It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Stores are playing carols and are decked from top to bottom with trees, ornaments, stacks of gifts waiting to be purchased, and wreaths and garlands decorating parking lots.
One thing seems to be missing though . . . the word "Christmas".
"Merry Christmas" has been replaced with "Happy Holidays". We are invited to celebrate the season with holiday trees, seasonal celebrations with friends, and decorate our houses for winter. Oh, and of course purchase lots of holiday gifts. In school our children learn about Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Boxing Day, but not the nativity. Why is that when 83% of Americans celebrate Christmas, we are instead wished "Happy Holidays" every where we turn.
Happy Holy Days
Pronunciation:\ˈhä-lə-ˌdā, British usually ˈhä-lə-dē\
Etymology:Middle English, from Old English hāligdæg, from hālig holy + dæg day
Date:before 12th century
The origin of the word holiday is "holy day". Christmas truly is a holy day. God, the very embodiment of holiness, humbled himself to come to earth; to be born as a baby in a stable. What a reason for celebration!
Happy Holy Days, and Merry Christmas to you. May this year you feel the awe in God's gift and the wonder of His holiness every time some wishes you a "Happy Holiday"!
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.