The postmaster at our local Canada Post office says she’s been instructed by her superiors not to say “Merry Christmas” as it’s insensitive in a multicultural society where not everyone celebrates Christmas. I don’t want to get her in trouble, so I won’t tell you what she thinks of that particular rule!
This year I’ve noticed that the pushback against this particular form of political correctness has gone up a notch: I was encouraged at one point to boycott stores that don’t use the word Christmas. I guess that means in order to pick up my mail and parcels, I’ll instead need to go to… Um… Uh oh.
Personally, advocating such a boycott strikes me as rather demanding and quite graceless, especially considering that it’s supported mostly by Christians.
What’s more, few Christians seem to notice the irony in how “Happy Holidays” is usually an acceptable alternative when “Merry Christmas” is not permitted. As my colleague Michael Engbers reminded me the other day, the word holiday is derived from holy + day. In saying “Happy Holidays,” people are still acknowledging whether they realize it or not that there is something sacred about the Christmas season. When someone says “holiday” instead of “Christmas,” a follower of Jesus can affirm that there’s indeed something special – holy even – about this day on which we celebrate the birth of our holy Redeemer. A winsome response will likely get one further than a harsh protest.
So be blessed as you celebrate the Christ child’s birth, and be a blessing to others regardless of what they call this season.