I was curious. So much publicity has been around in the last few years on whether we say, "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" or just smile at our fellow man as we pass them on the holly-laced streets. How does the world pass on greetings of this season?
As you may know, I've had the priviledge of traveling to many parts of the world to work with excellent broadcasters. I just returned from Pakistan. There, they say, "Bara Din Mubarrak Ho". But, be careful to whom you pass on such greetings. It's a Muslim country. Anyway, I was pleased to know that there are 200 countries in the world and ALL of them have a way to say, "Merry Christmas". Extraordinary!
Here are some of my favorite examples:
Craciun Ferricit (Romania)
Joyeux Fete Noel (parts of Canada and France)
Nollaig Shona Dhuit (Ireland)
Buon Natale (Italy)
Feliz Navidad (Spain, Mexico and Texas)
Happy Christmas (Australia)
Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia (Poland)
Il-Milied it-Tajjeb (Malta)
Hristos Razdajetsja (Kazakhstan)
Vessela Koleda (Bulgaria)
God Jul (Sweden)
Here's the moral to this story: Starting in a small corner of the world that you can drive across in less than a day, and, not exactly the garden spot of the world, the season celebrating the birth of Christ has spread around the world. Even the countries that do not recognize the Christian religion or that persecute it, have words to acknowledge the season. Whether or not you believe that a star appeared in the east and Wise Men traveled to witness the birth of a king with other-worldly parentage, you have to admit that the spread of this message has been amazing. And, the story has lasted for centuries. Perhaps there is more to this than Santa Claus, Christmas trees and egg nog.
I, for one, continue to use "Merry Christmas" in greeting my friends. I decorate my tree with ornaments from my history and travels. I drag out my collection of nativity scenes from around the world. I wrap packages until I run out of paper and tape, then I go buy more to finish the pile. And, I gather those around me whom I love. That's the best part: spending the season with family and friends. Renewing old acquaintances, making new ones and remembering those who have gone before us.
I'm going to sit next to my tree with the hot chocolate and stare at the lights. Then, I'm going to tour my nativity scenes and remember where and when I acquired them. It's my own personal world tour. And, I will count the many, many blessings that have come my way this past year. These activities should take me well into 2018, so I will send my next missle on January 15th. In the meantime, I wish you a very blessed MERRY CHRISTMAS and the best for the New Year!