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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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"Keeping Christ in Christmas" - December 7th 2016, 09:06 PM

I seriously considered putting this in Current Events, so feel free to move it there

In the last few years I've seen a lot of Christians using this phrase, mostly on social media. The idea behind it is that it's supposedly too politically correct to say "happy holidays", so they're standing up for their religious beliefs and only saying Marry Christmas and reminding everybody of the "reason for the season." Now, I consider myself a non-denominational Christian, who is well-versed in political correctness, but personally, I think this goes too far. You can believe whatever you want, but I feel like this is just another way for Christians to push their views on non-Christians by essentially demanding that everybody agree with them and only say Merry Christmas because it's what they believe is right. Not to mention their making a big deal out of something trivial.

It's one thing to raise your children to keep the focus of Christmas on Jesus or on values rather than commercialism, but it's another to throw around that we must all "Keep Christ in Christmas." Not only are there other religions, but Christmas isn't the only holiday around this time.

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Re: "Keeping Christ in Christmas" - December 7th 2016, 09:52 PM

I always say "Happy Holidays" to include Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and any other obscure holidays that might be happening around the world at the Winter or Summer Solstice.
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Re: "Keeping Christ in Christmas" - December 7th 2016, 10:25 PM

I personally find this phrase funny because most of the common "Christmas" traditions came from other religions. Most especially pagan winter solstice customs. The tree, the lights, evergreen wreaths, red and green, Santa, etc. It all came way before Christmas did.

So to me, when someone says keep Christ in Christmas I want to respond with "then you better remove that pagan tree in your living room".

People are allowed to celebrate any holiday however they wish. No one needs to be told to keep Christ in Christmas when the winter solstice was celebrate long before it. And I understand that Christians want to focus on Jesus more than materialistic ideals, but all people celebrating winter holidays want to focus on what is most important to them as well.

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Re: "Keeping Christ in Christmas" - December 8th 2016, 02:05 AM

Both sides are stupid, Christmas is no longer just a Christian holiday (not that it was originally) but then purposefully saying an alternative just to appease other people for the sake of political correctness is ridiculous, especially due to my first point.
I'm not sure how it is in other countries but in the UK at least Christmas is a bank holiday regardless of your religion, this means that everyone is entitled to a day off for it (and boxing day) and schools have a two week break, so everyone benefits from it in one way or another.
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Re: "Keeping Christ in Christmas" - December 8th 2016, 02:16 AM

I say happy holidays because as someone from an interfaith family, I grew up with two sets of religions and I know holidays is a "hot potato" topic (lol, learned that phrase today) That said, the tree specifically is more universal then specifically Christian. Like it's been said there's a lot of pagan traditions incorporated into what is now known as Christian holidays (I learned about Pagan symbolism in Easter) .
If someone told me "Merry Christmas" I wouldn't get offended per se but I would think well who said I celebrate Chridtmas or at all? Similar to when my grandma yaps about me getting married to a man. Well who said I wanted to get married? And even if I did, who said my partner's gender would be a man?
That's why I prefer happy holidays. A general acknowledgement.
There are non-Christians who like the spirit of Christmas and would engage in Christmas activities. There are very orthodox Christians who want to think about Christmas as solely a Christian ifunction. But holidays can have sp have a social value too and a personal value. To each their own. We all attach different meanings. And that's okay.
There's even debate in the Jewish community, whether to allow non-Jews stay for a Jewish holiday. Growing up, this was one reason my mother's side justified excluding my father from attending family gatherings. I say that when I am older and have a place of my own, I would invite people of any background who is interested to join tin the holidayspirit. Likewise, if I'm not Christian, I don't think it is bad to be invited and go to a Christmas event that has people of different backgrounds. Although that does mean the event may be modified to make it less about Christ, given that the guests are not all Christ believers necessarily. But I know some Jews feel that Chanukah and other holidays should be strictly reserved for those who identify as Jewish.
There's a Jewish denomination, specifically in Russian speaking countries, who have a tree and have Russian traditional Santa but have incorporated into their Jewish identity. In school, they'd be given a hard time because it was a Jewish school and teachers didn't understand that the tree was a cultural symbol, not a contradiction to their Jewish identity. Rather this was their way of celebrating Chanukah.

Last edited by ~Radio Flyer~; December 8th 2016 at 02:32 AM.
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Re: "Keeping Christ in Christmas" - December 8th 2016, 02:18 AM

The weird thing is, it's political correctness going the other way. Being pissed off and telling people they can't say 'happy holidays' because it offends them is political correctness.
I don't understand why anyone would be pissed either way.

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Re: "Keeping Christ in Christmas" - December 8th 2016, 02:38 AM

Originally Posted by MichWolverineFreak View Post
The weird thing is, it's political correctness going the other way. Being pissed off and telling people they can't say 'happy holidays' because it offends them is political correctness.
I don't understand why anyone would be pissed either way.
This is why I say it's trivial and they're making a big deal out of something that shouldn't be. Celebrate what you want, say what you want. I say Merry Christmas unless I know someone isn't Christian. Like I had a professor who was Jewish, so obviously I wouldn't wish him Merry Christmas (although he said it didn't bother him), people know what you mean.

