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Essays of Renaldo Visione - A Simple Observation

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 11:47 am    Post subject: Essays of Renaldo Visione - A Simple Observation Reply with quote Scroll Down to Next postGo to last Post of Page

A Simple Observation

There is nothing wrong with the greetings, “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings.” They are simply expressions of the festiveness of Christmas time. Certainly it is a joyous occasion as we take time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus. Still, it is a simple observation that these solicitations don’t really carry the same meaning as conveyed by the greeting “Merry Christmas.”

As the Christmas season approaches, retailers have already decorated their stores and have begun the advertisements as to the presents that can be bought for families and friends to give to each other as part of our Christmas celebration. It is a simple observation that discount and gift retailers earn much of their income from sales during the Christmas season. It is a simple observation that discount and gift retailers would face a much different economic picture if they did not have the sales from the Christmas season and the Christians who purchase gifts and decorations to celebrate.

As I walked through a store recently, I noticed the decorations of trees, garland, and snow people. Splashed everywhere were the solicitations, “Happy Holidays,” and “Seasons Greetings.” There was hardly an isle in the store where I did not see some sign advertising “Holiday Shopping.” It was a simple observation that I did not see the greeting, “Merry Christmas.”

It didn’t really dawn on me at first as to what was missing. I noticed that snowmen, snow women, and snow children were a plenty, but what happened to the nativity of Jesus’ birth? What happened to the angels, the shepherds, the star of guiding light? It was a simple observation that they were no where to be found.

In another store, I found the same semblance of decoration, and finally, there - over in a corner – almost as if it were to be hidden – there was an angel decoration, wrapping paper with the words, “Merry Christmas;” but no sign in the store proudly proclaiming the true reason for the season.

Still, it didn’t quite dawn upon me what I was experiencing until I heard a brief mention on the news that it was actually against policy for employees in some stores to even say “Merry Christmas.” The public relations advisor being interviewed defended this policy. He related that the reason why some major discount stores will not display the words “Merry Christmas” is because it is “exclusionary to their customers who are not Christian.” The person explained that the display of banners and signs extolling “Merry Christmas,” makes those who are not of the Christian faith feel uneasy. I wonder why.

Why should the mention of the Lord’s name make anyone feel excluded? Is there something threatening in the recognition of the birth of Jesus? When many store patrons are Christian, how is it then, that a business should make a decision to “exclude” the traditions of Christians in the name of “inclusion?” I wonder indeed.

I invite you to make your own simple observation. As you enter a store for your Christmas shopping, look around for the exaltation, “Merry Christmas.” If all you see is “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings,” if all you see is snowmen and women, but you don’t see the nativity or even just the simple words, “Merry Christmas;" then take a moment as you walk out of the store to greet those there with a pleasant greeting of “Merry Christmas.” Leave with a polite smile and the warm feeling of wishing another to enjoy the celebration of the birth of Christ. And should you encounter a store where you see the greeting, "Merry Christmas," proudly displayed; perhaps that is where you should shop for those gifts and decorations to celebrate the birth of our Lord. Perhaps there, you should thank the managers for not excluding you, your faith, and Him in the name of “inclusion.”

“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26)

Renaldo Visione

© by Renaldo Visione, all rights reserved. Printed at forums with permission. Please feel free to pass this essay to family members and friends, but please keep this copyright notice and permission statement with the essay. God Bless.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:48 pm    Post subject: More Examples Reply with quote Go to Top of PageScroll Up to Previous postScroll Down to Next postGo to last Post of Page

I think it is something that has been happening to us over time. When I was young, I asked what xmas meant. Someone saddly told me is that it is a greeting when someone wants to take Christ out of Christmas. At the time, I did not really think much of it. It may be happening to us slowly, but it is happening. Unless we defend Christmas, well,...... Anyway, I saw a news report about how a Christmas Tree was referred to as a Christmas Tree in the Netherlands, but as it came to America, it could no longer be called that. Each year, the Netherlands has donated a Christmas Tree to the City of Boston as a thank you for Boston's assistance following the 1917 Halifax Explosion." In the City of Boston, though, it is referred to as a holiday tree. Apparently, because it is displayed in a public forum, it cannot be called a Christmas Tree. I thought I would try to find the story on the Internet. Unfortunately, I didn't find anything referring specifically to what I saw on TV, but I did find some links that some might find interesting.

