Sunday, just as Pastor Monte was starting announcements, he said, “Merry Christmas… or should I say, ‘Happy Holidays’?” The crowd of Lutherans began jeering with boos (and a few hisses) which confused me because I thought Lutherans only jeered at the end of the sermon and I had completely missed it! Of course, there would be no booing or hissing following Pastor Monte’s sermons as he ranks up there with pastors Mike Johnson and Steve Makofka. Monte was, of course, deliberately poking at the recent controversial wave of “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas.”

I have always purchased cards with “happy holidays” as I always considered it to include my New Year’s greeting as well, and never thought more about it… I always write notes so “Merry Christmas” was always on the inside – and that was it.

A few years back, I tried to do the right thing with the politically correct fad that was so short lived… now, I just don’t even try. African Americans are back to being “Blacks” – which many seem to prefer; I never played cowboys and Native Americans as a child; and the heavy set disgruntled customer in front of me at Meijers last week became “that fat old biddy.”

I was raised knowing one can never please everyone… afterall, has God ever truly won this battle??? If He can’t accomplish this after billions of years and dealing with so many personalities, why should I try anything other than my best? So, if I accidentally greet a Jewish brethren (who has no name tag with Joel Frankl) with a “Merry Christmas,” I goof. If Ahkmead, the pharmacist at the CVS pharmacy counter is offended by my”Merry Christmas” – great! At least it might change the blank expression he generally wears…

Like I tell my sons, sometimes it is more effective being the small stone that makes a ripple rather than the big boulder that makes a splash. Sometimes, splashes are necessary – very necessary to get some of the excess water out of the pond or puddle; however, with a small stone, there are ripples and you generally do not loose much, if any, water…

I walk through the stores with a smile on my face – if it catches on, great. If it doesn’t – great. I at least tried… and that fat old biddy in front of me in the check-out lane cannot go to bed that night saying, “No one smiled at me today.”

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