The uproar about wishing people “Merry Christmas” is absurd. Christmas is not a dead tradition tenuously held together by mere sentimentality, but a living heritage that embodies the best strengths within humanity. And no one has to be overtly religious to reap the social and emotional benefits of the season.
Christmas means love, warmth, hospitality and giving. Christmas calls forth generosity, compassion and cheerfulness. Such traits also call upon us for courage to reach out in extra measure. That courage also justifies respect for the phrase “Merry Christmas.”
If we reject saying “Merry Christmas” altogether, will we not also risk the eventual degeneration of all that Christmas entails? Instead of love, warmth, hospitality and giving, will we prefer hate, coldness, rejection and stinginess? Instead of generosity, compassion and cheerfulness, will we prefer avarice, mean-spiritedness and a sour attitude? Instead of courage that reaches across all political, religious and socio-economic lines, will we choose the servility born of fear?
We must show courage, cheer and goodwill during this time of national crisis. We must summon the best things within ourselves, because a bigger issue is at stake.
What kind of people do Americans want to be? Are we a nation of virtue or a nation of vice?