We are hearing all sorts of incidents about the “War on Christmas” in our society. You know, manger scenes being banned, Christmas songs being eradicated and/or rewritten, schools changing the name of the Christmas holidays to Winter Solstice. What is going on? Why would this world want to do away with Christmas?
Three years ago, my friend gave me an advent box to help keep Christmas alive for my four grandchildren. It seems like such a simple fixture. How hard would it be to just throw in a special Christmas symbol for each day before Christmas and teach our kids what Christmas is all about? At first, I LOVED it. It was so fun to see the excitement on the kids’ faces as they watched and waited to see what was in the box. Would it be a candy cane, a chocolate kiss, a jingle bell?
Admittedly, my imagination began to run wild as I researched all the traditions of Christmas and how we celebrate this festive season. Yes, I learned things I never knew before and was overwhelmed with the lessons I gleaned. Each new day of the Christmas advent was a joyous one as the heart of our children leapt with excitement over the little learnings each day would bring.
Fast forward three years later and we had to cancel the 12th day of Christmas because of behavior issues. The day before, we made Christmas cards for our Compassion International kids. The evening ended with a rowdy exuberance of chasing each other around the living room; and a huge fight over the pieces to add to the card. By the end of the evening, I was exhausted and must confess, not at my best. I had such visions of sugar plums dancing in my head with circles of laughter and joy as we joined together to make this precious memory.
Today, I am contemplating whether we should have a 13th day of Christmas and what behavior it will incite. Without even realizing it, it occurred to me that the “War on Christmas” was taking place in my own heart. I have been a Christian (Christ follower) most of my life. Christmas was always a focused celebration on the Christ child Who came to save us from our sins. The beauty of the lights, the sparkle of the celebrations, purchasing special gifts just for that someone and the opening, all pointed to our Savior…. Christmas should bring out the best in us and is a celebration worth remembering.
But if Christians allow their hearts to be dampened by what Christmas requires, of course, guess who wins the war?!?!
Meanwhile, I spoke with my friend the other day and she said her daughter wasn’t even putting up a Christmas tree because it was too much trouble with a toddler there to break ornaments and destroy decorations. Facebook posts show Christmas as a party of holiday cheer and commercialism. My own daughter doesn’t give gifts at Christmas because of the money and time involved. She has no desire to spoil her kids and perpetuate their ingratitude.
I’m convinced this is how Christmas will disappear from American society. The effort, the cost, the time, the inconvenience. We are one generation away from Christmas extinction just because of the trouble it takes. Christian, PLEASE DON’T LET THE WORLD WIN THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS. If needs be, don’t spend the money. Instead, just take the time, enhance the purpose of Christmas, make memories for your children that they will want to pass on to their kids. Save the generations to come.
As long as we can keep the virgin birth of Christ center point in our world – CHRIST WINS!