As a Christian, I am not pleased with the way our society continues
to take our celebrations and strip away the things that make them
worthwhile. Christmas is not about reindeer, snow, a fat man who
gives gifts to children, or roasted nuts. It is not about office
parties, school vacations, or even family. Christmas is
CHRIST-mas. It is a celebration of the birth of Jesus
Christ, the one who was born through supernatural action, instead of
human endeavor, whose birth was announced by angels to the shepherds in
the fields. Jesus was God's gift to us, who did not deserve it.
I do not care if the world wants to celebrate with us,
even by giving gifts. But let's get back to the whole reason that
we are celebrating. If you have to have Santa Claus and elves and
reindeer, at least have them acknowledge the whole reason that we
celebrate. Let Santa stop in Bethlehem to honor Jesus. If
you have to put up decorations, remember that Christmas is a Christian
In saying this, I am not ignoring our Jewish
friends. The Jews celebrate Hannukah this time of year
also. This is something that all real Christians should also be
celebrating, not as a replacement for their joy, but to share in their
joy. It concerns the time of the Macabees1.
These were a group of Judean warriors, trying to restore the true
worship to their land after idolatrous foes took control of the
area. When they had recaptured Jerusalem, they went to purify the
temple. They lit an oil lamp, having only enough oil for one day,
but it strangely enough burned for eight days! A miracle of God
for the true worshippers of Him.
In this time when idol-worshippers have seized absolute control of our nation, we too
need a miracle of God if we and our nation are to survive. The
whole world hates us and awaits our destruction, primarily because of
government actions in support of corporate greed (money-worship) and
our anti-social-morality stance (pleasure-worship); when we face our
own national judgement, do not expect anyone to come to our aid.
But celebrate Hannukah and Christmas, our religious holidays, while we
still can, celebrating with a spirit of love, kindness, and
understanding. But do not let the world drive you to materialism
and commercialism, to losing focus on the eternal things in order to
focus on the temporary things of this world.
It used to be that X-mas was short for Christmas, because the 'X' stood for the
Cross. In the last few years, however, people use the 'X' as a
way to avoid referring to Jesus. For that reason, it is a good
idea to write letters to retailers that use "Xmas" or "X-mas" instead
of spelling out CHRISTMAS. Tell them the truth: that you shopped
there in the past, but that you are going to forego doing any more
business with them because they are denying Christ, the whole reason
Likewise, if you do put up decorations, be sure to
include the manger scene. Christmas is not about getting more
stuff. It is not about Santa Claus, mistletoe, holly, reindeer,
snowmen, and elves. Christmas is not about bitter cold weather that
makes your joints ache, and causes people to have to shovel off their
sidewalks. Christmas is about nothing other than the birth of
Christ. It is an insult to the loving, yet holy God, who
sacrificed his son for you to deny him when you are celebrating his
Do not get me wrong. Since the only thing we can
give him is our selves, we should do that and then follow up by giving
of ourselves (time, effort, energy, as well as money and stuff) to
benefit others. We should give to others, particularly those who
are in two groups:
- Family, friends, co-workers, and others that are in our regular sphere of contacts.
- People who are not in the first group, but who can use some assistance in their lives.
Many times, the best gift we can give is to stay out of debt.
Why? Because a lot of people run into financial problems early in
the year, due to overspending in the closing months of the previous
year. By staying out of debt, we can avoid the stress, which
makes us more pleasant to be around, and we may even be able to assist
someone who did not stay out of debt.
This makes it all the more important that we do not get sucked into the worldly spirit of greed
this time of year. Greed is idolatry, pure and simple.
Greed is putting present possessions above enternal blessings.
Greed is the thing that causes people to start doing the most
horrendous things this time of year:
- burglarizing homes, cars, and businesses;
- robbing people, including people working in stores and banks;
- pulling scams, including panhandling when one's needs are already taken care of;
- fraudulent use of financial instruments such as checks and money
orders, and fraudulent use of ATM cards, debit/credit cards; and
- online scams, such as phishing, virus-infected spam, and cracking into e-commerce sites and bank sites.
Greed hurts others. It also hurts the individual who gives in to it, but that damage is not readily apparent.
1: In linking this site, I am not endorsing the
Apocrypha. However, it may be useful in understanding the period
of time I am referring to here.