Our public schools always specified "holiday parties" and it's "Holiday break", not Christmas break, but everybody usually says Christmas anyway. You were excused for your religious holidays that don't coincide with the school calendar, but other than that, it wasn't a big deal.

And if someone is a devout enough Christian to be bothered by this, what does that say about them? How "Christian" is it to angrily correct people over something like this?

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Re: "Keeping Christ in Christmas" - December 8th 2016, 10:45 AM

I agree that it's all totally trivial. I totally understand why people are pushing for saying happy holidays instead of merry Christmas because people also celebrate Kwanza (sp?) and Hanukkah around the same time, so I think people are really just trying to advocate wishing happy holidays regardless of the holiday being cenevrarwd BUT that shouldn't mean that people who want to wish marry Christmas to people should be punished. Some people seem to take it too far and act like only Christians celebrate Christmas but I celebrate Christmas as a non religious holiday - the tree, the gifts, quality family time, big dinners, it's kind of a special time to have time set aside for your family and being together and celebrating it. Like if someone says "Merry Christmas" to me I'm not going to be like "omg how dare you publicly reference this Christian holiday in my presence!" I think if someone is Jewish or whatever religion Kwanza belongs to, they can just say "happy Hanukkah back or something as a reminder about the diversity in holidays. I'm ok with people saying Happy Hollidays OF Merry Christmas OR Haopy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanza because I don't think it's hurting any one nor is it passive aggressive etc to just reference whatever holiday situation is most appropriate for you.

I also think that a lot of Christians are moralizers. I don't mean that in a bad way and most Christians I know are not like this, but I have run into a fair share of them and also know friends/family who have the same experience where it's like they think that if you didn't get your morals for their bible that "how could you possibly have morals then?" Like are they really asking me how I figured out how murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, and that cheating, rape, lying etc are all morally wrong? I don't need a bible to tell me how to be a good person thanks. And I don't think they realize how it comes off,and I doubt this is special to Christians, in fact, I know people do this regardless of religious or cultural background, but it's like there is this inability to consider how other people live their lives when it is different from their own, and how those lives are still positivecand life affirming and ethically/morally sound. I think that's why people get this "Keep Christ is Christmas" nonsense because it's not good enough for them to just say it's important to them and their immediate family and, they seem think everyone they know should be wrapped up in defending this uniquely Christian angle with them. It's actually pretty annoying when people can't wrap their heads around why someone might not want to participate in this particular angle because ,*gasp* were not all Christian and might be happy saying happy holidays and not talking about Jesus.

Before I get any irate responses saying "not all Christians" please know I know most Christians aren't into shoving a godly Christmas down everyone's throats. I live in a western country, it's not like I don't know Christians, I'm close with Christians, I love them, and loads of other religious or atheist people take the same aggressive attitude in pushing their beliefs, and you can't deny there is an aggressively "clueless" type who feels the need to preach / remind everyone of the importance of Christianity regardless of whether that person wants to hear it., .

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Re: "Keeping Christ in Christmas" - December 8th 2016, 11:09 AM

To me, I'm more inclined to say Merry Christmas than Happy Holidays, cause to me, Merry Christmas means Happy Holidays

And if you're offended by that, I can't know until you tell me. Until then, I just say Merry Christmas

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Re: "Keeping Christ in Christmas" - December 8th 2016, 12:24 PM

Getting offended on either side seems silly to me. I celebrate Christmas but I'm not religious. If someone says happy holidays, or merry Christmas, or happy Hanukkah I just say thanks you too. its someone saying something they consider to be friendly, in most cases, and I'm not going to be an asshole back. Chances are I'll never see them again.

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Re: "Keeping Christ in Christmas" - December 9th 2016, 09:55 PM

The only time I really say "Happy Holidays" over "Merry Christmas" is when I'm at work (and that's because I've been instructed to only say the former). I have several Jewish friends, and they tell people "Happy Hanukkah!" the same way as I say "Merry Christmas!" In my personal perspective, there is nothing wrong with sharing your beliefs in a way of greeting as long as you understand that there are different beliefs. I do not see any difference between saying "Merry Christmas" or saying "I'll keep you in my prayers" or "God is good" (both of which are things I say quite often). However, the people in my life who I know do not celebrate Christmas, or for any other reason are not fond of that salutation this time of year, I refrain and say something different.

As a Christian, it's important to keep "Christ in Christmas", but it's much more important to keep the "Christ" in Christians. We're called to be bearers of His love and light, which means acting with open arms and compassionate hearts. A Christian who does not act for the best interest of the person they love is not actually loving them, and therefore not living their life according to their beliefs.

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