Merry Christmas? It Depends on How You Say It

December 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The other day I heard someone say “Happy Holidays,” and the response of the Christians who heard it was “Merry Christmas.”  The response got me to thinking.   I don’t know the motives of the people who responded, and certainly putting emphasis on Christ at Christmas can be a good thing.  But I wonder if such a response as I heard was more condemning rebuke than accepting grace.  The rejoinder sure sounded to me like a scold rather than the gracious wish it should be.  We can’t expect those who don’t have Christ in their lives to act as if they did, so when the world teaches them to say “Happy Holidays,” that is what they will say.  It could be a well-intended blessing and not an affront to Jesus.  Maybe our response to them should be a genuine “Thank You” for the good wishes and then, if appropriate, we can add “Merry Christmas to you too.”  If “Merry Christmas” comes across to them, like it did to me, as a rebuke, then that will only serve to turn them away from the Jesus to whom we hope to point them.  Just my thoughts; I’m sure some of you will have better insights on this.



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  1. I really dont like your approach: “Thank you, and Merry Christmas to you too”. Just saying it that way almost just puts a smile on your face when you say it. If you are sincere with a thank you it is natural to smile and then to follow it up with what you have been taught and belive to say “Merry Christmas to you too” is just natural sounding.

    I know several people that go on the defense wje they get told happy holidays. I my self at times have felt put out by at pre-programmed greeting till I Le my self get the fast second of realization that the person saying I may not be a believer or maybe of a different faith. So is it better for me to be condescending to correct them, or maybe if it is a requirement of the position to only be able to say happy holidays, is it right for me to make them feel already more uncomfortable? I agree with you and your approach. A simple “Thank you, and Merry Christmas to you too” is perfect for those and many more scenarios.

  2. Pastor Glenn,

    I agree with you wholeheartedly.


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