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“–happy holidays? How could you respond the way you did? Don’t you know that we’re in a culture war?” said Harold Varsamian as he entered Ms. Anne Thrope’s with his friend Vahan Pagdikian.

“I said, “and also with you’ because that seemed simple enough. What’s to justify?”

Their conversation about the greeting and the culture war continued over Armenian coffee and backgammon. The coffee club was busy with other arguments and conversations.

When she served another round of coffee, Strawberry Mgrdchian said, “I don’t think you have it right, Mr. Harold. I don’t think the culture war is where you think it is. And besides that, how would Jesus reply to someone who said, ‘Happy holidays’ to him?”

“He would have corrected them.”

“No, no, no,” said Vahan.

“Sure. He would have told them it’s his birthday and they should celebrate it. Not some generic holiday. Now I’m winning,” Harold talked louder as he moved markers across the board.

“You might think you’re winning the argument, but I’m winning the backgammon.” He rolled the dice. Five and six landed, and Vahan yelled, “Shesh, besh! Ha! Game over.”

“It’s a war against Christmas. I hear it all the time on the television. Worse than backgammon and chess is this war,” said Harold. “You can’t say Christmas in public anywhere.”

“Sure you can. And if someone says, ‘Happy holidays,’ I figure that includes American Christmas, New Year’s, Kwanzaa, Armenian Christmas, and everything else. People mean well.”

“No. I disagree. They are spreading the war. They are ignorant of this.”

“Did you go to church Christmas eve? Christmas day? I didn’t see you.”

“No. I was busy with family. ”

“Oh, so you had other priorities. That means you might have been indifferent to Christ and the church.”

“No. Not true. Just the family kept me busy.”

“You prove my point. You demonstrate your priorities. Either your priorities are confused or you are apathetic.”

“It’s a war. I tell you—a war.”

“Yeah, and you are one of the soldiers with mixed-up priorities. But I don’t think this argument gets us anywhere. Might as well try to talk politics on Facebook. So I say to you what I think Jesus would say. Shalom. Peace to you in this season of gratitude and light.”