Sunday, December 07, 2003

"Happy Holidays?"...

It's the 2nd Sunday of Advent. As we light the 2nd candle of the Advent wreath today, we'll be celebrating Love. Read 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 and Matthew 2:6. Are you as annoyed as I am when you hear the greeting "Happy Holidays" at this time of year? How about "Season's Greetings?" How did we let this pluralism slip in without a fight? Did we, as Christians, fall asleep at the wheel? Why does it seem to be that pluralism is most noticeable during the Advent season? How was it around your homes at the end of October, when kids dressed up in costumes and went door to door around the neighborhood expecting free candy to be handed out to them? The Halloween decorations seem to get more extravagant each year. I don't remember such a big hoopla around celebrating Halloween when I was a kid... no, it was more about getting bags full of candy! Nowadays the amount of Halloween decorations just about eclipses those of Christmas. The chant of "Happy Halloween!" was heard at virtually every house our kids stopped by. Happy Halloween? Upon now hearing "Happy Holidays," I began to wonder if the greeting "Happy Halloween" isn't being just a bit too exclusivistic. Intrigued by that thought, I did a quick search on the web to see what other holidays, if any, fall around the time of Halloween. Here's what I found: Sukkot Shemini Atzeret Simchas Torah Kol Nidre Reformation Day Chiang Kai-shek's Birthday Halloween King's Birthday (no, not Martin Luther King's) National Magic Day (for Houdini) Beltane (Southern Hemisphere) Paganism Chanté - messes Voodoo Ramadan (month of fasting) Muslim / Islamic Samhain (Northern Hemisphere) Celtic All Saint's Day Day of the Dead Wow! You would think that, in the interest of fairness, we'd stop saying "Happy Halloween" and replace it with something along the lines of "Happy October and November Holidays." Until that time... MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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