Why I refuse to say ‘Merry Christmas’

Christmas, Merry Christmas, Toni Page Birdsong, Savior, Messiah, Christian Post,

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. ~Isaiah 9:6

by Toni Birdsong
Hey, don’t be hating.  It’s personal. I’ve decided not to say “Merry Christmas” this year. Why? Simply put: It just doesn’t get the job done.

Think about it. “Merry Christmas” doesn’t even come close to covering the holiness and love contained in God Almighty’s most compassionate act toward mankind. It fails to encompass the outrageous grace of God sending His son to earth to teach self-righteous, grab-happy men and women like you and I how to live and love . . . on heaven’s terms.

Merry Christmas. Such ordinary words fail to carry the extraordinary story of the life and sacrifice that lay ahead for the baby king born in a manger that night. Nor do they begin to unlock, bust open, and shake loose the chains that bind our souls—only that baby could do that.

Merry Christmas. It seems an almost pedestrian salutation when compared to the lavish gifts brought by nations at the announcement that God Almighty, Savior and Messiah, vacated His holy throne to walk dirt roads. The holiness; the very lowliness of God omnipotent in that one single gesture of startling Love, is what our salutation must convey. The need to communicate that exchange must burn brighter and reach deeper in these wayward times.

In fact, I agree with the anti-Merry Christmas coalition on this one point: It may very well be time to scrub “Merry Christmas” altogether. Instead, let’s hit the world with the true weight of what’s really going on here on this hoiliest of holy days.

As Christians we don’t need to waste time defending Christ (He’s got it covered); we need to be contending for Christ—and we need to be doing it together. Do we not believe that one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that the baby born in Bethlehem is indeed the Lord? If so, then speak that truth this Christmas.

Speak boldly of the true weight of this day—don’t be discouraged by the great distracter and liar. Let your Christmas greeting blanket the world like a New England snow. Let it carry the gift; the love; the second chance. Let it carry the miracle.

So here are just a few possible salutations that trump a mere “Merry Christmas.” Use them as you greet and bless the people along your path this week!

  • “Messiah Christmas!”
  • “Happy Holiest of Days!”


  • “Have a Christ-filled Christmas!”
  • “Heaven’s Love to you this Christmas!”
  • “Christmas was for you.”
  • “God has provided (with Christmas)!”
  • “I thank God for Christmas!”

What’ your new greeting this Christmas? Share below.

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  • Virginia Rodrigues1

    I like saying Merry Christmas.. although the meaning is lost, i get it as an opportunity to come close to some people. there’re many people who has lost their families you know, i think it’s a great day to share love… people usually don’t allow us to enter in their lives, even if we want to give love and compassion, on Christimas i see most people sad, missing their relatives, i use this Christmas day to share the gospel, well.. that’s my point of view :) 

  • Anonymous

    @085f767ff755c56549766923799469c2:disqus … and it’s a lovely point of view. Keep going strong Virginia! Bless you. Have a beautiful Christmas! Christmas = LOVE. :)

  • http://twitter.com/NobilityInc Robert S. Nobile

    I like to say; “May God’s love and blessings be with you, all ways, always.”

  • Bret Cox

    Great word Toni. Here in Thailand Merry Christmas means very little as they don’t know the Christ of Christmas. I like the salutation you mention “I thank God for Christmas”. Thank you for this message and you too have a Christ-filled Christmas. Sincerely, Bret

  • Anonymous

    @ef56a678705b1bf226d80d72f74865bf:disqus . . . thanks for dropping in. You made my day. You and your sweet wife are living Christmas cards to the Thai people. We are grateful that you both carry the joy & miracle of His birth to a land in dire need of Jesus. Bless you – I join you and thank God for Christmas!

