Ambassadors of Merry Christmas!
Wow, these two simple words have created a furor this year. I have read posts online and a few things in the paper about how this phrase has become politically incorrect in the retail marketplace.
I wondered what would happen to me if I spoke these words in public. Well, I decided to put this phrase to my own test. So my daughter and I set out on our test adventure earlier this week. Our first stop was the local Mall in our Southern California town. I knew if I were to meet opposition to this greeting, I would surely find it here in my home state of California where political correctness is, ahem, overdone.
Onward with the story. My daughter and I purchased a gift for my sister at the first retailer. “Merry Christmas,” I said as I pick up my bag and receipt.
The associate looked up at me and smiled, then replied, “Merry Christmas.”
Hmmm, I think that went pretty well. No surprises there just a warm smile.
At the second retailer my daughter and I enjoyed the same experience. In fact, as we concluded each of our purchases, I would say to the sales associate, "Merry Christmas." A smile was always the result. The counterperson would pause, look up, grin, and repeat “Merry Christmas."
With most of our shopping complete, we stopped at our last destination, a large book retailer, we needed gift cards. The sales clerk who helped us was a delightful young woman who looked to be in her early twenties. We chatted as she worked on the gift cards. With the transaction concluded, I gathered my receipt and said, “Merry Christmas.”
The poor girl looked up with full attention on me. She made a quick step back from the counter staring at me. Autopilot kicked in at that second and she quickly replied, “Merry Christmas.”
I watched her face as she disengaged from autopilot and processed my words. Her shoulders hunched up and she held her hands out from her sides. She looked like a kid feigning innocence while caught red-handed sneaking an extra cookie from the cookie jar. She offered me a sheepish smile then boldly said,
I burst out laughing. I couldn’t help it. I hadn't heard this phrase before and it was hilarious. My daughter started to giggle. The sales associate who was working next to my window started to laugh and the young woman who wished me Happy Chrismahanakw….. (whatever) joined in.
Then the adorable young woman cocked her head to the side and said, “Well, I don’t want to offend anyone.” We laughed all the harder. The store was in hysterics. My daughter and I laughed all the way to the car and I’m still laughing at the silliness of it all.
What a hoot!
No one was offended and everyone enjoyed a loud and hearty laugh that morning.
This exchange made me think how cool it is to be a Christian. It ROCKS to interact with people. Although corporate execs may fear these two simple words, Merry Christmas, I think of them as a gift of our faith. As Christians, we know the meaning of the season. Perhaps through sharing our joy with the world, we can make this CHRISTmas season a little brighter, a little kinder, and reveal Jesus, the true source of our joy.
Between now and December 25th, I plan to wish everyone I see, a Merry Christmas. Who knows what joyful surprises await?
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
I would love to visit with you over at my place: Spiritually Unequal Marriage.