Esther 2:16-18 (NLT)
16 Esther was taken to King Xerxes at the royal palace in early winter of the seventh year of his reign. 17 And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti. 18 To celebrate the occasion, he gave a great banquet in Esther�s honor for all his nobles and officials, declaring a public holiday for the provinces and giving generous gifts to everyone.

Esther was a Jew, an orphan, and a captive of the country she lived in. Yet she was raised up to be queen of the people. Her beauty stood out among other women and she did not have to flaunt it to impress the king. He recognized her beauty inside and out and loved her more than any of the other women. She became queen to help the Jewish people and in honor of becoming queen a holiday, a celebration was made.

There are many celebrations that take place this time of year. I know for Hindus there is the festival of lights. For the Jewish population Hanukkah is coming soon. For Buddhist the day of enlightenment is a few days off. For Christians there is the Christmas holiday. And after the beginning of the year comes the Chinese New Year. Celebrations have been and are a part of life.

As a Christian I celebrate Christmas, which includes the word Christ. X-mas takes Christ out of Christmas, which I refuse to accept. In my heart I am merry because of Christ and my celebration of Jesus who was born to give His life for me. People can tell me Happy Holidays, but I let them know my happiest holiday is Christmas by saying Merry Christmas. My doctor is Jewish and I had no problem telling him yesterday Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas. Jewish holidays are a part of our Christian heritage. I have friends who are Hindu and they always have brought me candy in celebration of their holiday, The Festival of Lights, which I gladly accept and tell them thank you and that I am most appreciative they have included me in their celebration. I am tolerant of other people and other religions, but that doesn�t mean I can�t profess my belief in Christ and let them know I�m celebrating Christmas. And it doesn�t mean I let someone else tell me I can�t celebrate or have to celebrate a different way because they are offended by Christ. December 25th is when we celebrate Christmas as Christians and I hope every Christian will be saying Merry Christmas this year. And if someone mentions another holiday, acknowledge them out of your love for Christ. For Christ loved all people and still wants to invite everyone to Him. How can you tell them about Christ unless you love them as Christ loved them?

Merry Christ and my love to all who live in this world!!! May everyone enjoy the holiday of their choosing and may all know that Christ loves you too.