There’s a lot of discussion this time of year, about companies who do not say Merry Christmas, and instead use some other saying like “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays.” As a Marketing professional who is a Born-Again Christian, I think Jesus Christ would shop at Radio Shack, have a Christmas Tree, and would invite his coworkers to church to help them find the real meaning of Christmas.
I understand the passion behind the conversations. Both have valid and compelling reasons for their actions, but the extreme of these things does nothing but make them look ridiculous. Some people are moved to boycotting and being down-right angry about the choice of nomenclature that describes the month of December. On the flip side, the government and some retailers have gone to great lengths not to offend the loud minority with any observance of the Christian and American traditions that are a part of this nations history.
From a Marketing Guys’s Perspective
As a Marketing professional, I always looked for ways to connect our company with our markets. We worked hard to find the right message and images that would easily connect with the people who needed to hear it, and would be delivered in a away that the prospects are most likely to understand and act upon.
Our message needed to be brief and concise or we’d lose the attention of the receiver. So I can understand the desire to say “Happy Holidays” in a marketing message, in order to communicate good will to those who celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, with a tip of the hat to those who do not recognize any religion, but still love the fun of Christmas traditions in America.
Since companies market to all of these groups at the same time, and because we have a few major holiday events so close to each other, the attempt to find one message to cover all groups, is not necessarily an attack on our faith, but a desire to be efficient.
Sure, they could just wish me a Merry Christmas, and my jewish friends Happy Hanukkah, and us all a Happy New Year. Or, they can just say “Happy Holidays” and cover it all. No offense intended. I have done this myself in past years as I communicate with our customers, and had no ill intent or any fear of being bold about my faith as I was doing this.
However, it is ridiculous how some companies have gone out of their way not to offend some at the expense of kissing up to others. A green tree that you cut down and put in your living room during the month of December, and put lights and ornaments all over it, is not a Holiday Tree. It’s a Christmas tree. Just like the multi-stick candle holder is also called Menorah.
From a Christian’s Perspective
Christmas is the occasion where we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a remembrance of the greatest gift ever given; where GOD himself came to this world to be born as a child, and die for the sins of all mankind, so that we might once again walk with GOD in peace. This is worthy of our respect and observance every day, not just on Christmas.
Let’s remember that Christians do not own the month of December. It is shared with Hanukkah by the Jews, God’s chosen people, and even just good ol’ American Traditions of Santa and gifts for the rest. And although we have different beliefs, each group still deserves to be respected. If you are one who does not chose to celebrate any of these, that is your right too, but December 25th is still Christmas in America, whether you like it or not.
What gets bizarre is when the government or retailers decide to knuckle under to the complaints of a few, and toss aside years of traditions, to please the tiny number of whiners with lawyers. It’s bizarre that some are outraged at a Nativity scene on the city hall lawn, but allow strip clubs and pot-shops to flourish. Or retailers who tell them employees not to say Merry Christmas so customers aren’t offended, then present content that would offend Hell-Boy. (Sorry, almost start to rant there. I’ll pull back and start again.)
We Christians could lighten up a bit too. We do not know that December 25th is the actual day of Jesus birthday. Scholars say that he was most likely born in the spring (as shepherds would be more likely to lay out in the fields at night).
The remembrance of his birth is not even called “Jesus Birthday.” Our nation could have given the same respect to Jesus’ birthday as we do for Lincoln and Martin Luther King’s birthday. However, since our nation has not felt it necessary to call Christmas “Jesus’ Birthday” and celebrate it on the right day for the last 1,000 years, why get angry if others chose not to recognize it at all? Remember, you can’t protest people into following the Messiah.
Peace on Earth
One of Jesus Christ’s last prayers was that his followers would live in peace with each other. (John 17: 20 – 23) Therefore, in the spirit of Christmas, and in honor of the man whom we seek to remember on this day, let’s try and do things in a way HE would. Honor GOD this Christmas in your hearts and lives FIRST. Let this pour out so obviously that you don’t need a label or group to be identified as a follower of Jesus.
“Let your light so shine that others will see your good works, and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Then, people will find the savior, just as the shepherds did, when they follow the light that leads them to him – us.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
by Robert Hunt of Hunt Consulting DFWP.S. I have not published on this blog in a while as I am spending most of my time building peer groups for top executives with Renaissance Executive Forums Dallas. Please follow me at www.REFDallas.com.