Questions for Reflection
In each episode, we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. Our supporters over at Buy Me a Coffee now have exclusive access to the PDF versions of all our Questions for Reflection. Join us today!
In each episode, we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. You might pause the podcast and answer them right then and there, but if you keep a journal (Steph and Beth both do), feel free to download and print a PDF of the Questions for Reflection we've made just for you:
Landscape or Portrait
Beth Demme (00:04):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars Podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:06):
We share personal experiences so we can learn from each other.
Beth Demme (00:08):
Our mission is to talk about things you might relate to, but that you don't hear being discussed in other places.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:13):
Our hope is that you're encouraged to have honest conversations with people in your own life. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:17):
And I'm Beth. On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled, "Pastor Beth Says Happy Holidays."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:24):
Then, we'll share a slice of life and the show will close with questions for reflection where we'll invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life. Well, Steph also says, "Happy Holidays."
Beth Demme (00:33):
Happy Holidays. Wait. Don't you mean Merry Christmas?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:38):
What? That's not politically correct, Beth. I think it's Happy Holidays.
Beth Demme (00:44):
Yeah. You're right. It is more politically correct to say, "Happy Holidays." But also, I wanted to talk today about how Christians react to Happy Holidays and how sometimes there's this overreaction, as if Happy Holidays is meant as an insult or as meant to somehow demean Christmas, which I don't think it is.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:02):
I think it's a controversial title, actually, Beth. As we were reading and I was thinking, I feel like a pastor is saying, "Happy Holidays." I don't think that's allowed.
Beth Demme (01:11):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:12):
So, well, that's interesting, though. You are a full-fledged pastor. I'm not like-
Beth Demme (01:16):
I am a full-fledged pastor. It's my full-time gig.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:19):
You didn't just write it on a piece of paper. You went to school for it.
Beth Demme (01:23):
I did not get my licensing or my certification randomly online one day just like the-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:28):
Yeah, or just by reading the Bible and saying, "I'm a pastor now. I've read the Bible."
Beth Demme (01:31):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:32):
You've read it many times, but also done lots of schooling.
Beth Demme (01:35):
It is my favorite book. It is.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:37):
Of course, it's your favorite book. Well, what does it say about me that my favorite book is Harry Potter series?
Beth Demme (01:43):
It says that you have a great imagination and that you love adventure.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:46):
Oh, I love it. Well, thank you. Well, what it says to me that you love the Bible is that you're in the right profession, right?
Beth Demme (01:54):
Yeah. So, I am. I'm a real, actual pastor and-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:58):
Beth Demme (01:59):
... Methodist pastor, and recently my husband and I were ... There's a town, not far ... Well, it is kind of far from here, actually. Anyway, DeFuniak Springs, which is a couple of hours west of us here in Florida and they do this Christmas light thing that's the whole downtown. This little town is built around a little pond or a lake that's naturally circular. Because the town is literally built around it, the whole downtown is formed in a circle and you can drive around the whole lake and they have Christmas scenes and Christmas lights all around the whole lake, and it's really lovely. It's very nostalgic. Some of it's super old school. Not in the town's part of it, but across the street there were a couple of houses that had these signs that were super aggressive, really big, bigger than life size, and it would say, "Keep CHRIST in Christmas." And the only part that was in all caps was Christ. And I just felt like they were yelling at me.
And I love Jesus. I'm a super fan, and yet it bothered me. I don't know. The sign just bothered me. And that idea bothers me that Christians, that we want to act like we're somehow persecuted because people say, "Happy Holidays."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:23):
Yeah. And, to me, those kind of signs ... I mean, you see those signs in different forms all the time, but it feels very judgmental. You're first assuming that I'm not doing the thing. Number one, you're first assuming that I have taken Christ out for Christmas and that I am a horrible person because of it.
Beth Demme (03:41):
Right. And that you need to be corrected.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:44):
Yeah. And you also think that a sign is going to change me.
Beth Demme (03:50):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:50):
It's also how you think politically telling me I can't do something, you're going to change the fact that I want to do something. Those things really bother me, but is that evangelizing? Is that what that would be considered in their mind? They're spreading the message of Jesus Christ through their sign.
