Should We Fight to “Keep Christ in Christmas?”

imagesI say let’s throw in the towel and let Christmas go as a Christian holiday. We lost. It is a totally secular buying frenzy. It puts so many people at financial risk as they attempt to fulfill the ever-escalating expectations of gift giving that I would prefer to not associate the name of Christ with such an event.

I don’t mean we should stop celebrating what is special and beautiful about Christmas with our faith communities or our families. At The Refuge, for example, we will once again have a simple and lovely candlelight service.

I love Christmas. But I cringe at the “Keep Christ in Christmas” movement. Why? I would prefer that we separate the miracle of God coming as a baby from the frenzy of Black Friday. The two have absolutely nothing in common. I would love for the broader culture to call it “winter gift giving” or “Happy Holidays,” even, than to drag Jesus into the mess of consumerism.

I think what this taps into for me is the constant fighting for more power. Maybe I am missing something, but why should I care if someone wishes to say “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas”? Will forcing them to say “merry Christmas” in any way help them connect to the Christian faith? Why should my faith have more say or power than someone else’s? In fact, I think we have less chance of inviting someone to Christ when we rise up in power imposing what we believe to be right.

This controversy seems to be a subplot in a bigger story about the American heritage. I am sure that many of the principles of our government were birthed from the convictions of Christian men. I understand this is a touchy subject, but the notion that we need to return to our Christian heritage seems hard for me to grasp. What is a “Christian nation”? Christianity is best spread through a spirit of humility and generosity, not through one that demands its own way.

Here is my proposal: trade Christmas for Easter. We spend no effort on attempting to redeem Christmas from the market-driven enterprise it has become. Instead, we focus all our attention on the critical moment of our faith, the resurrection of Christ. Baby Jesus is sweet, but the resurrected Christ will rock your world. If we saved our voice, what credibility might we still have to make Easter the most influential and meaningful holiday of the year?

I will decorate my tree, give my family presents and meditate on the birth of Jesus, but in my heart I am dreaming about Easter.

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8 Responses to Should We Fight to “Keep Christ in Christmas?”

  1. angie says:

    I love your last paragragh…in my heart i am dreaming about easter.

  2. Jim Fisher says:

    Even the pagans who came to welcome the King years later didn’t offer a bunch of gifts to each other. No. They brought the peace of financial security to the Christ child and His family with pungent spices and gold.

    Sure. Have a Happy Holiday, not matter what your faith. Enjoy the smells and bells of the season. And, more importantly, bring Christ back into your giving … to the poor … to the sick … to the homeless … to the sufferers … and those who mourn.

    • karlw says:

      so true, if we really wanted Christ in christmas it would be known as the day in which
      none were hungry or alone. that would put Him back in…
      good thoughts

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think many are aware that scholarship places Christ’s birth on Shabbat (Sabbath) at the beginning of Sukkot, which falls at the end of September or beginning of October. In the 3rd century, during Constantine’s rule,, the Church calendar diverged from the Hebrew lunar calendar and adopted the Babylonian solar calendar. So Christmas coincides with the Winter Solstice. In reality, we are celebrating Babylon., Yes, it is about buying as much as you can and being as materialistic as you want. For me, it is more about getting together with family, eating, and sharing modest gifts, but has very little to do with Jesus. Dreaming for Easter is good, but I dream of celebrating Christ’s birth in the Fall with no purse strings attached.

  4. irene says:

    ..i agree Karl…the shopping frenzy has made Christmas so non-Christ like…makes me weary…I actually returned several things today that I bought getting caught in this nutty ‘you must have’ season. I heard Jesus was born the summer anyway… so celebrating the birth, death and resurrection of Christ at Easter is perfect …thanks Karl.

    Also, thanks for the Refuge tonight… it was beautiful.

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