It is a season so full of tradition.
Unfortunately fighting over whether it is OK to wish people “merry Christmas” or whether to use a more generic phrasing such as “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings” or, as a letter writer to the Style for Success blogger Terry Pithers joked, “happy non-denominational, trans-cultural, winter solstice acknowledement” has become one of those traditions.
The fact of the matter is, this now tired, old conversation is a lot of wrangling over nothing.
Are there a few Christians who truly believe there is a war on Christmas? Sure.
Are there a few activist atheists who want governments, specifically, to refrain from using it? Of course.
Are there individuals of other faiths, who feel insulted or threatened by being greeted this way? Perhaps.
Ultimately, though, this is a non-issue for the vast majority of people.
Those words convey so much more than a specific religious meaning and more than the other options.
Christmas, after all, is the symbolic marking of the birth of Jesus Christ.
While Jesus’s fundamental message may have been achieving salvation through accepting the Kingdom of God, his teachings on the path to that salvation have universal relevance.
Among those teachings are peace, love, forgiveness, truth, justice, compassion and perhaps above all else, treating others as we wish to be treated.
The greeting “merry Christmas,” is given in that spirit by the vast majority of people of all faiths and no faith who use it.
And it is received by the vast majority of people of all faiths and no faith in that spirit.
It is not an exclusive greeting, but an inclusive one.
And in that spirit, the Clearwater Times wishes all of our readers a merry Christmas.
May the best of the season shine upon all of us in 2021.