Beth Demme (04:10):
I think that's what they think. Yeah. Yeah. And I don't think that it is because I don't think Jesus is a jerk.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:19):
But let's really think about the sign. "Keep CHRIST," all caps, "In Christmas." What does that even mean, first of all? What does that mean to you as a pastor who has actually studied the Bible? I don't know what they mean by it.
Beth Demme (04:34):
Because I can't imagine a Christmas separated from the Christmas story.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:41):
Yeah. A Christmas story.
Beth Demme (04:44):
The Christmas story?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:45):
Oh, okay. Yeah.
Beth Demme (04:46):
Usually we use the version in Luke.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:49):
Good old Luke.
Beth Demme (04:50):
Good old Gospel of Luke. I think maybe they are trying to say that if Christmas is only about your favorite, Santa Claus.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:02):
Don't get me started, Beth. Don't get me started.
Beth Demme (05:05):
Or if Christmas is only about consumerism, somehow that we've lost the thread of Christmas.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:13):
But you're assuming that someone, an individual can't participate in the sacred part of Christmas and also the secular, and that that can be okay and that can be enjoyable. You're assuming that you can't have both.
Beth Demme (05:28):
Right. And it make does make me wonder now, when people put those signs up, are they not exchanging presents at Christmas time?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:37):
Jesus was given presents.
Beth Demme (05:40):
Jesus received presents.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:41):
The way that the cute little wrap it up in a bow story is told is that Jesus is given gifts by the wise men, correct?
Beth Demme (05:48):
Gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:49):
Yeah. So, I'm curious if people give that to their friends and family.
Beth Demme (05:54):
I mean, I do know people who have a tradition in their family that they will only give their kids three gifts.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:00):
Oh! You make traditions that work for your family and are fun for your family. Something that I do for my niblings every year is I buy them a Lego Advent calendar because I think ... I never really had a consistent Advent calendar growing up, and I always thought it would be just so fun to have a little gift every day. Just a fun little, some surprise every day.
And so, every year though, I asked them, I was like, "Is this what you want me to get you?" And they're like, "Yeah." And they pick out which theme they want. I mean, I haven't allowed them to stray from Lego. Maybe I should ask them, "Do you want a different one?" But yeah so-
Beth Demme (06:35):
So, Lego is on-brand for Aunt Steph, so I totally think you're doing the right thing there.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:40):
So, every year they say, "Yes," and they tell me the version. And actually every year they seem to come out. They have a Marvel one this year that they haven't had before. So, one of my niblings wanted that one.
So, I think that's part of this time of year is you make those traditions for yourself. And for me, I just think it makes more sense to say, "Happy Holidays," because there's so many holidays right now. I think Thanksgiving is part of that. We have Christmas, we have New Year's, we have Hanukkah, we have-
Beth Demme (07:10):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:11):
... Kwanza. There's a lot of holidays around this time. So, to me, it just makes more sense to say, I mean, you could say, "Merry Christmas" on the 25th and you could say, "Merry Christmas" whenever you want. That's the thing, is if that's something that is in your heart to say, then say it. But don't say it because you're trying to make a political statement or a Christ statement. "Merry Christmas."
Beth Demme (07:34):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:34):
Beth Demme (07:35):
Well, I mean, and to take Christmas and make it into a political statement, it bothers me. And in my experience, the people who do that, who will take Christmas and make it a political statement, a very narrow political statement like that. They're the same ones who object to thinking about the impact of Jesus on their politics the rest of the year. So, that's me being judgmental, that's something that I just revealed something to myself that I need to be working on. But yeah, I don't think that a time when people are inclined to be more neighborly and more kind and more friendly, I don't think that's the time to respond with an anti-holiday message. To be pro-Christmas means to be anti-holiday. That doesn't work.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:26):
Yeah. Well, and so I'm curious. Is this a positive, happy time of year for you, the holiday season?
Beth Demme (08:33):
It's a very happy time of year for me. Christmas was always my favorite holiday growing up because it was a time when my whole nuclear family was able to be together. So, I'm the youngest of four kids, but there's a big gap. So, I have a sister who's 10 years older, and then a brother who's 12 years older. And then our oldest brother who's passed away now, he was 14 years older than me, but we would all be together at Christmas. And that was kind of rare and it was special. And so, it made me really love Christmas. And part of our tradition was always that, as a family, all six of us, we would dress up and we would go to church for Christmas Eve.
