A Real Christmas

I'm pleased to hear people say "Happy Hanukkah",
Or the Islamic people pray, "Al Fatiha",
To observe Vesak, the birthday of Buddha,
To witness the sacred customs of India,
To see Japanese people praise their 'Kami-sama',
No one's expression of faith should be shunned, ever.

If we really are truly multicultural,
And allow other peoples, one and all,
To celebrate their various customs,
Then why do some people throw tantrums,
And protest the saying of "Merry Christmas"?
And insist on "Happy Holidays" - it's senseless!

The spirit of Christmas is love and 'giving',
Celebrating Christ and 'selfless living',
For honoring the birth of blessed Jesus,
Helping the sick, the poor and jobless,
Why is it wrong to say, "Happy Christmas"?
It's a day for showing human kindness.

And if society celebrated Christmas,
In the spirit of Jesus and/or St Nicholas,
Then the homeless that day would eat for free,
And stay in a hotel without a fee,
And children would be given gifts, one for
themselves, and one to give to the needy.

Instead we gorge and ignore those in trouble,
And the restaurants, well ... they charge double!
Children complain about 'too few' presents,
Christ is forgotten amidst this nonsense,
In fact it's almost taboo to mention His name,
Lest we offend others; we should be ashamed.

People forget what 'Santa' was celebrating,
When he gave food to orphans who were starving,
As the Bishop of Myra in the third century,
Giving gifts and clothes to those without family,
He was honoring the birth of Jesus Christ,
Presenting handmade gifts, which were not priced.

To remember 'Santa Claus', or Saint Nicholas,
But not why he really celebrated Christmas,
Is to remember fireworks on 4th July,
But not Independence, for which many did die,
A real Christmas is about love and kindness,
And so I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Copyright  ⓒ  Chris Ryall  2012

sing Chritmass one world

Leaking Pen
Dear Chris
Good on you mate for spreading universal love and care beginning of this month, like you I have many friends from all walks of life, all faiths, bound together by true friendships , we embrace our differences as the different letters come together to form one word, L different from O, different from V, different from E but together they form the -Love- we have, your poem feeds the soul of hungry generations, so much division and artificial strife prevalent out there in the realm of humanity, to take the essence of your poem and squeeze each drop and quench the thirst in the heart of divisiveness, wish I had the power to do so, knowing I can not change the world, but I will do the best to the limits of my capabilities to spread the message in your poem to all who come across my pass, have a wonderful Xmas, my love to you, to Mandy and the people of Japan
Truly
Paul

Joy to the World

G'day Paul,

I've only just got back to this site after a busy weekend of weddings. How are you my friend? Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comments. I like your metaphor about the word 'LOVE' - very good.

This poem has been growing in my mind for a while now, seeing all the different viewpoints (for and against) about Christmas, on the internet. What struck me was the hypocritical movement against saying "Merry Christmas", when we are encouraged to embrace everyone else's culture and customs. There are China Towns and Islamic mosques being built here and there, and our politicians ask us to welcome them warmly (which most of us do in the name of peace and friendship), but the same politicians encourage ditching "Merry Christmas" for "Happy Holidays", especially on Christmas cards! It makes no sense. Try finding some Christmas cards these days without reindeer or Santa Claus - very few of them have the 'nativity scene' on them anymore - very sad.

Political correctness has gone mad, when we are urged to pander to other cultures and beliefs at the expense of our own. Just imagine if the American President suggested ditching the 4th of July celebrations because it may offend new immigrants for example. There'd be chaos! Ha ha. Freedom of Speech must surely include our own 'freedom of speech', and tolerance must be offered to all, not just 'some or others'. It would appear that there has been some pressure to eliminate the expression of 'Merry Christmas', a rather anti-Christian bias bordering on discrimination. And Christmas is not about 'Santa Claus' but about what Saint Nicholas was celebrating! LOL Merry Christmas to you, too, my fine friend!

Warmest regards,

Chris

Happy Holidays!

Chris,

A fine poem from the start, from the heart, well-crafted, and all that. But . . .

Nothing wrong with saying Merry Christmas to a Christian, Happy Chanukah to a Jew, etc., because Christmas IS merry, Chanukah IS happy, etc. And Christians should say to Christians, Merry Christmas. Jews to Jews, Happy Chanukah, and so on. Are you wanting to allow only "Merry Christmas" at this time of year to be said to all?

Am I supposed to say to my Jewish friends, "Merry Christmas" and only "Merry Christmas" at this time of year? I believe Jewish Chanukah predates Christmas by nearly 2000 years, so by your logic everyone should be saying "Happy Chanukah" at this time of year.

Not saying Merry Christmas, but rather Happy Holidays, is an acknowledgement that this time of year is more than being just about Jesus and Christianity. There are other faiths that celebrate at this time of the year events in their religions.

So, Chris, I sincerely wish you and Amanda a Happy Holiday Season!

raggindragon

Happiness is Free to All

G'day Gordon,

As soon as I saw the title of this response (on my iPhone), I knew it was you! Ha ha. Good on you for your sense of humor. LOL.

Thanks for your question (2nd par), about there being only one preferred greeting. The answer is "no". Of course I don't wish 'only' Merry Christmas at this time of year to be used by all. What I don't want is for "Merry Christmas" to be eliminated for fear of offending others.

So to your Jewish friends, you can say "Happy Chanukah", but the point is, you shouldn't have to be careful that there are no other people around from other cultures. The very message of my poem is that it should please everyone to hear you saying "Happy Chanukah", as it should please everyone to hear others saying "Merry Christmas".

