Posted by: pastordarren | November 29, 2012

Happy Holidays OR Merry Christmas

There is a lot of conversation this time of the year around how you greet people. Does saying, “Happy Holidays” take Jesus out of Christmas? There are some that are offended when a store clerk or someone on the street wishes them Happy Holidays. I have even heard of lists being published that show which stores still say “Merry Christmas” and encourage people to shop only there.

Well I figure it is time for me to throw in my two cents.

First, let me get it out of the way, we start with the Christmas stuff way to early.  When I walk into a store and see a ghost hanging over a Christmas tree at the end of September, something is wrong.

Secondly, if we really want to get technically about it, Christmas does not start until December 25th and lasts for 12 days.  Which leads me to my main point.

Beginning 4 Sundays before Christmas, December 2nd this year, is the season of Advent.  Advent is a season of waiting, expecting, and hoping. Beginning four Sundays prior to Christmas and ending on Christmas Eve, Advent helps us prepare for the coming, or “advent” of the Christ child at Christmas. The word “advent” comes from the Latin word that means “coming.”  Advent is a word that means “coming” or “visit”. In the Christian season of Advent, we prepare for the “advent” of Christ at Christmas.

For me, these days are holy as I remember again the gift of Jesus that we celebrate on Christmas.  The preparations that we make, most importantly, are the ones we make in our heart and in our lives.  When someone wishes me “Happy Holidays”, I receive that and remember that each of these days are holy in preparation.  I am reminded that in the midst of the craziness and insanity that we have made this time of year, that the most important thing I can do is to make sure my heart is prepared and focused on the presence  of God in the world.

Happy Holidays does not take Christ out of Christmas, we do that when we get so caught up in the secular stuff that we forget that each day is holy, not just Christmas Day.  May we be reminded of that this season of Advent and Christmas and may is last all through the year.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!


  1. Darren, I like your “two cents” on the Advent season and I couldn’t agree more that a ghost hanging over the Christmas tree is ghoulish! Thanksgiving gets overlooked. Thanks for your thoughts. Love, Mom

  2. […] The season of Advent includes the four Sunday’s that precede Christmas Day.  Within the church, this is a time of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.  It is during that time where we decorate the church with elements that have special meanings.  We hear the stories from Scripture once again that talk about the coming and birth of Jesus and many times, I would guess, we have head the stories so many times that we tune them out because they are not new and awe-inspiring for us any more.  See my previous post on the holiness of this season at: […]

  3. Couldn’t agree with you more: “happy holidays” indeed does not take Christ out of Christmas. I’ve done some blogging of my own on this recently, and I enjoyed your thoughts. Thanks for posting.

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