That was just part of our tradition. I've always gone to church on Christmas Eve and the day of Christmas, waking up and having breakfast together. We never had breakfast together as a family except on Christmas. Maybe Thanksgiving. I don't remember. But I don't know, just all of that togetherness was really special. So, Christmas has always been a happy time for me.
It's not always a happy time for everybody else. I get that. And actually one of the things that I like to do every year is we offer something called a Blue Christmas service. Blue Christmas, when you're feeling blue, this will be a safe space where you can come and you can experience worship and participate in worship and bring those blue feelings with you. And nobody's going to tell you that you've got to be happy and merry and joyful and joy to the world.
It's much more like, there's this hymn called In the Bleak Mid-winter. It's more like that, not Joy to the World, but more bleak mid-winter.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:07):
And it's a very low-key service, very low lighting and just really chill.
Beth Demme (10:14):
Yes. Contemplative, slow. You don't stand up at all. You just sit and if you want to cry, you cry. It's okay. Just let it all out.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:27):
Is it not okay to cry on Sundays?
Beth Demme (10:29):
It is okay to cry on Sundays, but I think it's harder, at least in the worship service that I've set up, I think it's harder because all the lights are on. So, I think people feel more exposed, whereas at Blue Christmas, it really is, we set the sanctuary so that you really are having a private time of worship. And so, I think people feel more comfortable, more at ease, more freedom to really release those emotions.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:53):
Yeah. I like this time of year, the holiday season, but I haven't always loved it. And there's been things that have happened in my life at different years that have really put different tones on this time of year. But I've realized, as I've gotten older and I have my own house and I can make my own decisions, I realize I can make this season what I want it to be and I can enjoy it. And so, I don't give into society pressure of you need to do this and this and this and this.
But I think it is a fun time of year because it also has a different feel. It's different feel than the rest of the year. And so, I think that's kind of fun and everyone is kind of in this different space. And if we were in a place that wasn't Florida, it would probably feel even more cozy, that'd be cold. It's going to be cold next week. I'm like, "Woo-hoo!"
But, yeah, I make it my own and I don't let people tell me what I should do and I do what I want to do. A friend of mine was just like, "Do you want to build gingerbread houses together?" And I was like, "Sure. Okay. Yeah. Okay." I have no tradition of doing those things, but I was like, "Yeah. Let's do it. That'd be fun." So, it's going to be greyhound themed.
Beth Demme (12:11):
I do not want to build a gingerbread house, but I would love to come over and eat the icing. So, give me a call.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:16):
I was told they're going to be really good, because she is very good at all things cooking and baking. Yeah. I'll let you know when it's done.
Beth Demme (12:25):
Let me know.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:25):
She said it's going to take a couple days, so she's not kidding around with this. This is not a Target boxed thing. This is for real. She said, "We have to wait for stuff to dry before we can move on." So, we're really being serious with it.
Beth Demme (12:39):
I love the commitment to it and maybe it'll be a new Christmas tradition for you. There's also this part of me that, because it is such an issue, if someone doesn't say it to me, I'm leaving a store or whatever and I just want to say something, I probably would default to Merry Christmas. But then if I think about it, I would say, "Happy Holidays." But then I'm like, "Oh, no. Are they thinking I'm not saying, 'Merry Christmas'? Are they thinking that I'm trying to keep Christ out of Christmas? I love Jesus. What do I do? Ah!"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:07):
Or you could just say, "Thank you, have a good day." Why are you about to change your greeting?
Beth Demme (13:13):
Well, it's like this is the only time a hear that I listen to Christmas music. It's like this is the only time a hear you get be confused with what you say.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:19):
Beth Demme (13:21):
Yeah. Yeah. It's a lot of pressure.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:23):
Just don't go anywhere all of the season, then you have to tell anybody. I guess that's just my dream. Nevermind. Okay.
Well, I think a big part that people harp on with Christmas is the gift giving. So, what are your thoughts in gift giving? We know your love language is not receiving gifts.
Beth Demme (13:39):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:40):
So, do you just-
Beth Demme (13:42):
Except at Christmas.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:43):
Oh! So, there's an asterisk on that.
