Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It always has been. Santa was never a vital part of the tradition at our house, and while I’m convinced my parents are selling drugs to pay for their Christmas habit*, the presents are not the things that have stuck with me from years of Christmas past.
Over the past couple years I have continually heard people talk about how much they despise this time of year. Ninety-nine percent of those people have been true believers in the Christ of Christmas. They talk about the consumerism and materialism and all the other worldly isms that have ruined the holiday. I absolutely ackowledge and take issue with the blasphemy of making Christmas consumer driven. However, I also take issues with believers writing off the entire season.
If we are truly offended by the disgusting distortion of Christmas presented by our culture, what are we doing about it? It isn’t enough for believers to “just get through the holidays.”
If we want Christmas to be a celebration of the Word of Life, entering our depravity to save us from our wretchedness it will take more than skipping Black Friday sales. We will have to do more than avoid consumerism by creating a culture of Christ-centered celebration within our circles of influence.
The culture my family has created is that of joy and peace at Christmas. Part of that peace is skipping the “Christmas loans**” and worries about needing to one-up Aunt Judith*** with the latest and greatest gifts. The joy comes from an active participation in the holy parts of the holiday – honoring the Word made flesh, the living and breathing Gospel, the Way of salvation opening to all would believe.
It’s time to take back the holy days. It’s time to stop sitting back and complaining. It’s time to offer the world an alternative to the over-spending, the stress and the selfishness of the culture’s Christmas.
It’s time to offer them Jesus.
*This is an completely unfounded and unrealistic accusation that I am at least 99.9% certain is untrue.
**I seriously saw a sign in town advertising Christmas loans. There simply aren’t words strong enough to address that nonsense!
***I do not have an Aunt Judith. If you do I promise I mean no offense. The name has been made up to protect the innocent.