Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas?

Merry Christmas?                                                                                                     
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What do we mean by "Merry Christmas"? What does "merry" mean? What people mean today is not exactly what was meant when the greeting "Merry Christmas" was coined. It was more like in the  carol: "God rest you merry, gentlemen," where the term is closer to the Old English, meaning "pleasant" or "pleasing." In today's English, this would be, "May God find you pleasant (or pleasing),  gentlemen." We can take this as pleasant to each other and pleasing to Him.
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How about those who replace "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays"? (This greeting was  originally intended to also include New Year's and Hanukkah.) Don't they know that "holiday" means  "holy day"? The irony is that so many persons' celebration of Christmas is anything but holy. Also,  "happy," like "merry," does not mean today exactly what it used to. Today it usually merely means  "feeling good." In the Declaration of Independence, the meaning of "happiness" included "fulfillment of purpose" and "virtue," and "meaningfulness." About 400 years ago, "Happy Holiday" could just as well have  meant "Blessed Holy Day."
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Perhaps it is good that our traditional, habitual greeting has become such a controversial issue. It  causes us to not take it for granted, but consider what it means. For some time, "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" have been said carelessly without regard for their real meanings. Hopefully, we will now say "Merry Christmas" like we know what it means - and really mean it.                                         
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From my heart to yours, 


NewKidontheBlogg said...

Same to you, Wesley.

L&R said...

Have not only a "Merry" Christmas but a blessed one too. Love you brother...