Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Favourite Christmas Greeting/DONNA MANN

I’m enjoying some down time in a busy, festive, holy time of Christmas and the upcoming new year. Doug and I had the usual visiting among our family and friends, along with Christmas church services and a couple of concerts. In greeting people on the street, in the grocery store or library, I heard a myriad of greetings from Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and I hope you have a great Christmas season with family and friends. The last greeting took the longest to say, but to me it was the most meaningful. So it’s the one I used whenever I meet someone.

Sometimes people will say, “How are you doing?” and they’re gone before you begin to tell them about your sciatica or your broken glasses. When someone asks me that question, I sometimes want to say “Do you have a half hour?” but I somehow think they wouldn’t hang around that long.

I’ve written about this before, but every year I think I have a little more insight about the topic.
·      John and Mary go to the local dance and the evening gets merrier for John every time he passes the bar.
·      Another John and Mary spent three nights in critical care with their year old daughter over Christmas and have since had her funeral. They don’t want to hear the word merry, or happy.

My mother died on December 11th, 1983 and a few people said, “Your Christmas will be different this year.” Or “I hope you can find Christmas in the midst of your grief.” I appreciated those remarks. Some people didn’t know what to say, so they said words like, “She made it in time for Jesus’ birthday party.” Although the later statement may be true, the first two ministered to me.

Everyone has to search his or her own consciousness on this one. Does one size fit all? I can never assume people I see in the mall, on the street or at the gas station have the kind of employment, health or lifestyle where their Christmas can be merry? Yes, I hope the homeless, poor or terminally will have a merry Christmas, but can I assume?

And if any of them have had the merriest Christmas they’ve ever had in their lifetime, maybe taking time to learn about them is the key. Although the scripture below is not teaching about a Christmas greeting, forgive me if I take it out of context to share these specific words: “. . . So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind . . .”  (I Thess 5:11)


http:www.donnamann.org - The Agnes Macphail series, A Rare Find, 21 Promises: Honouring Self in Grief, WinterGrief, Little Red Barn Children’s Stories, Small Membership Churches, etc.


Peter Black said...

Thank you Donna. So true. Expressing a greeting with the ideal words and appropriate sensitivity in every situation is hardly humanly possible, it seems. Your thoughtfulness and sensitivity comes through, though, in what you share here; something learned from your experience.~~+~~

Donna Mann said...

Thanks Peter. I didn't put this in the blog, but merry to some British dictionaries mean 'overly happy due to alcohol'. I've seen a bit too much of that in my lifetime. However, it does seem to take time to greet people, doesn't it?

Peter Black said...

Oh, yes. The word merry did take on the connotation with alcohol to quite some extent in Britain. Even the KJV rendering of the rich would-be retiree farmer in the parable (in Luke 12) connects drinking with merriment" "eat drink and be merry," whether or not Jesus specifically meant the man's imbibing of alcoholic beverages.
Coffee and non-alcoholic wine's as strong a merry-making beverage as I take! :) ) ~~+~~

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