Christmas tree in a living room

Every December seems to come with the traditional shouting match of Merry Christmas verses Happy Holidays. It tends to go something like this, “No! It must be Merry Christmas you hell-bound heathens who are trying to keep Christ out of my Christmas! No! It must be Happy Holidays you Bible-thumping zealots trying to impose your religion on everyone!” In such a way retorts are hurled at one another – often from the comfort of a Facebook comment. But I wonder, what would Jesus do? What would His preference of wintertime greeting be?

Honestly -- I think He probably wouldn’t care. He’d probably love the spirit of joy and happiness that descends on people this time of year. He’d love watching two people who might normally pass each other by, head bent down in their own little worlds, now looking up to smile, say hello, and wish each other well in this festive season.

He probably wouldn’t care about the words they said; He’d care that they were said, with love, to a fellow human being. “Love one another,” Jesus taught. In greeting each other this holiday season, we are doing just that. What I’m pretty sure Jesus would not like is people turning words of love into an excuse to argue, condemn, and insult our fellow brothers and sisters. I’m pretty sure Jesus would not like his birthday party crashed by a parade of hate and division. Jesus was born of love, the ultimate love of God sacrificing the Son to save humanity from sin. His birth should be celebrated with love too, not with petty anger.

So can we all just get along this holiday season? Can we all just treat each other with love and respect like Jesus taught us? Whether someone wishes you Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Season’s Greetings, or Fabulous Feasting with Family Day, smile, know they are simply trying to be nice, say thank you, and wish them well in return. It is that simple. Make this a season of love, not hate.

Nicole Fegeas graduated from Princeton University in 2010, majoring in Classics with certificates in Women and Gender Studies and Creative Writing. She was the Editor-in-Chief of the campus Christian magazine, Revisions.

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