The reason for the celebration of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The symbols of Christmas have become far more generalized in nature, however. Christians now have to actively work to keep Christ in Christmas, since so many people are trying to make it a generic holiday for all religions.
Traditions are born over a long period of time. Some of the most recognized symbols of Christmas have become the Christmas tree and Santa Claus, along with the traditions of hanging up stockings, exchanging Christmas cards, baking cookies, and hosting parties. All of these symbols and traditions have little to do with the reason for Christmas.
What would Christmas be without Christ? It would be just another day, albeit fancier and a bit more frenzied, perhaps. But I believe that there never will be a Christmas without Christ, even though non-Christians are trying to make that happen.
Christians become concerned when retail stores and passers-by choose to say “happy holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” They see their special day for observing the birth of Jesus being diminished in schools, in the media, and in government due to a new rise in political correctness.
In Abu Dhabi, a predominately Muslim emirate, a 43-foot faux fir tree is on display in the Emirates Palace hotel that cost $11 million dollars to construct. It boasts 131 ornaments that include gold and precious stones such as diamonds and sapphires.
Because the United Arab Emirates hosts a huge foreign population, malls are full of carolers, Santas and piped-in yuletide songs, but there is probably not a crèche on display.
The exchange of gifts at Christmas can be linked to the gifts brought by the Wise Men to the Holy Child 2,000 years ago. It is harder to justify the “shop ’til you drop” type of gifting that is now an acceptable part of the celebration of Christmas.
Traditional Christmas carols ring out with the news of the birth of Christ the King. But the sounds of Christmas that surround us throughout the last two months of the year are more about the commercialization of Christmas than about Christ the King.
The reason for the season is still there, of course. It has just gotten harder to see it clearly amid the commercialized traditions that seem to grow deeper every year.
Keeping Christ in Christmas is really very easy
Could there be Christmas without Christ? No. It doesn’t matter how much non-Christians huff and puff, they can never take Christ out of Christmas for one simple reason – the One whose birth Christians celebrate is the eternal Lord and Savior. The Good News about His birth, death, resurrection and eternal reign is sealed in the Holy Book, and it shall never pass away.
If Christians will separate themselves from the ornate trees, the Santas, the hustle and bustle of the malls, and even the sugar cookies to quietly and reverently give thanks to our Father God for the gift of His precious Son Jesus, then the true meaning of Christmas will be as clear and bright as the shining star that led the world to Him in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.
Jesus Christ doesn’t need a fancy, frenzied recognition of His birth. We don’t even need church choirs or the reading aloud of Scripture proclaiming His birth in order to find and worship Him at this special time of year. All we Christians need to do is look inside our hearts and to the One who lives there as we reverently say three little celebratory words: “Happy Birthday Jesus.”
Also by R.C. Johnson:
A Poem: It’s a Wrap
He Finds Us Where We Happen to Be
A Poem: the Christmas Room
The Christmas Story Told in Four Parts
A Poem: the Babe in the Manger
Source: Personal views about Christmas