What if we called menorah’s “Holiday candlesticks” instead?

Ol’ Square Piece got a little hot and bothered last week.  One of my clients was relaying to me her difficulties in planning her department’s Christmas party when 1) it wasn’t allowed to be called a “Christmas” party and 2) she wasn’t allowed to use “Christmas” decorations.


Now that just sounds like an “It’s-Cold-Outside-But-I’m-Gonna-Dress-Up-And-Spend-More-Time-With-My-Coworkers Party.”


Home I went to clickity-clack away, blogging with indignation, so tired of the war on Christmas.

I’ve had enough!  I thought.  Stop trying to convince me to call “Christmas break” “winter break” instead.  Do you hear how ridiculous “holiday tree” actually sounds in your attempt to avoid saying the word Christmas?  What?  Are you gonna decorate that “holiday tree” for Labor Day?  For Valentine’s Day?  Please.  I’m not asking anyone to call a menorah a “Holiday candlestick” because it’s OBVIOUSLY more offensive to attempt to change someone’s holiday than to politely ignore it.  Personally, I’d prefer to be politely ignored.

But then I got to sit on it for a few days.  And I started to wonder…

Is this how the pagans felt when the Catholic church turned pagan festivals into a “Christian holiday”?  Did it seem silly and offensive to the Romans when Christians took the sun god’s birthday and began celebrating the Son of God’s birthday instead… and not even on the correct day?  Is this what the Scandinavians were thinking when Santa began leaving gifts under a tree instead of their gods, Odin or Woden?

Well, I can’t be sure how they felt or if it was nearly as infuriating to them as it is to me at times.

But I’ve decided to calm down about it.

Christmas is what I’ve made it to be.  No other Christmas will do.  The reality is, however, that Christmas is going to continue to evolve, just as it always has long before and after Christ was born.  I wish that the world wasn’t so offended by Christmas as I know it, truly I do.  But Christ is offensive and will always divide us…  And I mean that in the best way possible.

Of course it’s offensive for a man to claim that He’s the Son of God.  Of course it’s offensive for this same man to insist that He is the way, the truth and the life regarding eternity.  Of course it’s offensive for that man to claim to have the power to forgive your sins and reconcile you to a sinless, holy God.  People hate that kind of pious, judgmental, nosy, opinionated stuff… especially when it’s coming from the likes of me and you.

But when it comes from the likes of Jesus, the one who would not be subject to temptation, the one who had earned every right to be a goody-two-shoes snob but chose to dine with the riffraff, well, it starts to make a little more sense.  And, frankly, I’m quite relieved that Jesus was so passionate about His mission here on earth.  He’d hardly be worth mentioning if he was as worried about being politically correct as some politicians I’ve heard lately.  Not only that, but I’d still be desperately calculating whether or not my good deeds have outweighed my bad instead of resting in the assurance of His undeserved, substitutionary death on the cross.

No, I don’t suppose we’ll always have Christmas.  But we will always have the Gospel.  And that’s worth a million Christmas trees every day.


  1. November 14, 2013

    A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.

  2. November 14, 2013
    Megan Harris

    Well said! It’s disturbing to see the ever-increasing infringement on our religious rights, but we are called to respond in humility and love, having the mind of Christ, who humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death. So, we keep celebrating Him, and remembering that Christmas, while it’s fun and can be a great opportunity to talk about Jesus with others, is not our hope or our inheritance. Christ is! And no amount of political or social change will ever render him obsolete!!!
    Thanks for the thoughtful post!

  3. November 14, 2013

    Good stuff to chew on … thanks for sharing that. 🙂

  4. November 14, 2013
    Aunt Manny

    Amen! You know, Maybe this is how Noah felt back in the day. His family was the last to believe. I think that if our family was the last to believe in Christmas and the gospel, we would still hold firm in our beliefs no matter what the rest of the world was saying, doing, or selling. We will not be moved! It saddens me that people don’t know the truth and maybe future generations won’t even know the term Christmas. They are going to be missing out on the most wonderful time of the year! Go ahead, rack your brains running around buying presents looking for Santa. As for me and my house, we will serve and recognize the LORD. BOOM!

    • I had to read this a couple times until I realized that you meant Noah’s family was the last believing family (I thought you meant… well, never mind… would take to long to explain). Yeah, I gotcha. We’d be baking our birthday cake for Jesus, the last weird-o’s on the street.

  5. November 14, 2013
    One Man Gang

    Really enjoyed your personal insight. Made me think about my struggle on how to introduce my faith to non believers wisely.

  6. November 15, 2013

    enjoying this thread

    i think what bugs me the most about people wanting to call it ‘holiday’this and ‘holiday’ that is that the Federal Government (those people i work for) officially recognizes December 25th as ‘Christmas.’

    it’s an official federal holiday. All federal (and pretty much all state and local) government offices are closed. Banks and the Post Office are closed. pretty much everything is closed–and the official designation of the day (according to the Federal Government) is ‘Christmas’

    yet—we are not allowed to use the word ‘Christmas’ or put up any decorations that are Christmas specific, etc

    does anyone else see the irony in this?

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