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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I once wished a Jewish friend Merry Christmas. I know it was stupid, but frankly I never regarded him as being "different." He was a hell of a guy, who I respected (still do). He quickly asked with a stern look on his face, "What's so "Merry" about it?" I just smiled and wished him Happy Holidays and went about my business. I wish I had answered him, but I'm not sure I knew the answer.

He wasn't trying to be a smart alec. He really wanted to know. He had no idea. Being raised in a faith in which Jesus was a heretic does not exactly prepare one for the 12 days of Christmas.! It's odd - If you ask most Jews whether they believe in the Golden Rule, they will say yes. Yet, they find no cause to celebrate Jesus who preached it two mellenia ago! Jesus is a false God, they are taught, so what could be happy about a holiday celebrating his birth?

Muslims have a similar problem. Though they are taught to respect Jesus as a prophet, they believe Jesus rejected the Gospels, hence the Golden Rule and all claims he was the messiah.

Regardless of faith, don't all adults lose sight of what makes Christmas "merry?" Aren't we blinded by credit card bills, long check out lines, and unbalanced checkbooks? Are we afraid our kids won't be happy unless they get the popular toy all the others are getting? Is 12 weeks of Christmas music too much?

I'm not sure I can explain what makes Christmas "Merry." Frankly, I've forgotten until recently. Maybe, I still don't quite appreciate it?

One need not be Christian to have a Merry Christmas. It is not a birthday party where Jews, Muslims, and others aren't invited. Christians understand it as the celebration of God's gift of his Son to the world - all the world. It is the day when we all honor that spirit of giving by offering our own gifts to others to give them joy and happiness. Maybe, the gift is a toy for a child, or a coat for an adult. It could be as precious as the Gift of the Magi, valued more for giving than the gift. Christmas is not about getting. If your 5 year old child gives you his finger painting, it will probably mean more to you than a Picasso! Might even look like a Picasso!

So, what is so "Merry" about Christmas? A Chatty Cathy doll might cost $30, but what is the price of watching children happily playing with it? Yes, we give, but isn't there a greater return? How much would you pay to see your son's face light up when he opens a package and finds the baseball glove he dreamed about? Who is getting the most out of it? What makes Christmas "Merry?" My answer is one word: "Giving." Without it, Christmas is just another excuse for getting out of work.

Sometimes, I wonder why we don't have Christmas every day of the year.
 

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Well said Clay. More and more Christmas is becoming organized chaos. I can always remember the feeling I get when this time of year rolls around. But when you try to do Christmas shopping, you are met by some very rude people that has no Christmas spirit at all.


Merry Christmas Everyone!!:santa: :newyear:
 

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I gotta hand it to ya Clay---you've got the spirit! I was almost determined to grinch it up this year, because of all the bs associated with this time of year--no kids Christmas really isn't "fun"--but alas you've gotten to the soft side of Tazzy and I just can't help myself now. I'll be decking the halls and muscling my way through the stores this week and I got 2 words for you---everyone else---

ahem..........

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :newyear: :santa:
 

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Christmas has gotten too 'commercialized'. It's the gimmee,gimmee,gimmee syndrome instead of what its really about !:nono2: :confused:
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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I have 3 Jews I count as friends. One is particularly close.

They have zero problem with Christmas. They actually enjoy a lot of it.

Their only beef is that the Christmas gift giving tradition has turned Hanukkah into a holiday when it was a minor commemoration in the past. They now feel the pressure to buy their kids and family members more presents than the old days.

The other side of the coin is that I have come across more and more Christians who feel they have to create a form of Bar or Bat Mitzvahs for their kids who have Jewish friends and have attended those kind of big events with all the hoopla and gifts.
 

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We exchange gifts with the neighbors across the street who are of the jewish faith. I think two thousand years is long enough to get used to it.
 

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As I get older I don't enjoy Christmas and this I know my kids are getting way too much. My wife cannot stop herself from getting stuff for them. They have plenty more than what they need and I know my Mrs. Sang saves a lot of money by buying stuff at the second chance store, but we are busting out of the house with toys. The grandparents and other will heap them with stuff too.

I think Mrs.Sang growing up very poor has an issue with giving too much now that things are better. I want nothing for Christmas and one year somehow I'm going to pull that off completely and totally. There is nothing I need or want more than to have a happy healthy family near me.

I do like to watch the kids get stuff, but I worry they are going to be spoiled and I have seen my neice and nephew get gobs of gifts to never be played with. My Nephew is 7 and he gave up a bunch of his trucks and cars for his new cousin my son John. We told him he will play with them as he gets bigger. When I was 7 I would not have given any of my trucks of cars up because I only had a few. My nephew has 100's of them and some are doubles and triples. They have a basement room that looks like Toy R' Us exploded in there and their parent were filling garbage cans full of toys to throw away this past summer when we went to get some stuff.

Can you tell this stuff really bothers me?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Many decades ago, I learned two stories in pubolic school about Christmas and life. One was The Gift of the Magi. It was about a young couple, maybe you could call them the "working poor," but they were richer than they knew. The young wife sold her beautiful hair, so she could afford to give her husband a fob chain for his treaured watch. Unknowing, the husband had sold his watch, so he could afford a beautiful set of combs for his wife's long, flowing hair. Neither could use the gift from the other, but somehow they recieved a greater gift, the knowledge of how much the other loved them. As the TV ad says, that's priceless!

The other story I remember had to do with an elder lady who had one penny to her name, nothing else of value which she could give. She cleaned and polished her penny and gave it to the church offering. I doubt many others gave with as much heart.

It's a shame that children today are denied such stories, because our public schools fear being sued by the ACLU.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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That O. Henry story was still being taught in our public schools at least for my son's generation (Class of 97). Not sure about now as my kids are grown and no grandchildren yet.
 

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I remember the gift of Magi and I think of it all the time during this season.

To go biblical on everyone for a second I know some people who will give their kids no more than 3 gifts at Christmas because Jesus was given 3 gifts. Sure would cut down on expense!

I have to say I get farther and farther away from the hoopla over Christmas and today I realized that my wife handles 99% of it. She's been running around shopping while I watch teh kids or she takes them when I'm at work. There is a pile of wrapping paper and boxes in our bedroom (luckily we have a loft style bedroom) which we navigate around every day.

It's just something I don't handle well except to get my Dad's gift or my wife's. I did go out with her to get the kids some stuff this year.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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I enjoyed it as a kid and still do. I think we will enjoy it even more when we have some grandkids.

Last year I gave my son in law an unissued SKS. The look on his face when he got it was worth a million bucks. It told him that after 3 months of marriage, he was part of the family.
 

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I celebrate Christ every day so you can say that I have Christmas every day of my life and for all eternity. Now that's something to be "Merry" about. If I didn't know where I was going to spend eternity I would be very unhappy this time of year. At this time of year the unbeliever is reminded of their mortality and problem of not knowing where they will spend eternity. They are filled with dread this time of year because they have a unshakable fear that death and eternity will not be pleasant for the unbeliever. THEY ARE RIGHT. Eternity for the unbeliever is going to be a real HOT time and they will spend eternity knowing they had a choice and made the wrong choice.
 

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AClay47 said:
The other story I remember had to do with an elder lady who had one penny to her name, nothing else of value which she could give. She cleaned and polished her penny and gave it to the church offering. I doubt many others gave with as much heart.

It's a shame that children today are denied such stories, because our public schools fear being sued by the ACLU.
It's a wonder your teachers were not sued for teaching you the story about the elder lady aka "The widow's Mite." More can be found on this story in the Book of Mark 12:41-44.
 
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