Beth Demme (13:45):
I mean, it's just such a big part of our family traditions. So, let me tell you what we do. We get to open one present on Christmas Eve and in my family with my husband and our kids, the kids have always opened the present that my sister sends them because she lives out of town. She won't be there on Christmas day. So, her present always launches us into Christmas. And she's a really good gift giver and she's a really good gift wrapper. So, that's always been extra fun.
And then Christmas morning, everybody opens their stockings all together. And if you are at our house for Christmas morning, then Santa will have left you a stocking. Because Santa's going to know that you're going to be there. I wish you guys could see Steph's face right now. I refer you back to the episode where she said she hated Santa.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:41):
Beth Demme (14:42):
So, everybody opens their stockings all together, but then we stop and we take turns. We go from youngest to oldest and you open one present at a time until you run out. And so, you get to really see what each person is getting. But also you get to see the excitement when they open your present or when they open this present that everybody's been looking forward to them getting. It's a whole shared experience.
So, I do think that Christmas presents are a big part of it. I also think that consumerism runs rampant and that it runs rampant in me. And so, I do realize that that's something that is not necessarily the best.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:22):
I got a little anxiety when you shared your story because I don't really like people watching me open a gift because I don't know what it's going to be. And I don't know if I can accurately show excitement if I'm not excited about it or ... It's a lot of pressure. So, that your story seemed like a lot of pressure and I don't enjoy that pressure. So, I'm glad I'm not in your family. I'm glad we're friends. I can see why you like that and I can see why I don't.
Question, does "Santa," air quotes, wrap the gifts in the stocking or are they just in the stocking?
Beth Demme (16:05):
No, they're wrapped and they have a gift tag that looks different from all the other gift tags. And they're always in a paper that has Santa's face on it. Usually a cartoon, you guys.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:13):
In paper. Oh, the wrapping paper.
Beth Demme (16:14):
The wrapping paper.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:15):
Beth Demme (16:15):
And they have a different gift tag on them because, you know-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:20):
Each one has a gift tag on it?
Beth Demme (16:21):
Each one has a gift tag on it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:22):
Inside the stocking?
Beth Demme (16:23):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:23):
Beth Demme (16:24):
Well, because sometimes it overflows out of the stocking and you don't know which ones are not going to fit in this. So, you have to tag each one in there.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:29):
Can you have Santa sent a picture to me of the stockings?
Beth Demme (16:34):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:34):
Beth Demme (16:35):
And even, I mean my kids are 20 and 18 and even now they're like, "Don't put anything out until we go to bed." So, I'm like, "Oh."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:44):
So, they know that you-
Beth Demme (16:45):
"You got to go to bed early."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:45):
But you still label it Santa even though they know?
Beth Demme (16:48):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:50):
Wow. Okay. Well, traditions.
Beth Demme (16:52):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:53):
Beth Demme (16:55):
That could be fun. And I don't think that I'm exiting Christ out of Christmas by doing that because I think gift giving reflects the spirit of generosity that I think is Christlike. And because I am honoring my family, which I think is Christlike, although Jesus does say, "Put God before your family." So, I'd have to think about that one a little bit more maybe.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:20):
But would it be more Christlike to put, "To Hannah from Jesus," instead of from Santa? Why doesn't Jesus give the presents?
Beth Demme (17:30):
Because Jesus also has a printer and computer, I bet. I bet. I bet.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:35):
Not back in the day, but he probably does now.
Beth Demme (17:37):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:37):
I mean, Steve Jobs probably provided that.
Beth Demme (17:41):
You think Steve Jobs is in heaven? I'm just kidding.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:43):
There is no hell. I will refer to you to our other episode. Oh, my gosh!
Beth Demme (17:48):
Your eyes, your face got so dark on me just then. It was so on brand.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:53):
Because you did a whole hell episode. And if there is no hell or if there isn't, it's really bad people, Steve is not one of them. As you sit with your Apple Watch and your iPad and your iPhone. Oh, yeah.
Beth Demme (18:08):
Listen. No. I'm a PC girl. I'm a Windows person. Don't be fooled by all the Apple products I carry with me 24 hours a day.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:18):
I use every second of my life. Yeah, okay. It's fine. Yeah, yeah. I don't think he's down there. I think he's providing all the Apple Watches up there.
So, why is it not from Christ and it's from Santa?
