Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas !!!

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(This is the Nativity set that Aaron bought for me for our very first Christmas together. I love it so much.)

I hope to have a very Merry Christmas, and I wanted to send hope for a very Merry Christmas to anyone who reads this.

I believe we all usually reflect on the Spirit of Christ a little more throughout the month of December. This year is no different for me... but I did want to write about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. With all of the lame stuff going on in our country that has to do with people trying to have God and religion taken out of anything to do with our government, our schools, and the media... all in the name of freedom OF religion, it seems like those who claim almost no religion are the ones who are actually being heard in the freedom of religion fight. Instead of having freedom of religion now a days, it seems like our government is going the way of freedom FROM religion and those people who don't care to claim a God are the ones whose voices seem to be the most important to our political figures.

I am proud to be a Christian, but being a Christian these days seems to be looked at negatively by those 'of the world'. Even going into most shops or stores or in commercials on TV, you don't see or hear the words
Merry Christmas very often anymore... instead it is almost always Happy Holidays these days. Not that it is a bad thing to wish someone Happy Holidays, but for those who are writing commercials or ads for stores, it seems to be for the reason of trying not to offend those who don't believe in God or in Jesus Christ. But what about those of us who LOVE hearing or seeing the words Merry Christmas? The whole reason for this holiday is because of the birth of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. That is why it is called CHRISTMAS. So it just seems to me that lots of people of the world are trying to take CHRIST out of Christmas and make it all about the commercial side of it all.

Because of all of the negativity from so many about being a Christian and claiming Christ as our Savior, it is more important than ever before that we not only embrace the fact that we are Christians, but also be completely open about it. It is a title I am honored to have... a Christian.

This brings me to something that has bothered me for a very long time. It is something that I am sure I have been guilty of in my youth when I didn't realize what I was doing when I wrote the word Xmas instead of Christmas. When most people write Xmas, it is not to leave Christ out of Christmas, it is used as a quicker way to write it, but when I was young and I realized which part of the word Christmas was being left off... it bothered me and I have made a point not to ever write it that way again. Even if writing out the whole word CHRISTMAS is long, it isn't so long that the most important part of the word should be replaced with an X. Even though this has bothered me for so many years, I have never really vocalized it because I never wanted to offend someone if they were an Xmas writer for abbreviation purposes... but last week, I saw something online that really rubbed me the wrong way and it is the reason that I finally decided to write about this topic.

I was looking for the Christmas song 'O Holy Night' (my personal favorite) on Youtube and I found a version of it being sung by Kris Allen (winner of last year's American Idol). He has been known to be a Christian singer. Anyhow, when I was listening to his version of that song, I looked over in the sidebar where it was showing other Christian music and there was a link to something called Xtain music. When I saw that I couldn't believe it and I wondered what was the point of calling it Xtain music when the whole point of the music was to be singing about Christ and Christ related subjects? But it is the same with writing Xmas instead of Christmas. It is once again leaving out the most important part of the word... CHRIST.

There are too many people in the world trying to take everything Christ related out of Christmas... my hope is that all of us who believe in Christ try harder to make sure Christ is the center of our Christmas. Say Merry Christmas more instead of Happy Holidays... or write Christmas instead of Xmas no matter where or when you are writing it.

I am grateful for the birth of Jesus Christ. From His precious and humble birth in a stable... through His perfect and humble life... to His lonely and humble suffering in Gethsemane... and His painful and humble death on the cross... I am humbled and grateful for Him and the meaning of it all. He made it so each of us can come unto Him and be perfected in Him. He is the perfect example. He suffered so that each of us can cast our burdens upon Him... whether they be sin, heartache, or physical pain... He truly is the Savior of us all and I love Him. I hope that through the way I live my life, I can live up to the honor of being a Christian.

I love you all and I hope your Christmas is one filled with hope, love, peace, and joy.

Merry CHRISTmas !!!


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20 comments:

Tawnie said...

