Holidays…Or Christmas

Nicholas Frankovich on why “Happy Holidays” – regarded by so many Christians as a forced, PC bowdlerization of “Merry Christmas” – is a good and noble greeting.

Many good points – but I liked this one:

Recall that devout Jews kept a respectful distance from the Holy of Holies and that Gentiles respectful of Judaism kept a respectful distance from the Temple’s inner courts. Devout Jews to this day preserve the Tetragrammaton from contact with hand or mouth — and hence their references to “Adonai” (Lord), a hedge against the Ineffable, and “HaShem” (the Name), a hedge against the hedge. Recall also that the first of the seven petitions that Jesus formulated in the prayer that he taught his disciples, including us, is that the name of “our Father” be “hallowed.” Christians translate the Tetragrammaton as “Kyrios” (Greek), “Dominus” (Latin), “Lord” (English, with small caps in the King James Version), and the equivalents in other languages. “Throw not your pearls before swine,” the Lord teaches, meaning, among other things, “Be grateful wherever the character string ‘C h r i s t — ’ isn’t flashing next to underwear ads on Jumobtrons in Times Square.” Then redouble your gratitude if the word “holidays” enables us to smuggle into secular consumer culture a hint of anything like the transcendent. Most people now think of holidays as primarily days on which they don’t have to work, but even that much takes us halfway to the principle of the Sabbath, the very prototype of the holiday, or holy day.

It’s a good article, and you oughtta read the whole thing.

Here’s the rub; give me a good theological reason to prefer “Happy Holidays” – Frankovich makes a good case – and I’m on board.

Most of the kommissars of PC who are pushing the idea that “Merry Christmas” is a trigger are not making a theological case.   For better or worse, motive counts.


6 thoughts on “Holidays…Or Christmas

  1. Just FYI — I spoke with the kinfolk in Minnesota today. Above freezing, rain, no snow. No white Christmas.
    In Hawaii, on Christmas, I had to climb over an 8 foot snow drift to get into my place of work. We are talking maximum overload irony, here.

  2. We’ve been in a drought up here for a long time. It has been ten years, at least, since I’ve seen this much snow up her. We had a traffic jam Sunday with people from Hilo driving up to collect snow to enhance their holiday (won’t say which one) celebration.

  3. Why are some people so miserable — and determined to spread that misery — that they are unable to accept sincerely meant good wishes, however it may be phrased?
    Perhaps Santa ‘left’ them a mirror instead of coal this year.

  4. My response when people say “you shouldn’t say Merry Christmas ” is that it is a federal holiday that they likely get off from work. If you are opposed to the day, you should probably go to work.

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