Archive for December, 2004

What Happened to Christmas?

December 14, 2004 2 comments

I remember the feeling I had at Christmas time when I was young. It was a time of wonderment and just pure joy. I don’t know if the feeling came from the fact that we were out of school or thoughts about what Santa would bring. I remember walking into the living room with stuff – lots of stuff – spread out everywhere. I did know the “real meaning” of Christmas. I was taught that Christmas was the celebration of the birth of baby Jesus but that just wasn’t foremost in my mind on that morning. With all of that stuff it is easy to get caught up in the commercialization of Christmas. Now department stores put out Christmas decorations before Halloween. It has gotten out of control. I saw Charlie Brown on TV the other night and he was right in being concerned that the “real meaning” of Christmas was getting lost in the commercialization. That was almost 40 years ago. How much worse is it now? Now, with age comes wisdom, I guess, I am concerned if my children are getting the “real meaning” or if they only focus on the stuff they get. It is important to me that Jesus’ birth has a significance in their lives. One of my favorite Christmas cards states, “When it comes right down to it, the only thing that matters is Jesus.” It is Christmas, after all.

As I have read through the Old Testament this year, I am constantly amazed that the Jewish people were continually disobedient throughout those times. Even after seeing God do great and magnificent things they continued to choose their own ways, much to God’s displeasure. It is disheartening to me to see similar situations in our society today. There is perhaps no better example of this than what is happening with Christmas. There are many who would like to take Christ out of Christmas. There are many cities, be it New York or Denver, that have already removed Christ from the holiday. The mayor of New York called the tree outside of their City Hall a “holiday tree.” Which holiday is it, Mr. Mayor? It goes much further than that. Cities and towns across this country prohibit nativity scenes on public property, school programs can’t have any “religious” Christmas music (carols and such), and several large department stores have prohibited employees from saying, “Merry Christmas” to their customers. It is just ridiculous. It is Christmas, after all.

Some people I have talked to think all of this has less to do with the “Christmas holiday” as it has to do with getting rid of any display of organized religion in the public arena. This seems especially true for Christianity which stands in the way of many issues touted by secularists (drug legalization, abortion, gay marriage, etc.) This movement is organized well and happening all over the country. So here we are, wandering around blindly not doing anything about it or not paying attention to what is going on (or, worse, not caring) while Christmas is secularized. Where does that lead? Christmas without Christ is just “mas.” Mas in Spanish means more. More is definitely not always better. In fact, it is much, much worse when it is served up by a secular society.

Listening to: God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen from the album “Wishes – A Holiday Album” by Kenny G

[Posted with ecto]

Categories: Family, Religion