Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas.

Two simple words. They mean a lot to me. They meant a lot to me even before I became a Christian. Home. Family. Warmth. Inclement weather. Good food. Good friends. A celebration of the value of our relationships. A season for forgiving. A time to start anew.

As I am now a "mere Christian", they signify the celebration of the birth of our Savior and Lord.

In my journey from childhood to adulthood, I've watched the phrase "Merry Christmas" all but disappear from the world around me. It's been replaced by "Happy Holidays". I've heard all the reasons given by various erudite personages who claim that "Happy Holidays" isn't offensive to those who aren't Christian by faith.

I wasn't always a Christian, and as a non-Christian, and even at one point an atheist, I wasn't offended by those words. They didn't have the meaning "birth of Christ" attached to them in my mind. I fail to understand what is so offensive about offering someone wishes for the best for home, family and future.

I come from an odd family. Maybe I'll write about it one day here and tell you about my uncles who served in the Japanese Imperial Forces during World War II (one a Kamikaze), and how I had an uncle who was a Nazi major, and my father who landed at Normandy with the goal to end the Nazi regime.

Marriage creates such magnificent opportunities!

My mother is Japanese. She still practices the ancient religion of Japan. It is called Shinto. My father was a Methodist. Both agreed when they married that they would leave the choice of religion up to the children. My mother still celebrates Christmas even though my dad left this world over twenty years ago.

I asked her about it one time and why she, unlike so many others of different faiths, did not take offense to Christmas.

She looked at me as only a mother can look at her child when she's convinced that she's given birth to a moron.

"I pity the people who can not enjoy Christmas", she said. "If someone is so mean of spirit and small of mind that they can not celebrate the birth of a child, ANY child, then the meaning of Christmas has escaped them. No matter the number of holy days in their faiths, or the meanings behind them will erase the fact that they are hollow people with hollow faiths. We can argue the merits and faults of Christ, Christianity, and Christiandom until we are all blue in the face, but it doesn't eliminate the fact that a child was born that day."

Amen, mom. Amen.


Bullseye said...

Catman, busy as a beaver man, but wanted to say hello. I be watchin you !! Looks like you have some great posts, I'll be catching up after Christmas. Have a Merry one.

Ken said...

Merry Christmas...Uh Oh...looks like ya just got painted with a 'Bullseye'...
..seriously tho...GoodLuck,GodBless

Catman said...

Thanks, guys! Merry Christmas to you all!

Catman said...

Thanks, guys! Merry Christmas to you all!