Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Whose Christmas is it?

Christmas belongs to Christians. Even “Xmas” is of Christian origins; “X” is the first letter of the word “Christ” in Greek.

There is an awful lot of fuss this year about whether or not it is Christmas time or the Holiday Season. According to some, there is a huge movement to secularize, or make unreligious, the whole time of year.

Some of the debate seems fair to me; it is a bit extreme to try to sterilize from public discourse all reference to the generally Christian heritage of the United States. It is clearly unfair to public school students to attempt to deny them the freedom of religious expression.

What concerns me, though, is the great indignation many seem to have brewing over stores and corporations that have chosen to “de-Christianize” this time of year. Some preachers are calling for boycotts of such businesses.

In American society Christmas has increasingly meant more about shopping and gathering for parties than it has meant the birth of Jesus. This is sadly almost as true in the church as outside it. Since Christmas in our society is mostly about commerce and sales, it seems to me that Christians don’t have much ground on which to criticize or condemn businesses for doing what they think will most help their sales. If that means calling it “Holiday” instead of “Christmas,” so be it.

On the other hand, perhaps the trend toward the secular has crossed a line for Christians. Perhaps we are indeed tired of the commercialization of Christmas. Perhaps we have finally collectively come to the point of saying “ENOUGH!”

Or perhaps we really aren’t upset that Christmas has become all about spending money. Since the outcry is about buying from certain stores rather than buying as a whole, I think we are more concerned about cultural clout than keeping the holiday about Jesus


At 12:23 PM, Blogger gavin richardson said...

i'm not so much bent out of shape about the 'holiday' 'christmas' controvery that has started up. for a free state there are other spiritual holidays during this time of year. however, so much emphasis seems based on our Christmas Day. maybe that's where people get mixed up but never think of it in terms of that.

At 7:13 AM, Anonymous johnny said...

it's funny, to me, to hear fellow followers spit and cry about what to call the holidays, and boycott some stores because they don't use the specific arrangement of letters "CHRISTMAS"...then fake a cellphnone conversation so they don't have to make eye contact with the salvation army santa. i mean, i understand that you need to purchase those $60 jeans for you granddaughter because she only has 7 pairs; but can we not shell out an extra $2 for some kid that doesn't have any?....maybe not...

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Steve Heyduck said...

Johnny, right on, man! Can you imagine what might happen to our economy of all Christians refused to buy for Christmas?

Can you imagine what might happen to our hearts?

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Rick said...

This may be off base, but isn't the more serious problem, at least for this year, that Christmas Day falls on a Sunday?

How many of our good people are going to "skip Christmas" so-to-speak, because they decided to stay around the tree with family and friends, instead of worshipping on the one day with the most opportunity for Christians to connect spiritually with people who need God?


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