I recently went to Starbucks and ordered my usual, a Venti Americano with whole milk. When I looked at the cup later it said, “We wish you a Merry Coffee.” I had to laugh because Starbucks has been the target in the past of groups that were offended when they went to a generic type of Christmas cup and even had the gall to wish people a happy holidays instead of a merry Christmas. I thought that is pretty smart thinking on their part, instead of Christmas or the holidays let’s just concentrate on what we do, coffee. I am sure that they will get flack for it too; I mean what would Christmas be without the people who enjoy being offended by everything? I will admit I find the whole Christmas offense thing to be laughable. I remember standing in line at a store in Phoenix one time and seeing all the gift cards with the words, “Happy Holidays” on them except the ones printed in Spanish which read, “Feliz Navidad.” Feliz Navidad in Spanish is, “Merry Christmas.” Apparently it is politically incorrect to say Merry Christmas unless you say it in Spanish. I mean come on that is just funny. I think we all need to take a drink of some strong eggnog and calm down. Is it really the best use of our time and energy to be constantly offended during this time of year?
I don’t think being wished Merry Christmas should be offensive to anyone; I also don’t think being wished Happy Holidays is offensive or even Merry Coffee. My family will tell you that without coffee I am certainly not merry. In all of these instances we are being wished something good, something positive. Think of this way, in this hectic chaotic season some poor overworked soul is being nice to you. Inside they may be going bah humbug but somehow against all odds they are managing to smile and wish you the best. So don’t be offended and above all don’t be an offender by snarling at them and saying something like, “Well I wish you a Merry Christmas, so there!” Yeah I am sure that will really make them feel better and blessed. Don’t bring offense to Christ by cursing people with a, “Merry Christmas or else!” attitude. Nobody was ever blessed by Jesus by getting hit over the head with him.
I am not saying don’t wish people a Merry Christmas. You should wish people a Merry Christmas, but do it with a smile. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of God into our world. The Son of God takes on flesh and becomes one of us on Christmas. He comes to save us from our sins. His ultimate destination is the cross and then the empty tomb. He did all of that not just for you but for the clerk standing in front of you. He did it for the customer at the front of the line who is holding everything up with all their complaints. So wish them a Merry Christmas and mean it, and invite them to worship on Christmas Eve at 5:30 P.M. So Merry Coffee, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad.