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Sun Dec 9, 2012, 10:13 PM

Why I will wish someone Merry Christmas ONLY on December 25th (or January 7th)

During this time of year, it’s inevitable that someone always insists on equating the Birth of Jesus as “the reason for the Season”. Let’s forget for a moment about the non-Christians (Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, atheists, etc.) that we are not including, let’s talk about ME and MY needs. . .

I’m happy to inform people that the Birth is NOT the “reason for the Season”. OK, perhaps one day (12/25, and even that’s debated), but not the ENTIRE “season”.

As a Byzantine Rite Catholic, during the winter “Season” (define time frame here), our Church celebrates the feast of St. Nicholas (December 6), the Conception of the Mother of God (December 9) , the Feast of the Holy Forefathers (2nd Sunday before the Nativity), Holy Night (December 24 – my personal fave), the Feast of the Nativity of Christ (aka Christmas – December 25), Synaxis of the Mother of God (December 26), the Feast of St. Stephen (December 27 – yes, as in the Christmas Carol "Good King Wenceslas"), the Feast of St. Basil the Great and the Circumcision of our Lord (January 1), Theophany (January 6), and the Presentation of Our Lord Into the Temple (February 2). And those are just the highlights (the religious ones, not including my nationalistically traditional feasts).

So, when someone wishes me a “Merry Christmas” or, more to the point, doesn’t wish me a “Happy St. Nicholas Day” (we’ll skip with good tidings on the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord), don’t I have a right to get upset and spend 15 minutes berating a minimum-wage store clerk on the intricacies of my faith? Hmm, what do you mean not everyone celebrates those Holy-Days? WHAT is more important than the Synaxix of the Mother of God (except for Easter)? What do you mean you don't know what "Synaxis" means?!?! Are they Christians or not?!

So that's why I wish people "Happy Holidays" -- you just don't know what you're missing. . .

Paula

PS – Dates noted are based on the Gregorian calendar. My Father is Orthodox which means we do the same celebrations about 14 days later, during the Julian calendar. Good thing I like going to Church!

PPS - "Carol of the Bells" is NOT a Christmas Carol -- it's a Ukrainian Theophany Carol. Get it straight!! <snark>

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