It’s that wonderful time of year when most, if not all, of us seem to be at our best. Shifting our interests away [from] ourselves to doing for others. For many, the inspiration comes from the celebration of Jesus’ birth. For some, it is a "festival of lights" celebrating the rededication of the Holy Temple. And others are simply caught up in the buzz and tradition of the season.

Why isn’t that enough? Why the declarations on social media that “It is NOT happy holidays. It is Merry Christmas?” One has gone so far as to say “I say Merry Christmas, and if the offends you, I don’t care.” Really? Is this how someone thinks Jesus wants his birth celebrated? It certainly isn’t the message I get at my church (United Church of Christ) which I attend every Sunday.

I do not know of anyone who is offended by "Merry Christmas." I choose to say "Happy holidays" because I feel it is more inclusive. They are both expressions of goodwill which I would hope could be accepted as they are intended.

Please, let’s not turn what should be a time of peace and brotherly love into a time of even more division.

Candace Parks

Pawlet

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