As a long time greeting card writer, I’ve come to respect the idea of sending heartfelt wishes to people we care about.  It’s a simple way to both acknowledge and be a small part of a special celebration or event.  Most of us appreciate the considerate and kind thoughts of others.  In recent years, there’s been an odd trend to question whether or not we should wish each other a “Merry Christmas.”  This all seems like strange thinking to me.

In general, a wish is meant to say “You’re in my thoughts, I recognize something special about today, and it does my heart good to share a tiny bit of this occasion with you.”   A wish is often standing in for a prayer because the sender is really hoping that you will have real happiness on your birthday, or you will get back to good health quickly, or that whatever makes Christmas a wonderful and merry season for you will happen.  That’s the nature of wishes.  That’s the nature of any warm-hearted greeting.

The Bible talks about wishes as greetings.  Corinthians says it’s good to greet each other with a holy kiss, and the disciples were always known to greet each other with uplifting words like, “The Lord be with you or Grace be with you, mercy, and peace.”  Greetings, wishes, warm ways of addressing each other out of love and human kindness…what a wonderful way to connect heart to heart!

As we approach the Christmas season this year, planning the gifts that will bring joy to our loved ones, sending out cards and letters and emails to keep connected, let’s remember that wishes come from the heart.  Wishes are a free expression of your tenderness toward other human beings.  Scrooge may well say “Bah humbug” to everyone who walks around with Merry Christmas on his lips, but I say “thank you.”  Thank you for sharing the joy of the season, for thinking of me in such an encouraging way, hoping the best for me for the year ahead and reminding me that your friendship will indeed be part of the new year.

Wishes are born of love and I guess at Christmas I like to think of Jesus as being God’s biggest wish for the seasons of our lives and that He sent us all a message of Good News, glad tidings!  All wishes are good…Season’s Greetings, Happy Hanukkah, Joy to You…but for me my favorite at this time of year will always be “Merry Christmas”  signed with love.

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