Nice post. I completely agree and it has been on my mind a lot this season as well. One thing I have been impressed with is how many 'checkers' at the stores have been saying "Merry Christmas" to me as I leave. And I say it right back but every time I've heard it, I've stopped and thought, good for you. You weren't afraid to say it. You weren't worried maybe I don't believe in Christ. You just said what it is and what it always has been. Sad that it is even a thought these days. I've made sure my cards, wrapping paper, etc. all say Merry Christmas. I want to keep the meaning In Christmas.
And I will now step down. :)
Love you.

amy said...

Thanks Leslie, I totally agree with your post. Ever since I was little and my Mom explained to me the difference between Xmas and Christmas I've always made sure I always wrote Merry CHRISTmas. Christ is the reason for Christmas and we need to let everyone remember that. Merry CHRISTmas!

Mindy said...

Amen!

Allred Mom said...

Great post!
That has always bothered me, too.
Christ is the reason we have CHRISTmas! And, it is my favorite time of year.
Merry CHRISTmas to you and to Aaron!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on your blog and I want to say that I agree with your post. I am a Christian as well. However, my pastor pointed out to us recently that using Xmas is not necesarily what people perceive it to be. In fact, X in Greek means Christ. I know that we as Americans who don't know the Greek language have taken this to mean that Christ is being X'ed out of Christmas, but that might not be the intent at all. Personally, I still don't like to see Xmas or Xtains but I have a better understanding and tolerance for it now that I see it from another angle.

Anonymous said...

I was about to write what the above reader wrote. In sacrament a few years ago the bishop told us the exact same thing. Xmas is not meant as irreverent it was how the early Christians wrote it and that the X does in fact mean Christ.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that 2010 will bring you peace and happiness

Anonymous said...

While I do see things from your point of view as a Christian myself, I find myself wondering why so many people get upset about saying "happy holidays" or trying to make the season inclusive for EVERYONE. Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated in December. Christians have Christmas, Jews have Haunaka, Africans have Kwanza, and Muslims have Ashura.

I believe the "christian" nature being taken out of our society is a good thing. Not everyone believes in Christ. Our country was founded by people who left England to be able to practice their own beliefs. I think that forcing everyone to acknowledge Christ and Christmas is completely contrary to Christ's message of tolerance and inclusiveness.

Leslie said...

I really appreciate the two anonymous commenters letting me know what they have heard about the writing of Xmas. I wanted to look it up online so that I could get to know it myself.
I found the Greek word for Christ and it is:

χριστός

So it begins with an X, but the whole word is χριστός . So it seems to me even using an X from the Greek language is still abbreviating the word for Christ.

Thank you for commenting though. I learned some new information today and I am grateful for that.

Merry Christmas to you all...

Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

Now, in response to the third anonymous comment, this posting had nothing to do with taking away from other religions. And like I said in my posting, it is okay for people to say Happy Holidays, I was only speaking of people who say Happy Holidays who IN THEIR HEARTS are only saying it to keep Christ out of Christmas. If people are saying Happy Holidays to encompass all holidays celebrated in December... that is fine. I never said that saying Happy Holidays is a bad thing.
I wrote this posting because my desire is for Christ to be kept as the center of CHRISTMAS. I am not trying to get Christ into the center of any other religion's holiday. I did not even mention those. But why do WE Christians need to take Christ out of Christmas just so as not to offend? Even if people want to take Christ out of Christmas in their own home, FINE... but let us Christians keep our Savior as the focus of Christmas. Why try to destroy it throughout the country?
I don't know why we have to take Christ out of Christmas so as 'not to offend' someone who doesn't believe in Christ. When I see things for Hanukkah, I am NOT offended to see those things. I don't get offended by seeing things about other religions. For the most part, people who don't believe in Christ don't get offended to see the words MERRY CHRISTMAS or hear those words. Its what it is.
It is just those few who are extremists or activists who are trying to shove their agenda down everyone's throats in the name of 'being tolerant'. I am tolerant of any other religion... I do not speak ill of any other religion. My belief is that everyone should be able to practice how they desire as long as it doesn't harm or injure someone else.
So as not to offend someone else is a lame reason to take Christ out of Christmas. Christ IS why Christmas exists. Anyone who would get offended to hear things about Christ when it is related to Christmas is being too sensitive and taking offense where there is absolutely NONE intended.
Even the activists who are trying so hard to keep things "neutral" have tried and succeeced in some places to keep Christ related Christmas songs out of schools and school programs. That disgusts me. Sorry... it does. I would be fine if my kids learned songs about Hanukkah in school... why pretend that offense is intended?

