"Merry Christmas" is a wonderful greeting. This greeting in many places has now been considered politically incorrect and many public officials in the Western world are mandated to use the phrase "Happy Holidays" instead.

Last Christmas, I was shopping for some gifts at a store with my sixteen-year-old daughter. At the checkout, I had a friendly chat with the cashier. He was wearing a headdress and when he was leaving the store I turned around and wished him a "Merry Christmas". I was punched in the ribs and my daughter glared at me. "What is it about?" I asked as we left the store. My daughter explained to me that the cashier was obviously Muslim and that the phrase "Merry Christmas" probably offended her. I spent some time reflecting on this on the way home, having some difficulty understanding how our traditional Christmas greeting so full of warmth and goodwill could be taken as offensive by anyone. After all, if I were spending Christmas in Haifa, Israel and a local greeted me with "Happy Hanukkah" (the Jewish festival of lights), I certainly would not be offended, as it is a custom in Israel.

Substituting the politically correct phrase, "Happy Holidays" as an alternative to "Merry (or merry) Christmas, could be compared to Scrooge, who in the novel" A Christmas Carol "says" Bah farce "with Christmas. It is as if the cynics of the world have conspired to dissuade us from expressing the joyous greeting that has been traditional throughout the centuries. Wishing someone a Merry Christmas is more inspiring and exhilarating than the somewhat boring refrain "Happy Holidays" and Christians who are proud of their heritage. have no difficulty going against the "politically correct" changes that many are adopting out of fear. 

Sadly, however, there are many this Christmas who are faced with difficult times and situations. Some have lost a loved one. Many are out of work and some have lost their homes. Then there are the prisoners in our prisons. Correctional officers are told not to wish inmates Merry Christmas as some inmates will think this is a joke. However, I know from my experience working with prisoners that for some Christian prisoners, the phrase "Merry Christmas" echoes hope and inspiration within their own hearts. For Christians, there is an aura of hope and inspiration in Christmas despite the dire circumstances that surround them. It is the same inspiration and hopes that throughout the centuries make Christmas the greatest universal celebration in the Western world. It is essentially a celebration of gifts and donations. It is a season when people's hearts are opened in wonderful ways. Donations accumulate for charities such as food banks, shelters, and many volunteer relief agencies who want to help alleviate suffering and poverty. Many volunteers, Christian and non-Christian, willingly give their time and skills to make this world a better place, especially during the Christmas season.

Source: Mesaje de Craciun. Urari de Craciun. Felicitari de Craciun fericit.

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