  • Anonymous

    @twitter-273285282:disqus … I love that! I shall say that to the checker when she tells me Happy Holidays, you can bet on it! :)

  • http://twitter.com/emmi1966 Emmi

    If nothing else, you have made me stop and think about Christmas. In so many ways, Christians capitulate to popular culture. I wish we reserved gift giving to the British holiday of Boxing Day and reserved Christmas for worship. Worship gets crowded out. As an Episcopalian, our church has such rich liturgical traditions we could offer to God but it seems that we are trying to fit them in around gifts and dinners and visits and travel. Our church will only have one service on Sunday because it is Christmas Day. How ironic. Granted we have three Masses on Christmas Eve but still . . . it feels wrong. The issue of the greeting is something I need to give thought to. I want to look up words like Incarnation and Nativity and Blessed. I want to wish people a Blessed Feast of the Nativity of Christ.

  • http://twitter.com/AFragileClayJar Diana

    Toni excellent point!  Had never looked at it this way.  Thanks for your God given insight.  Love the “Have a Christ-filled Christmas!”

  • Craig Adams

    Merry Christmas works for me (but I love the alternitives too). In a secular work place the term “Christmas break” has been replaced with Holiday Break” by managment but I found it refreashing to hear co-workers rebel against the status quo with a hearty “Merry Christmas”.

  • http://twitter.com/chnorton1 Charles Norton

    “Heaven’s Love to you this Christmas!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1726959123 Tina Tesoro Lorenzana

    Merry means entertainment or enjoyment so it does kinda take out the meaning of Christmas although I should say I would rather hear Merry Christmas than Happy Holidays (which for me sounds like an ad). I like to tell others to have a very blessed and meaningful Christmas and will also now say have a Christ-filled Christmas. Thanks! 

  • Anonymous

    @twitter-278136004:disqus . . . thanks Diana I hope your Christmas is filled with amazing moments at the manger. With Him. :)

  • Anonymous

    @twitter-15891845:disqus . . . what an excellent point of view I never stopped to think about that either . . . our worship does get crowded out. My heritage is Catholic. I miss the liturgical traditions as well — especially at Christmas. I’ve never been a huge gift giver and in fact I always get bit surly the closer Christmas gets. Perhaps . . . I just want to worship! I like Blessed too! Thanks for chiming in with such lovely insight and making me stop and think about worship. :)

  • Anonymous

    @facebook-1726959123:disqus … thanks for looking that up. I like Merry better than HH too. Seems the more people say Happy Holidays, the more they want to forget the true meaning of the day. But they can only do that for so long.. I like your options!

  • Anonymous

    @twitter-212228421:disqus ….. love it when you come by. Yes, that’s my favorite one too! So true! May Heaven’s love cover your family this Christmas Charles!

  • Randy

    Merry Moments at the Manger!

  • @RandyHarding

    having alliteration (is that the term for repeated sounds) in a greeting makes it sound more like a song, a joy filled song. Toni, I just got this from your response to Diana! @RandyHarding

  • Myrhei9969

    Happy Holidays to all! And, a blessed New Year.

  • http://twitter.com/reconciledme Matt Smith

    I know I’m a little late with this comment, but when I read this line I had to say something.

    As Christians we don’t need to waste time defending Christ (He’s got it covered); we need to be contending for Christ—and we need to be doing it together. 

    What a great way to put that.  I wrote a post recently that’s similar to this.  I stumbled and fumed over how to word it and never got it right.  And here you wrote exactly what I was trying to say.  I could have just posted that one sentence and it would have summed everything up nicely.

  • Sue

    From the Free Dictionary: Merry – First meant “peaceful” or “pleasant,” which is what it first meant in “Merry Christmas.” 

    Know Jesus know peace, No Jesus no peace.  I like the word Merry. I am happy that Jesus came to save us. 

  • http://www.techbulk.com/ Bhanu

    happy christmas guys christmas greetigs

  • http://www.techbulk.com/ Bhanu

    merry christmas guys christmas greetigs

  • Lara

    There are NO words known to man that can “get the job done” when trying to describe or incorporate the pure love and power from our LORD.. But one should not refrain from praising the LORD in anyway even if you deem that the words are not worthy enough. MERRY CHRISTmas.. I had enough of the atheists trying to remove it from our speech at this time to hear fellow christians condemn it too.. Its the title of the season to celebrate HIM, and not the other. Lets get our priorities right, and proclaim his name from the mt tops.. I wont be silent..