It's not about the time-frame, it's about the freedom to express one's faith without condemnation from others, especially at this joyous time of the year. As you correctly stated, many faiths celebrate various customs in their religions at this time of the year, and I think it's wonderful. They should all be free to do so. However, there seems to be a push to clamp down on saying 'Merry Christmas', for example. Why? "Happy Holidays" seems unnecessary or 'hollow' to me. Maybe we should start walking around on weekends exclaiming, "Happy Weekend!" Heh. Perhaps those who go to work could use the greeting, "Blue Monday!" when they show up at work at the beginning of each week. That would be kind of silly.

My point in this poem wasn't to insist on everyone saying, "Merry Christmas", but to allow those who wish to say it the freedom to do so, without the fear of offending others. If they get the reply back of "Happy Holidays", then that should be accepted just as openly, and with a smile. For both greetings are meant in kindness, without any personal agenda attached.

To you, my friend, I joyfully wish you a Merry Christmas, for that is simply my way. I thank you for your wishes of a Happy Holiday Season - I will pass that on to Amanda - much appreciated.

Warmest regards,

Chris

Let All The Earth Cry Out With Joy To The Lord

Chris,

Merry Christmas! May the Prince of Peace illuminate each heart, in every land, to seek and to understand that God is with each of us. May our thoughts turn us toward each other and the gifts of one holy Spirit. We are brothers and sisters in God and nothing shall separate us from His love. May joy fill the cup of our salvation.

Your poem gives us cause to worship God in our own traditions and to respect the goodness of all the Earth.

"Christ be our light, shine in our hearts, shine through the darkness, Christ be our light, shine in our hearts today..."

I also expect to keep Christmas songs alive on the planet ... I would like to see them continue to be sung in our schools, it is part of the American tradition too. Thank God Santa Claus was a Christian.

This is a beautiful poem Chris, truly.

Love,

Kathy Paysen xo xo

Dallas, Texas

Merry Christmas!

Dear Kathy,

Please see my actual response to your comments in the message below - it doubled up for some reason - but Mandy and I just wanted to wish you, "A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!" Our friends are some of the best presents we will ever receive in our lifetime. Thank you for being such a wonderful friend. Love and warmest regards,

Your good friends always,

Chris & Mandy xo

Mary's Boy Child

Dearest Kathy,

Thank you so much for your wonderful and supportive comments! God bless you! I really wish just what you wish, that people could understand that God is with us. If that's not possible, then I at least hope and pray that love and kindness is the 'order of the day' this Christmas. For those of us who believe, then as you say, nothing will come between us and the love of God. Deck the halls with boughs of holly ...

I really love Christmas music - it fills houses and hearts with such joy! It irks me that some people want to 'shut down' Christmas, simply because they don't believe in it, or because they're afraid it might offend others from different cultures and religions. How ridiculous. A whole lot of adults don't believe in the Easter bunny - should we shut down the chocolate industry? We have so many holidays for so many reasons, so what is the significance of saying, "Happy Holidays"? LOL (But I gratefully accept it in the spirit in which it's intended when it is said, with an honest smile).

Should we ban 'Santa' from shopping centers and cancel commercial Christmas celebrations because some adults don't believe in Santa Claus? The Japanese, predominantly Shinto and Buddhist in their beliefs, as you know, don't believe in Santa Claus (they think he's a Christian 'anime' character), and don't on the whole worship Jesus Christ, and yet they embrace Christmas. Lovers go on dates, families give gifts, and large numbers of people go to a Christian church, some out of curiosity, others to show respect for something that so many people around the world believe so strongly in, and many just for the joy of seeing Christians sing and worship the Lord's birth. What a wonderful attitude they have!

Actually, people need to know that St Nicholas was a real man 17 centuries ago, and more to the point - what he was in fact celebrating! That's if they're at all interested in historical truth. If they just want the fantasy, so be it. Some people don't eat beef, others pork, and take offense to the eating of those meats, so should we all stop eating steak, hamburgers, chops and sausages, etc, in the hopes of not offending them? Ha ha ha. That would be crazy.

In a world that already has too much war, hatred, violence - you would think that people would welcome a time to be happy, a time to be generous, a time to sing, to dance, to openly show love and kindness. What better an occasion than the birthday of the most famous and controversial being in human history, and for those believers such as you and I, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ - our Lord and savior. I mean, people around the world celebrate (and according to the country, have holidays on) the birthdays of Emperors, Kings and Queens, so why not that of Jesus Christ, 'the king of kings'? It doesn't even matter whether one believes or not that Jesus was the king of kings, or the son of God. It's a good excuse to party and be merry! Why throw a wet blanket on the celebrations of those that do believe? Why be like Scrooge? "Ah, humbug!" LOL

Well I'm not letting any party-poopers ruin my Christmas. I'm not forcing my beliefs on them, or trying to convince them of anything, or - heaven forbid - trying to convert them. But I'm going to praise the Lord Jesus Christ, thank God for sending His Son to save us all, and sing my heart out. Mandy and I will be front and center at church on Christmas Day, and we'll be smiling along with all those in Santa hats and costumes, because we know that Santa Claus was celebrating what we will be celebrating that day. And Jesus has been so very good to Mandy and I this year! We have so much to be thankful for. One of the presents I received this year, just today in fact, was an 'all-clear' result on my PSA test for prostate cancer! Yippee!!! :-D

Thanks again for your kind feedback. I'm so glad that you enjoyed my poem. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! ✦✟∆☃ Take care and best wishes,

Chris ♡✞

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