Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Well, it's happened. The "holiday season" is rolling around again. When I was a kid the stores put out the Halloween stuff around Labor Day, and the Thanksgiving stuff the day after Halloween. Then the Christmas stuff came out the day after Thanksgiving. Now Christmas stuff shows up in September along side Halloween and Thanksgiving decor barely gets shelf space. Furthermore, there's the whole "Happy Holidays" greeting push so as not to offend anyone. Please! We still live in a free country, and the U. S. Constitution gives me the right to wish anyone a Merry Christmas and to celebrate the heritage of the English Settlers who first came and laid the foundation for what was to become the United States through this wonderful holiday we call Thanksgiving.

But what about that word, "holiday". It originates from "holy day" and has as its primary reference a day off for religious observances. By extension it could also be applied to going on pilgrimage, but in England today is used of anything we, in America, call a "vacation". But, back to the idea of "holy day". Why should we treat one day more holy than another. Why should we have only one day a year when we express deep gratitude to God for his blessings? Shouldn't we do that every day? Why should there be only one day a year when we celebrate the coming of Christ into the world? Shouldn't that be a constant theme in our lives?

Of course the answer to both of those questions is "yes". Still, I find it helpful to have these special days. They give us time in the midst of life's chaos to stop and reflect more deeply on God's blessings and the gift of the incarnation. They also afford us special opportunities to show good to our neighbors and share our faith with them. During this holiday season when you are celebrating Thanksgiving and wishing others merry Christmas, be sure to include in that a word of witness to the life-changing power of God's grace. Render good service to others in the process. By so doing you'll show the positive side of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and you'll take a stand for Christ.