Beth Demme (18:31):
Well, I think the whole tradition of Santa, it is Saint Nicholas. It does come from a story about a saint who gave gifts to children. And so, I think that's why we say, "Santa Claus."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:45):
I would love to challenge you this year to do everything the same but on the note that says, "To/From Santa," put, "From Jesus". And I want to see if anyone notices and what they say. I really would just love to see their reaction. And if you could film that for me, that would be the best gift ever for me.
Beth Demme (19:06):
Well, I know that gifts are not your love language either, so I'm not going to feel bad when I don't do that. You could do it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:11):
My love language is act of service.
Beth Demme (19:13):
You could do it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:13):
That would be an act of service to change the labels and to film it and to send it to me. Come on.
Beth Demme (19:19):
You could do that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:20):
What? What? Do what?
Beth Demme (19:22):
You could give a gift from Jesus.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:24):
No, it's from me. I am giving credit. This gift is from me. I thought about it, I found it, I bought it, I wrapped it. It's from me.
Beth Demme (19:33):
Yeah, I will say that that's why, in our family, pretty much the only thing Santa has ever brought are stockings because I wanted credit for the good stuff.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:43):
Okay. Well, you think about it and if you realize it's such a good idea to put Jesus on it and see their reactions, I will be very excited to get that text. But it's up to you. I'm not going to should on you. I just think it would be really funny. And that I love their reaction for no one to realize that it says that someone to be like, "Does this say, 'Jesus'? Did Jesus give us this?"
Beth Demme (20:08):
Do you think that's what people mean when they say, "Keep Christ in Christmas," they mean put Jesus on the gift tags?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:16):
I can't answer that because I think we should throw out Santa from Christmas and I don't think that has anything to do with Christ. I think the idea of Santa is not a healthy one, but no one else in this world believes that. That is just me standing strong with that.
So, I don't know that it's this. I don't know. To me, I think it's more the consumerism concept than Santa specifically. I don't really know because I don't have a strong negative reaction if someone says, "Happy Holidays," I actually kind of have a positive reaction like, "Happy Holidays."
Beth Demme (20:51):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:51):
Because to me, like I said, it makes more sense. Because, to me, it's more a holiday season than Christmas.
I saw a sign the other day on a church that said, "Christmas starts with Christ." And I was like, "Yeah." I mean, that's just a fact. I don't know. I mean, I think they were trying to say the same message of Keep Christ at Christmas, but I'm like, "That's just education." We can read that.
Beth Demme (21:18):
That's just how spelling works.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:18):
Yeah. So, I agreed with them on that sign. I wasn't upset. I just was like, "I don't think you got your point across unless your point across was literally to remind us of how to spell it."
Beth Demme (21:30):
When I was, I remember this was a big thing in the '80s and maybe it is still a big thing in other places and I'm just not aware of it. But where I grew up, people were getting really upset about the idea of Xmas, merry Xmas. And I remember our pastor doing a whole thing about how ...
Actually Pastor Meyer would really appreciate this episode because he was very much like, "To keep Christ in Christmas, you serve others because that's what Jesus did. You take care of the poor and the oppressed and you work for justice." And so, when this whole thing about Xmas came up, he did this whole thing about how X is the Greek letter for Christ. Therefore Xmas is the same thing as Christmas. Stop getting worked up about things that don't deserve your energy.
So, yeah. So, Christmas starts with Christ. Maybe it starts with X.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:29):
Depending on which language you want to write it in.
Beth Demme (22:31):
That's right, spelling-wise. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:32):
So, why do you think it's better to say, "Happy Holidays," than Merry Christmas?
Beth Demme (22:37):
I mean, I think my default is probably Merry Christmas, but if somebody says, "Happy Holidays," to me, I'm going to say, "Happy Holidays" back.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:44):
Okay. Yeah, yeah.
Beth Demme (22:45):
Right? And actually, it's like what you said earlier. This time of year Happy Holidays feels more appropriate because there are other holidays. I just don't get offended when somebody says, "Happy Holidays." And I am offended when I see signs that say, "Keep Christ in Christmas," because I don't think that that's Christlike. I don't think it's a Christlike message that they're presenting.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:09):
So, do you think Jesus hates Christmas?
Beth Demme (23:11):
I don't think Jesus hates Christmas.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:14):
But he hates Santa, right?
