Friday, November 20, 2009

'Tis the season

The first angry letter to the editor about Christmas showed up in this morning's Baraboo paper. This one was about people who dare to say Happy Holidays! instead of Merry Christmas! I am sure you recall when saying Happy Holidays was just to provide some variety and not something that you automatically assumed meant the person saying it was an atheist or worse.

This letter will be followed, if history is any indication, by complaints about the nativity on the courthouse lawn -- from those who are offended by its presence and those who are willing to die (or worse) to make sure it stays there.

Back in 2007, Cynthia sent me the following piece. I'm not sure where she found it. It sounds like an email. Anyway, I liked it then and I like it now. I am not inclined these days to write letters to the editor -- well, I am not inclined to mail them. But I thought I would post this here for the handful of people who read it. It is identified as a letter from Jesus. (Who, BTW, never celebrated Christmas but did celebrate Hanukkah. See John 10:22)

Dear Children,
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you’ve forgotten that I wasn’t actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don’t care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa’s and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1-8.
If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing Barack complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your family a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I cam to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day they’d close and let their employees spend the day home with their families.
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
9. Here’s a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no “Christmas” tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.
Don’t forget; I am Jesus and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I’ll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember:
Thanks, CA!


Kristin said...

I have to say Happy Holidays at my job...

:-( Lame.

Cynthia Dodd said...

I believe this was sent to me as an email from a dear friend at Texas Dept of Public Safety several years ago. I liked it then and I like it now. Thanks for sharing it with me again.

Michael Dodd said...

Tom was raised Jewish, and his oldest child is an Orthodox Jew. Many of the people who come to the railroad are from India, most of them Hindu and some Muslim. A significant number of people in our area are Native Americans, some of whom maintain their ancestral beliefs. So I have no problem wishing people happy holidaysin general -- whether it be Hanukkah, Christmas, Al Hijrah (December 18, 2009) or Ashura (December 27, 2009). All Catholics (not just Mexican) in the United States are supposed to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12, which happens to be the same day that Hanukkah begins this year. And in Wisconsin, lots of people still celebrate St. Nicholas on December 6, and stores even have sales, which is how you know it is a REAL holiday.