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It is astounding this time of year by the number of Christians who seem put off or perhaps even offended to some degree when someone says, “Happy Holidays,” “‘Tis the Season,” or “Season’s Greetings.” They believe these common and long-standing expressions are secular and detract from the reason for the season, which is to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus. However, regardless of how secular society uses those phrases, they still point to the magnificent virgin birth of Christ, our Lord.
The meaning behind the phrase “Happy Holiday” is to wish someone a “happy holy day,” which, in this case, points to when we celebrate the day Christ was born. Over time, the phrase evolved to “Happy Holidays,” which can encompass all the holy days throughout the coming year. The phrase “Tis the Season” or “Season’s Greetings” acknowledges the presence of the holy day season of Christmas or Christ-mas. It is a season when Christians ought to pause and reflect on the past year’s many blessings, ponder the wonders in the new year to come, and celebrate the second coming of our Savior.
All in all, Satan is the culprit who is working behind the scenes to twist and bend these traditional phrases so they point away from Christ along with the commercialized hype of “big sales” and “while supplies last” market tactics. The more he can distort or skew Christmas’s meaning, those lost in the world will continue to miss out on the genuine meaning and rich blessing, the true reason for the season. That is why secular society has become so offended by the public display of nativity scenes, select songs played in stores or on the radio, and yes, even the utterance of the phrase, “Merry Christmas.”
However, there is a way to overcome these minor obstacles to the advent of Christmas. I say minor because God will get His message of hope delivered to the people who are truly seeking to know Him, and He will do so through the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit through believers like you and me. What is the way to overcome the minor obstacles that Satan throws in our paths throughout the Christmas season, the answer it “love!”
Whether someone says to you, “Season’s Greetings,” “‘Tis the Season,” or “Happy Holidays,” do not be offended. Perhaps that person behind the register is following company policy or they have yet to know the true meaning of Christmas, which is why God may have put you there at that appointed time to reflect the true spirit and meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. While kind of message would we send by replying to “Happy Holidays” with, “It’s Merry Christmas!” or with a snarky “Happy Holidays to you too?” We would only serve to reinforce the work of Satan because they would not see Christ in us; instead, they would see the world’s reflection.
Therefore, when someone offer you a “Happy Holidays” or some other general sentiment for the season, return the greeting with a spirit of festive joy knowing that it all points to Jesus. Most of all, let them see Christ shining brightly in and through us and if so led by the Holy Spirit, share the true meaning of Christmas and why Jesus came into the world. In effect, share with them the gospel and invite them to church. If we want to turn the tide of Satan’s work to diminish the true meaning of Christmas, we must take an active roll through prayer and obedience to share the gospel.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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