The Boston Christmas Tree
Boston’s Official Holiday Tree Lighting Coming December 1st!

Do We Need a Campaign to Defend Christmas?,2933,176377,00.html

Friend or Foe of Christmas?,2933,176305,00.html

O'Reilly opens new front in "war" on Christmas


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:23 pm    Post subject: Another interesting link Reply with quote Go to Top of PageScroll Up to Previous postScroll Down to Next postGo to last Post of Page

While there is a fight to silence the mention of Christ, we shouldn't easily conceed our rights. Here is a link that has some interesting information.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:45 am    Post subject: Inclusion is sometimes exclusion Reply with quote Go to Top of PageScroll Up to Previous postScroll Down to Next postGo to last Post of Page

Dear All,

One thing I have noted is that those who are promoting only using the greeting "happy holidays," use the justification that the greeting is inclusive. I think they miss the point.

As Renaldo pointed out, there is nothing wrong with that greeting, but the issue is the use of the greeting "Happy Holidays" as a means to totally exclude the greeting "Merry Christmas." This is a twisted logic. There is nothing inclusive about excluding "Merry Christmas." For those who only think about happy holidays, let them use that greeting - but I think Renaldo hit the point about not excluding "Merry Christmas" in the name of inclusion.

I like the idea though, if someone can't say the words because of a store policy, there is nothing preventing me from giving them a smile and a warm greeting of "Merry Christmas." Merry Christmas everyone. And may God bless those who, with a smile on their face, wish others a Merry Christmas.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Today's Gospel Reply with quote Go to Top of PageScroll Up to Previous post

As I read the Gospel reading for this morning I noticed something that caught my eye, and is a great quote for this season and ties in with this discussion.

Luke 7:23 "Blessed is he who is not offended by me."

So what does this say to those who are offended by the Christ in Christmas? It saddens me that so many people have been so influenced by the "dark side" that a simple thing like Merry Christmas could be outed so easily.

It is good to know though that not all stores are punishing their employees for saying Merry Christmas. We have made it a point in our store to wish everyone that comes through our doors a Merry Christmas. That is something that we see as essential. At the same time, we do not have many customers that would be offended by that.

I was at Office Depot last night and when I checked out and had gathered everything, the clerk wished me a Merry Christmas. I was so unused to this by now, it took me off guard and I was almost startled by it. I didn’t know what to say. I managed to mumble out a “you too,” and walked out to the car shocked and dazed.

I don't know if this was something with the clerk or if it is with the company, but she obviously was not instructed not to say it. Many stores and businesses have actually had the nerve to instruct employees not to say the word Christmas as this might offend someone. Personally I am offended by that.

The Santa in our mall no longer says "Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!" He instead says "Ho Ho Ho Happy Holidays!" Santa Clause was derived from St. Nicholas, and I believe this was an attempt to take the religious aspects away from the story and tradition of St. Nick. What are they going to do next year when that is brought up, change his name to “Holiday Guy?”

I can almost see a few years down the road that Christmas will be called “present day,” but not “present day” as in right now, “present” as in gift. This will be after the same people that are trying to get rid of Christ in Christmas realize that Holiday is rooted in Holy Day as in Holy Day of Obligation. Any mention or resemblance to being Holy will be frowned upon.

Christmas has been overwhelmed by commercialization and the greed of many. In some aspects I almost think it is a way of publicity, as they used to say in show business any publicity is good publicity. It is free advertising almost. They get mentioned in the news. Everyone talks about this store that has the nerve to out Christmas, and people get the names stuck in their head, but forget the reason.

I agree Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings, while nothing wrong with those phrases alone; the concept behind them of excluding Christ from Christmas is terminally twisted! I also agree that we should show our support for those that do have the right mind to support and proudly proclaim Christ in Christmas.

I do applaud Office Depot, whether they told their employees to say Merry Christmas, or simply didn't say not to, it is a big deal to me. I will continue to be a faithful customer and support my local Office Depot.

Merry Christmas and God Bless!

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