted..Reindeer Game – Secret Santa and the Yankee Swap

  9. I was very happy to hear Christmas Carols being played at Hometown Buffet when we went for breakfast on Saturday!
    Karen and Gerard recently posted..White Chocolate Moments by Lori Wick

  10. Some time ago I was an instructor at a small down-town career college; a school that trains nurses and respiratory therapists. I taught classes like Communications, English and Critical Thinking … but I digress. It was a December when I was caught by the dean saying “Merry Christmas” to a few students in the hallway. The dean quickly corrected me. “It’s ‘Happy Holidays’”, she chided.

    I guess this is one of those occasions where you are torn between thinking you’re a coward for not standing up for what you believe in and deciding this isn’t a hill you want to die on. I frankly think it was a coward- moment on my part not to make sure my constitutional rights were not violated in the work place. But of course, I also know I would have been fired if I had defied her to her face. I think they called it “at-will employment” in my contract, meaning they could let me go without giving a reason, even if it was nothing more than the shape of my nose. I meekly and quietly agreed, chaffing at her correction of me – a guy who is old enough to be her older brother or young uncle.

    A few months later she came to me crying. She had been fired. Something about her not fitting in to that corporation’s climate, blah, blah, blah. They fired her because she majored in stuff that didn’t matter. I left that employment a year later because I had other things to do. And all the while I showed them! I actually mentioned God in the classroom every time and again. I think shrinks call this “passive-aggressive” behavior.

    This is the season for Christians to use their heads. Wisdom screams from our Christmas decorations to decipher what is really important. Are we going to be noted for our militancy over religious rights, privileges and our vainly attempting to keep our culture in the 1950’s? Or are we going to demonstrate Christ’s love to a skeptical secular society of what kind of people we really are trying to be?
    Phil recently posted..Video Tour of the Room Addition for Mom and Dad

    • //This is the season for Christians to use their heads. Wisdom screams from our Christmas decorations to decipher what is really important. Are we going to be noted for our militancy over religious rights, privileges and our vainly attempting to keep our culture in the 1950’s? Or are we going to demonstrate Christ’s love to a skeptical secular society of what kind of people we really are trying to be?//

      I like that Phil. Do you mind if I use this on my FB?

      nicodemusatnite.blogspot.com
      Jonathan Chang recently posted..My Christmas presents

  11. “The best was to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”–Buddy the Elf.
    seekingpastor recently posted..No Child Left Behind

  12. Well Said, as always.
    Fun and with a point – kind of like the toy lightsabers I’m giving out for Christmas :)
    – Mardra
    Mardra recently posted..this is why they achieve greatness

  13. We’re celebrating by blessing 3 families in need at our Christmas party this year. This is in addition to operation Christmas Child we already did and sending funds our kids raised for the orphans we support in Bangladesh. It’s just fun to be able to give. Thanks Matt.
    jasonS recently posted..Excuses- like Old Friends

  14. When I was a teenager working at McDonald’s, I was yelled at by customers regularly for saying the words “Happy Holidays” (as I was told by the managers that year) instead of “Merry Christmas”. I just wanted to do a good job, and being yelled at did not make the season any merrier.
    If I had that job today, I’d probably say “Merry Christmas”. It’s highly unlikely that kosher Jews or observant Muslims were getting food from McDonald’s. I am also a lot less compliant than I used to be. I used to try to please everyone, and now I know that is a foolish goal.
    When a cashier says “Happy Holidays” to me, I usually to to spread a little “peace on Earth” by giving her or him a great big smile and say “Merry Christmas!” I usually get the same response back.
    Helen recently posted..Shes Back- Shes Bad

  15. Funny stuff man, and as one who works in a Grocery store…I HATE hearing the same 12 christmas songs for 8 hours.
    Jason recently posted..My Weekly Update Via Twitter for 2010-12-12

  16. Matt…while I always appreciate sarcasm, I must say you put quite a bit of effort into satirizing your brothers and sisters in Christ. I have to warn you to be careful. If they are guilty of mis-representing Christ in zealousness for his birthday, you are very close to being guilty of the same charge…

    For the record… HAPPY JESUS’ BIRTHDAY! (it is the reason for the season) ; )

    –Paul
    truthandfriction.com

  17. To spread Christmas cheer, I am saying “Merry Christmas” and sometimes even “God Bless You”. If someone ever gets offended by my “Merry Christmas”, I will probably tell them that I wish them “Happy Holidays” because, as someone mentioned earlier, “holiday” is a variation on “holy day”. So far, most people are okay with my standard greeting.

    At home we are playing Christmas music as much as possible and having gatherings with friends to bake cookies and have fun. I haven’t been in many stores lately and don’t try to pay attention to the music being played. I am usually grateful that it isn’t blaring so loud that I can’t hear my kids. Besides, if I am by myself, I usually am listening to my own music or podcast.

    I am also giving up Starbucks for a month so we can give money at Christmas to benefit Sudanese refugees and other immigrants in our area.

  18. I have a confession to make: I am just not into Christmas.

    Something about us celebrating the humble birth of my messiah in a manger with mass consumerism disturbs me.

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