Beth Demme (23:15):
I don't think Jesus hates Santa. I don't think Jesus hates anybody.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:20):
Oh, I see where you're going with that. Okay.
Beth Demme (23:22):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:23):
How about do you think he dislikes what Christmas has become or how big Santa's become?
Beth Demme (23:29):
I don't think that God looks at the world and goes, "Wow! The family's being intentional about spending time together and being generous with one another and living in a spirit of giving in generosity. That really irks me." That doesn't fit with what I know about God or what I think I know about God.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:54):
But Jesus is coming back, right? That's what everyone's always saying. That's why we got to get busy.
Beth Demme (23:59):
Mm-hmm. Look busy.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:00):
Yeah. Okay. So, if and when he comes back that we're here, is he going to be celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah?
Beth Demme (24:12):
Well, that's a good question. In the Bible, Jesus celebrates Hanukkah. Jesus was and is Jewish.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:18):
I mean, I think he could celebrate Christmas because it's like when we celebrate our birthdays.
Beth Demme (24:22):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:22):
Not like his birthday.
Beth Demme (24:24):
Right. Yeah, that's true.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:25):
I mean, that's the concept.
Beth Demme (24:26):
[inaudible 00:24:26]. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Maybe Jesus will celebrate both or maybe will be so supremely happy and living in perfect relationships that celebrations like this won't be a thing. I don't know.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:42):
Because every day will be a celebration and everything will be magical and great when he comes back?
Beth Demme (24:47):
And yeah, instead of saying, "Hi," or, "Bye," we'll just say, "Happy Holidays," all the time. All the time, because it'll always be holiday season.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:54):
And is this happening in our lifetime? And will he become president? I would love to ... Let's do a whole episode about what it's going to be like when Jesus comes back.
Beth Demme (25:03):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:03):
Because what does the day-to-day look like on that? Does he have his own YouTube channel? What's the deal on that? And also, someone already has the name Jesus Christ on YouTube. So, will he automatically get it? Or will he have to be Jesus Christ One?
Beth Demme (25:17):
Right. Also on Twitter already. That's [inaudible 00:25:20]-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:19):
He's not going to be on Twitter. He knows better.
Beth Demme (25:23):
So, yeah. I mean, yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:25):
Okay. Well, I think that's a next year episode. I like it.
Beth Demme (25:28):
All right. We'll do that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:28):
What it's going to be like when Jesus comes back?
Beth Demme (25:30):
We'll do that in 2023. What's it going to be like?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:31):
Yeah. Will he still be a carpenter? Happy Holidays, Beth.
Beth Demme (25:35):
Merry Christmas, Steph.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:38):
That's my favorite song. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. The NSYNC song?
Beth Demme (25:43):
Yes. Yeah. Do you think they just couldn't decide?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:46):
That is kind of funny, actually. They probably first started the debate back in the '90s. NSYNC started this debate.
Beth Demme (25:53):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:54):
They were trying to do both. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.
Beth Demme (26:00):
They didn't just try to do both.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:02):
Beth Demme (26:03):
They did both and they did it well.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:03):
Yeah, I think-
Beth Demme (26:04):
And I think let that be a model for us.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:08):
Beth Demme (26:08):
I say to all the Christians, "Let NSYNC be a model for us," that we can say, "Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:15):
No. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays.
Beth, I know you have some cool trivia about Christmas that you share every year. So, tell me about that.
Beth Demme (26:30):
Yes. Yeah. So, I think that we don't know the Christmas story as told in the Bible the way that we think we do because, and this is not about keeping Christ in Christmas. We just have mushed together different parts of the Bible to create the Christmas story. And then we've added tradition on top of it. So, I don't want to give away too many things, but it doesn't say, "Mary rode a donkey," but we always picture Mary on a donkey.
So, I created a little trivia game that has kind of the most common misperceptions in it. And you can test yourself or your friends and family with it. We'll put a link to all this in the show notes, but there's a version where you can cycle through it on your cell phone.
I even created a version so that you could do it on Zoom or on a TV if you wanted to. And you can click through the questions and it'll give you the answers and give you the rationale for the answers and tell you where to look in the Bible for it so that people don't think you're just making it up. So, yeah. We'll put links to all that in the show notes. Christmas Bible trivia.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:33):
Very cool. And also, we got a voicemail.