This is a subject I am passionate about, and this is one of the reasons I don't focus on this kind of stuff on my blog very often... because it gets my blood flowing and I start feeling argumentative. I don't like feeling that way... so I will end now.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas

Caitie said...

Leslie,

I appreciate your comment back to me, and I promise I'm not trying to be offensive. You and are are more in line with our thinking than you may guess. I do agree with your view that as Christians we should keep Christ as the focus. Absolutely. The part of your blog that got me was this:

"Even going into most shops or stores or in commercials on TV, you don't see or hear the words Merry Christmas very often anymore... instead it is almost always Happy Holidays these days. Not that it is a bad thing to wish someone Happy Holidays, but for those who are writing commercials or ads for stores, it seems to be for the reason of trying not to offend those who don't believe in God or in Jesus Christ. But what about those of us who LOVE hearing or seeing the words Merry Christmas? The whole reason for this holiday is because of the birth of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ."

I just wanted to point out that people aren't putting out "Happy Holidays" to take away from the meaning of Christmas, but simply that because so many other religions celebrate holidays this season, rather than trying to say Merry Kwanza, Haunaka, Ashora, and Christmas, it is simply easier to say "Happy Holidays" and include everyone.

I just really feel that while as Christians we should know that Christ is the focus of this season FOR US, it is also important to realize that during this same time period, other religions are celebrating their beliefs as well.

Anyway, I do really admire you, and your blog. I am wishing you and your beautiful son a wonderful Christmas from the bottom of my heart.

Anonymous said...

I was the first anonymous poster. I did not intend to post as anonymous but I never could post using my goggle ID/password and it only finally went through when I posted as anonymous.

I really do agree with your post and as a Christian, I do not like the "X" stuff either. I have just merely learned to look at it in a different light and realize that it does not necessarily mean that Christ is being taken out of Christmas.

Yes, the X is the first letter of the Greek word Christ. It was used as a form of shorthand and it has become known as a symbol for Christ.

I do not like this; I do not like to see it; and I do not do it myself. But, for me, I have become more tolerant and understanding about the usage and possible intent, thus, simply just don't find it as offensive as I once did.

I am not so sure that all these who are voicing their beliefs to take Christ out of Christmas even know who Christ is. We, as Christians, do know, we understand. But how can the non-Chrisians know what they are doing if they haven't met Christ for themselves? How can we judge them when they just don't know what they are doing?

Showing our Christ to the world is so more more than just a "Merry Christmas" spoken during the month of December.

We as Christians are the ones who are failing to introduce Christ to the non-Christian community and that is the only way things will change - through the hearts of men and women when they learn to love Christ.

Marianne

Rhitzclan said...

Haha Ell- who knew you would post something that would be soooo exciting for everyone to get into! Thanks for giving me something else to think about tonight than just sit here and feel sorry for myself... Merry Christmas! Love, Cee

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas!

And may your new year be full of joy, love, and happy memories!

Lisa said...

merry CHRISTmas, sis. everything good is from Him and, yes, it is our responsibility to share His light and His love to the world. in every way. including in the way that we unashamedly and unabashedly CELEBRATE His birth. there is great reason to celebrate.

Leslie said...

thanks lisa. well said.
i love Christmas. what a special spirit today holds.

i love you.

pat said...

What a great post, and great comments, too! I don't mind using or hearing Happy Holidays either. It's inclusive. The only time it bothers me is when you see something advertised that is associated with Christmas, such as Christmas Trees, Christmas Cards, etc....if they are being advertised due to Christmas, it should say Christmas in the ad, for Pete's sake! Anyway, I also don't like the abbreviation Xmas and never use it. I think it looks and sounds offensive, like people are trying to take Christ out of Christmas. Just my opinion.
You keep going, Leslie...you are right! I hope your Christmas was nice, and a little less sad than last year's must have been. You are amazing and I hope you are able to find some happiness each day. Happy New Year!

Liz said...

Leslie you have a beautiful testimony, stay strong, you are a light to so many around you.

Kristi said...

Happy new year!