Why are we taking Christ out of Christmas?

Why are we taking Christ out of Christmas?  It seems like every were I turn there is a news article about a school or a city cancelling annual traditions.  Traditional Christmas songs are no longer sung, nativity scenes are banned, bible verses are banned and everyone is trying to distance themselves from the root of Christmas.

Every year articles are written about the over commercializing of Christmas.  Christians feel like they are being attacked on all sides regarding their religious beliefs.  People of other religions feel like they are being force fed a Christian diet.  People argue back and forth on social media.  Everyone has an opinion on how the holiday should be treated.

Red Christmas BallsIs it a religious holiday?

Is it a commercial holiday now sponsored by retailers?

Is it even a holiday anymore?

I know there are a lot of non-Christian people who do not believe in Christ.  That is 100% your choice and I will support you in your right to make that decision.  Most of my close friends are agnostic or atheist and have no interest in organized religion.  They are just as happy without religion, as I am with my religion.  I would never think of forcing my religious beliefs on them.

I also firmly believe in separation of church and state.  This is where my dilemma comes in.  I love the traditional Christmas decorations done by cities and schools, but I don’t believe it should be funded by tax payers.  As much as my religious mind loves that aspect of Christmas, my analytic constitutional mind knows that we gray that line.  I’m not sure where that line ultimately needs to be.

What I don’t understand is why it is so horrible to remember and respect the roots of Christmas? 

As a Christian I feel like my beliefs are constantly being attacked and that “my holiday” is being hijacked.  I feel like I have to be politically correct and will offend someone if I mistakenly say “Merry Christmas” instead of the more ambiguous “Happy Holidays”.

Why have a Christmas celebration if you are going to strip away the meaning behind Christmas.

No one will argue that Christmas has become highly commercialized.  I enjoy shopping and I love sales, so I’m not complaining, but Christmas is also a time to give back and serve others.

Christmas seems to be the one time of year when people take a little bit of extra time for others.  We do service projects for the needy, we donate time and money, we do secret Santa and give, give, give.  I wish the Christmas spirit was a year round thing.

Aaron and I visiting with Santa at our neighbors

Aaron and I visiting with Santa at our neighbors

Christmas is about family and reconnecting with loved ones.  It is about taking time off work and just enjoying the little moments.  It is about making treats for the neighbors and taking time to visit loved ones.  It is about finding the perfect gift, the one you know will bring a never ending smile to a child’s face.  Christmas is about loving and serving your family, friends, neighbors and perfect strangers.

Maybe it is just me, but I believe that people are nicer, friendlier and just happier this time of year.

This time of year brings out the generous spirit so many of us keep carefully hidden during the rest of the year.

Unfortunately Christmas is also about heartbreaking loneliness.  It can be a time of envy and strife – everyone else seems so happy and carefree as they spend time with family and purchase gifts some can’t afford.  For some people the season just reminds them of lost love, family, friends and opportunities.  It can often be the time of year when we spend hours dwelling on what we don’t have.  Sometime people feel the most alone when surrounded by a group of loved ones.

We all know this isn’t what Christmas should be, but as we stray further from the meaning behind Christmas this will become more prevalent.  It is so much easier to feel sorry for yourselves when we are only concentrating on the commercial aspects of Christmas.  It is hard to see beyond your own problems when you are only thinking of yourself.

Nativity SceneAs we slowly ban the parts of Christmas that are tied in with religious observance we distance ourselves more and more from what makes Christmas so incredibly special.  I’m not trying to say you need “Christ” in your life to serve other people, but Christmas is a holiday that honors Christ and the life he lived.  Regardless of your religion, the service centered life lead by Christ is a wonderful example and something worthy of celebration.

So rather then constantly removing Christ from Christmas let’s find ways of celebrating Christ’s Legacy of service.

Find a hero within your own religion and celebrate his contributions to society.  I’d love to hear a story about one of your hero’s.  I want to know how their legacy shaped your life and helped build your faith.  I want to know about your religion and what about your beliefs makes you happy.

If you are non-religious I can guarantee you have a service oriented hero.  Think about how this person has impacted your life and how much respect you have for them and their actions.  I have those same feelings for Jesus Christ.  He is my example and what I want to base my life on.

Find more ways to serve within your sphere of influence and tell people why.  Be blunt.  No one is going to be offended if you aren’t Christian, but want to create your own reason for the season.  No one is going to complain that you are hijacking Christmas when you are doing it in the name of service.  Christians complain about Christmas being hijacked because of commercialization, not lack of service.

Christ shouldn’t be removed from Christmas.  In my opinion Christmas should be the most inclusive holiday in the world.  It should be a holiday devoted to love, service, family, friends, desserts and heart felt gifts.  So rather then focus on what we don’t like about Christmas, let’s focus on the legacy of Christ and people like him and make it the best holiday season ever.

 

Photo Credit: Red Christmas Balls

Photo Credit:  Nativity Scene

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