Yes, I know it is politically incorrect to use any winter holiday salutation other than, “Happy holidays,” but I want to wish you joy in a specific holiday season. Thus Merry Christmas.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the culture of a Christian community, let me explain that Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ. Jesus is God who came to Earth in the form of a child. He came to live among men and woman as a human so that we can better relate to him and bears the name Emanuel or God With Us. 33 years later he died in our place to bear our sin, but that is a story to be told at Easter. What is important at Christmas is that we recognize Jesus as the Messiah. We accept the birth of Jesus as a gift from God, which is probably why we began giving gifts.
Simultaneously a secular Christmas celebration has evolved complete with Santa Clause, Frosty the Snow Man and other things that have nothing to do with Jesus. Many Christians think that this secular celebration has become over commercialized. Nevertheless, most Christians enjoy the secular celebration as they simultaneously celebrate the religious Christmas.
When I wish you a Merry Christmas, I wish you to understand the arrival of the Christ Child and receive the spiritual blessings of the season, but I understand that you may not believe in Jesus. If so, I am not trying to force Christianity on you, but simply wish you may enjoy the secular celebration of the season.
I am not adverse to wishing my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah. If Ramadan were to occur in December (as it does some years), I would wish my Muslim friends a Happy Ramadan.
Twice I made visits to Indonesia during Ramadan. My Muslim friends greeted me with Happy Ramadan. While I do not believe in Islam nor have I ever joined in their fasts or feasts, I accepted their salutation in good faith. I was not offended. I accepted the good wishes they intended to convey in the spirit of the way the salutation was offered.
Peace and good will to all, and to all a Merry Christmas.
Note: Christ points out in her comment that the use of Merry Xmas is discouraged by many. The reason being that Christ is being replaced by an X. The other side of the story is that in Latin the word Christ starts with the letter chi, which looks exactly like an English X. Thus in the middle ages, many people used the Latin letter chi or an X as an abbreviation for Christ. Thus some people have no objection to the substitution of an X for Christ. Personally, I prefer to spell out the entire Merry Christmas, but those who use Xmas in good faith should not be criticized.
So that we can all have some fun, I will be starting a serial soon. This almost forgotten form of story telling is fun to write and fun to read.