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Friday, December 7, 2007

Ambassadors of Merry Christmas!

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,

“Happy Chrismahanakwanzaaikuh.”

Say what?

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?

“Merry Christmas.”

Luke (KJV) 2:10-14
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.

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Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

"This exchange made me think how cool it is to be a Christian. It ROCKS to interact with people."

Yes, ma'am. It does. What a great world it would be if everyone would quit taking themselves so seriously. :)

Great post, Lynn. Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours!


December 6, 2007 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Wonderful post my friend.

December 6, 2007 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Once again, Lynn, I knew this was you before I scrolled to your name! Great stuff. I like "Merry Christmas" offered as a gift of our faith!

December 7, 2007 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

That is so super cute! I wonder how many times that young lady practiced that little saying.


What a fabulous story and knowing it is true and from you makes it all the more special!

Love and Hugs!

December 7, 2007 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger e-Mom said...

This is really fun, Lynn! My husband has a fondness for language (I guess I do too) and we often wonder what it would be like to be lawyers! Can you imagine having to weigh the meaning of every.single.word?

Like, what the meaning of "is" is?

Merry Christmas to you my friend!

Hugs, e-Mom :~D

December 7, 2007 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger As We Sail... said...

Hi Lynn, you asked me to get back to you if I posted on this subject and I just did today, if you'd like to take a look. Thank you for this subject, I hope more people do the same.

December 8, 2007 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Donetta said...

Great post

December 9, 2007 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger lori said...

here in the deep south...
Merry Christmas rings LOUD and CLEAR...

I loved it! A few days behind, I am!
but the story was a classic!!

December 11, 2007 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

That is so neat! I loved it! Needed a giggle right now too! I love this season...although sometimes it is hard to "feel the love" from others...trying to be all correct...humph!
I love what you did though---even down here in the "Bible belt" of the U.S. we get some of that P.C. stuff (political correctness)---so
Merry Christmas to all and to all good night!--and God Bless---
love you girl!

December 15, 2007 at 3:53 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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