I don't know exactly when it began....but I remember how it was.
It started the day AFTER Thanksgiving. The ads in the paper, commercials on TV, and in the store windows, all announcing Christmas was coming. And they were consistent, as they all said "Merry Christmas." Christmas decorations on a Christmas tree. Baking Christmas cookies and singing Christmas carols. That was how it was when my parents grew up, and when their parents were younger too.
Like I said, I don't remember when it began. I remember getting a pewter button in college that said "Keep Christ in Christmas." Now that was back in the mid 80's, but I think it really started in the 90's. Slowly, "Merry Christmas" was being replaced in some areas with "Seasons Greetings" and Happy Holidays." In ads, on TV, in the paper, in decorations and cards. At first, I did not notice it much, but like a groundswell inside, something slowly built up, until about 10 years or more ago, I made a decision, sub-consciously at first, and then directly, to keep Christmas out there.
First it was the Christmas Cards. I ordered ones celebrating the true meaning of Christmas and had the words Merry Christmas on them, to make my own personal statement. I looked at decorations for the house, tree and outside that did not mention Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays. Then I started looking at businesses that used Merry Christmas in their ads or at the stores, and when I could, began supporting them.
I began to see groups, churches, and organizations that we not ashamed to mention "Merry Christmas," or display a nativity, or talk about why we celebrate Christmas. Over the years, it is amazing to me how much erosion there is in letting political correctness take over in all aspects of our lives. Keeping to this arena, look around and ask yourself what do you see, read, or hear more of; Merry Christmas, or everything else.
I understand that a business does not want to offend anyone, so they have a generic Happy Holidays in all their ads. But ask yourself, did the businesses suffer years ago that mentioned Merry Christmas? Why change? Why water down the holiday with generic messages when Merry Christmas did just fine.
Now, I am not attacking businesses, or anyone personally. God is working in my life and asking me to stand up and share the real reason for Christmas, celebrate the season of Jesus and his birth. Reflect on why we are here and be thankful because I am truly blessed in my life. He is helping me in my own way, to spread the word that this is HIS Birthday we are celebrating. We are HIS creation. This is HIS world and all that is in it.
I made a decision to keep CHRIST in Christmas and support others that do. I encourage others to do the same, or at least think about what it was like, when things were easier and traditions were kept, and everything was less stressful. A time when we stopped, paused, and heard the sound of a crying baby, lying in a manger, who gave Hope and Peace to a weary world.
May you have a Blessed Merry Christmas and Joyous New Year!