Beth Demme (27:36):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:37):
So, I wanted to play that so we can hear that. And just a reminder that you can call to comment on an episode or answer a question we might have asked or suggest something for future episodes. So, oh, what's the number, Beth?
Beth Demme (27:52):
The number is (850) 270-3308 and you can call or even text that number.
Hi, Steph and Beth. This is Suzanne.
Beth Demme (28:00):
I just listened to your episode on racism in America and we still got a lot to learn and I was just intrigued. I'm always listening to episodes. I have a little lag time and I'm listening to them late. I'm just a little late on getting to everything.
Beth Demme (28:19):
Nothing wrong with that.
And it was really interesting the comments about both of you saying you hadn't learned in school about the Groveland Four or about the other incidents in Florida. And then Beth talking about how she's trying to help educate friends and family and they say, "You're trying to make me feel guilty." And I thought, "Wow." In light of the Parental Rights in Education bill that the legislature passed and all of the attention that's been paid to that, the press coverage and the lawsuits that arisen from that, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts again in light of that legislation and what it would mean for whether we can teach those things in the school going forward. So, Groveland and Rosewood. So, just my thoughts. And again, love you guys. Thanks for doing this, and I'll talk to you soon. Bye.
Beth Demme (29:26):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:28):
Beth Demme (29:28):
Yeah. We are seeing, we have seen, and I think we will continue to see, well, especially in Florida now that our legislature will be, the Republicans have a super majority, so the Democrats can literally do nothing. I think we'll continue to see legislation that says we can only tell one rather whitewashed version of our history, which is unfortunate.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:49):
Yeah. So, that might be interesting to dig a little bit further into in a future episode. But yeah, obviously I'm disheartened by it and I'm sadly not surprised. And, as you said, I think it will just continue to happen and get worse. So, maybe-
Beth Demme (30:07):
And the title of that episode is still true. We still have a lot to learn.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:11):
Beth Demme (30:11):
We're still learning. We still have a lot to learn and-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:13):
And we're not going to learn it with these bills passing and by silencing true education and true history, because I mean, it was whitewashed when I was-
Beth Demme (30:23):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:23):
... growing up and I didn't realize that.
And now we realize it and we are intentionally putting laws out there so that it continues to be whitewashed. But that's why us that know that now need to hopefully try to make a change. And I did. I voted, but-
Beth Demme (30:42):
Yeah. Well, and she brought up the fact that people say, "Oh, you're just trying to make me feel guilty." And it's like, if you are feeling guilt, let's talk about that, right?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:52):
Beth Demme (30:54):
What about this is making you feel guilty or responsible? Why is it hard for you to learn history that maybe isn't exactly the way that you were originally told it? And why does that generate some feeling of guilt in you?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:09):
Beth Demme (31:10):
That's worth talking about.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:11):
Yeah. And it sounds more like a personal problem. If you're offended by truth, then ... "Okay. So, I'm sorry."
Beth Demme (31:21):
Well, to quote the person who executed Jesus, "What is truth?"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:25):
Beth Demme (31:26):
Yeah. That's what he says in the Bible. "What is truth?" That's what Pontius Pilate says. "What is truth?"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:34):
See? It all goes back to Jesus. And when you read it correctly, Jesus would've taught us real history.
Beth Demme (31:40):
Yes. Yes. Jesus is never on the side of the politically powerful. I mean, it's Christmas. Just think about it. Jesus isn't born to the emperor. Jesus isn't born to Herod. Jesus isn't born to the high priest. Jesus is born to an unmarried woman and her fiance, and in the middle of nowhere. They're from nowhere. He's born in the middle of nowhere. Think about it. We always talk about how he's in the animal trough. That's not a place of power. So, why do we always want to put Jesus on the side of the powerful now?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:24):
At the end of each episode, we end with questions for reflection. These are questions based on today's show that Beth will read and leave a little pause between for you to answer to yourself, or you can find a PDF on our website.
Beth Demme (32:37):
Number one, do you celebrate Christmas? Why? How? Number two, do you think Christ has been or is being removed from Christmas? In what way? Number three, is the holiday season a positive season for you? Why or why not? And number four, is it better to give or receive?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:01):
Discovering Our Scars Podcast is produced by Stephanie Kostopoulos and Beth Demme. Thanks for joining us.