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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Every time you see that jolly man in the red suit remember the real man behind the white beard, St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, who was persecuted and imprisoned under the Roman emperor Diocletian. The Merrifield nursery in northern Virginia used to have a wonderful Santa who explained to the older children that he was the "clown of Christmas." Then using a model of the nativity scene he explained to children the real meaning of Christmas. We took our children to see him more years ago than I care to think about. But he seemed timeless so maybe he's still there or has passed his gentle faith onto another Santa filling his shoes. I hope so.

Don't forget during this season to keep Christ in Christmas. You can do that in a number of ways. Light your advent wreath every evening and sing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Send cards with a religious theme. If you go caroling be sure to include songs like Away in the Manger and O Holy Night and not just politically correct "holiday" songs like Jingle Bells. If someone wishes you "Happy Holidays" respond with a smile and "a happy holy day to you too." St. Nicholas Day anticipates the coming of the Christ child. And how Christians look forward to that day. Let us rejoice and be glad and share our joy with all those around us. And don't be shy. No one who has any sense is offended by the Christmas spirit, as is illustrated by Ben Stein's wonderful essay. Have a happy advent and a holy St. Nick's day.


Turfsuper said...

To wrong someone or to act arrogantly or despairingly toward someone who wishes you a simple "Happy Holidays" is more to self justify your own anger and extreme views.

To accept a simple “"Happy Holidays" from Hindu friends for example, your heart would have to be alive and not silenced after being paved over by extreme ideology.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Gosh, you are such a Grinch, Turfkiller. If I lined up all the comments you left here it would be obvious who has the "extreme ideology." I'm offering my rosary for you today! Even your user name is negative. But maybe it's meant to be humorous. Are you a bad golfer?

Ray Schneider said...

There is no reason to be annoyed if someone wishes you "Happy Holidays" but neither is it wrong to wish someone a "Merry Christmas." Christmas is both a religious and secular holiday in the United States. I see no reason not to wish my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah or Islamic friends a Happy Ramadan - Religious Tolerance is not about ignoring our different beliefs but acknowledging them.