This will be the first year I will be celebrating Christmas as a Christian. In all honesty, I’ve kind of been dreading it. I truly dislike “secular Christmas” which seems to overshadow the religious celebration of Jesus’s birth these days. And I’m nervous about friends & family and acquaintances with whom I’ve been pretty public about becoming a Christian now expecting me to participate in all the things I still really dislike about so-called “secular Christmas.”
This is an essay I wrote several years ago … before I ever had the faintest idea that someday I would be a Christian myself.
The War Against Christmas
It is interesting to be an “outside observer” of Christmas. I don’t celebrate Christmas. But I sure do hear and see and read a lot about it. In fact you can’t possibly escape it at this time of the year.
But here’s the thing. I do believe that there is a “War Against Christmas” going on. The difference is that I think the real war against Christmas is being conducted by people who believe they are celebrating it. I believe that “secular Christmas” is the greatest threat to Christianity’s Christmas.
According to Christians, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, who is The Messiah.
When I look around at shop-til-you-drop events for months preceding the actual date, relentless pressure to spend, spend, spend until many people are deeply in debt over items that rarely are necessary or meaningful in proportion to their cost, stores and malls full of Santa Clauses attached to expensive photographers, charities collecting cheap toys to shower upon poor kids under the notion it is a tragedy if a child doesn’t rake in lots of loot on Christmas day, and the utter stress experienced by so many …. I ask myself, “What kind of a way is that to celebrate the birth of The Messiah?”
I believe there should be MORE Christ in Christmas, not less. I have total respect for those who believe that Jesus Christ was The Messiah and want to celebrate that most Holy of occasions in their faith.
What I would dearly love to see fade away is SECULAR “Christmas,” not Christmas, the religious celebration.
NOT that I don’t think a Winter Festival is a good idea. I think it’s a great idea, especially if it focuses more on love, celebrating the seasons, giving of oneself, caring for others, and peace, than on the gluttonous quest for lots of loot. But how about if we create a different Winter Festival and don’t call it “Christmas?” Make it truly welcoming and inclusive of people of all religious persuasions. Honor Christians who want to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but don’t make the secular Winter Festival try to be the same thing as the religious observance of the birth of Jesus.