Today I want to address one of my pet peeves: Christians who throw hissy fits about “keeping Christ in Christmas.”
Everyone’s received one of those email forwards that talks about boycotting places that sell “holiday trees” or wish people “happy holidays” at this time of year. My Facebook feed today had the classic Ben Stein’s holiday confessions, only this year it’s aimed at the White House, where they’re apparently calling them holiday trees. (For the scoop on Ben Stein, please reference the Snopes page. He did say a lot of what’s attributed to him, but it isn’t about holiday trees or the Obamas.)
I get that we, as Christians, should be concerned about Christ being shut out of our celebrations. But I think we’re going about this wrong, for a number of reasons.
- What is a holiday? Merriam-Webster’s first definition of it is holy day. Get that? People who say “Happy holidays” are really wishing you a “Happy Holy Day.” They’re not pushing Christ out. They’re acknowledging that Christ’s birth is a Holy Day.
- There are a lot of holidays happening this time of year. Not just Christmas, but also Thanksgiving, St. Andrew’s Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, St. Stephen’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Maybe people aren’t heathens, they’re just efficient and want to cover as many holidays as possible.
- Jesus Christ probably wasn’t born on December 25, anyway. We all know this. It’s been documented all kinds of places. Go do a Google search. The point is, we’ve just arbitrarily chosen December 25 as the day we celebrate. What does it matter if some people don’t agree with us?
- What was it the angels told the shepherds when they appeared to announce Jesus’ birth? Oh yeah, “peace on earth”. The spirit of Christmas is one of redemption and peace. Not one of strife and anger. Are we really honoring the spirit of Christmas by petty bickering about what we call it?
- How many people do you think you’re going to reach for Christ by arguing with them about the name of Christmas?
I think we’d all be better off if we spent more time honoring Christ and the spirit of Christmas by expressing love, joy, peace, and goodwill (i.e. tolerance) toward others.
You want to keep Christ in Christmas? Go out and buy a homeless guy a pair of shoes and a meal.
You want to keep Christ in Christmas? Stop giving your family expensive and unnecessary gifts, and go out to feed the hungry.
You want to keep Christ in Christmas? Visit the sick and imprisoned in His name.
I agree, we should keep Christ in Christmas. We should keep the Holy in Holidays. We just need to rethink how we’re going to go about it.
What do you guys think?