Most retailers are commanding their advertising houses and clerks to use only "Happy Holidays." This is distressing to many Christians, especially since the retailers continue to use the trappings of our celebration, like Christmas trees, the colors of red and green, and other traditional, deeply meaningful symbols of the season. Presumably that is because someone's feelings might be hurt. I can understand that, actually: it's rude to celebrate the arrival of Our Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord, in front of someone who does not share our joy. How thoughtless! After all, without the gospel, the whole idea of Christmas is pretty tiresome.
Our Christian gift-giving is supposedly done at least in part in imitation of the Magi, who brought gifts to Jesus when they found Him in the stable. Let's face it: to give gifts to each other is not exactly true to that picture, if you know what I mean.
So let's bring our celebration closer into line with that of the Magi, instead of pleasing ourselves and annoying the non-Christians among us.
"So long as you did it to the least of these, you did it to Me." Let us restore the real tradition of Christmas gift-giving by giving gifts to the baby Jesus wherever we find Him in the poor and needy. Let's shower Jesus with cash by giving it to charities, and show our affection to one another with unbought words and acts of love. Let's give small meaningful gifts, like bookmarks, photographs, handwritten letters and ornaments for our Christmas trees. Let's tell one another what we treasure about each other, and thank each other for the good times of the last year. Let's offer our time and companionship and service to those who need our individual gifts of talent, whatever they might be: shoveling driveways, fixing computers, mending, watching the kids for an evening, helping with a term paper, etc.
Without Christian spending, the retailers' stores will stand empty, their servers unused, their phones silent, except for the faxes coming in with orders from charities, ordering in bulk and negotiating huge discounts. Let the oh-so-politically-correct managers strain to hear the tinny sounds of their piped-in holiday music over the sounds of crickets chirping in the aisles.
Let us take a sabbatical from Christmas in the 7th year of the new century. In 2007, let us accede to the wishes of those who fear that someone will feel slighted by the word Christmas. Let us give them what they want! Let us remove our feast from the public square, and take it back into our homes, churches and charities. Ho ho ho!