20 December 2005

Want shops to say "Merry Christmas"? Come to Asia!

The malls in Bangkok are dripping with tinsel and decorated trees and big signs saying "Merry Christmas". All of this, mind you, in a country in which Christians are only 0.7% of the population. People here, and in the rest of Asia, have quite gleefully embraced Christmas—and it's "Merry Christmas" here, not that anti-Christian "Happy Holidays"—while rejecting Christ in droves.

It's not the words. It's what you believe, and what you feel, that makes it Christmas. What they're celebrating here, despite using the words and trappings, isn't Christmas. And loving your non-Christian neighbor by using the non-exclusive "Happy Holidays" strikes me as being more in the spirit of Christian charity than hectoring retailers who don't conform to your particular dogma.

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