A call for a return to the true meaning of Christmas in a distracted culture
Around 2,000 years ago in a town called Bethlehem, a savior was born in a manger on a heavenly night.
I know what you’re probably thinking… “Oh, this is the story of how Jesus was born. I’ve heard it so many times. I know what Christmas is all about.” But have our thoughts and feelings about Christmas changed?
Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I want this, this and this for Christmas!” Have we forgotten about the true meaning and significance of Christmas?
With how our society and media is today, it is quite easy to forget why Dec. 25 is such a spectacular day for Christians all around the world.
Children seem to care more about Santa Claus coming than the anniversary of Jesus Christ’s birth. Some people celebrate Christmas even if they aren’t Christian.
Businesses put tons of ads out there for the holidays, distracting us into thinking this is what Christmas is all about. But this Christmas, let’s truly find Christ.
Unfortunately, Christmas is becoming a more and more secular holiday, which makes it easy to forget what Christmas really means.
People in our society generally do not talk about their personal religious views or affiliations. In Christian dominated countries, Christmas is recognized, but the real reason for Christmas is being forgotten.
According to a survey in 2010 by LifeWay Research, in Cathy Lynn Grossman reported in USA Today, that 72 percent of people told LifeWay that many of the things they enjoy this season have “nothing to do with the birth of Jesus.” The survey also found that another 62 percent of people non-Christians still celebrate Christmas. In the survey, 89 percent of that 62 percent say they are either agnostic or have no religious identity, and 55 percent of that 62 percent identify as atheists.
Even though people say they’re celebrating or recognizing Christmas, they are not necessarily Christians.
Some Christians believe that it’s a good thing that non-Christians celebrate the holiday because then that means they recognize Christmas, and know why people celebrate it. Other Christians don’t think it’s a good thing, because non-Christians give each other gifts but don’t believe in Christ.
James Martin, a Jesuit priest, wrote in the Huffington Post that “Christ may be the new Voldemort.” Voldemort is the fictional antagonist character in the Harry Potter book series who is referred to as “He who must not be named.” Martin believes ads treat Jesus as Voldemort because they never mention anything about Him in ads, when truly Christmas has everything to do with Him.
The way our culture is today, Christmas has become a non-religious holiday to everyone around the world. The reason could be is that our generation has come to the conclusion that technology, money and earthly objects are all you need to be happy and find joy in your life.
In the end your money, technology and objects will not give you a ticket to heaven. These things, valued so highly on Earth, distract us from the true meaning of Christmas.
Even when it’s not Christmas time, we should still find a good chunk of our time to think, pray and praise God in any way possible.
“Santa Baby,” made famous by Eartha Kitt, is a song about wanting more and more stuff at Christmastime. The song “Last Christmas,” originally sung by the British pop band Wham, is about giving your heart to someone special instead of wasting it at Christmas time.
These two song examples are just a few Christmas songs of many that are called Christmas songs, but truly have nothing to do with Christ. It makes us start to think that getting more stuff for Christmas, and love is what Christmas is all about. Our entertainment media camouflages the true meaning of Christmas.
Do you ever wonder when you’re out in public if it’s okay to say “Merry Christmas”? In this day and age, it is considered “politically incorrect”. Many people don’t want to “offend” others by saying Merry Christmas, because not everyone is Christian. “Happy Holidays” is now the socially accepted greeting or saying.
But saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” forces us to take out the “Christ” in the holiday and makes it easier to forget why we’re celebrating.
Another reason Christmas is being forgotten for the real reason is the stores try to succeed at making loads of money around Christmas time. It’s not hard to get distracted by all the ads and commercials making us think more about earthly objects than Christ’s birth.
Black Friday, which is observed by the US and Canada the day after Thanksgiving, actually means the stores start to make a profit for the year and are no longer in the red, with the holiday sales they are now in the black. The stores want to be in black, it means they’re making a good profit and that’s why they call it Black Friday.
The total holiday spending was $52 billion from Nov. 1 through Dec. 16 of 2011, according to statisticbrain.com.
Unfortunately, Christmas for many is a time to get new objects. This is why it can be so hard to focus on Christ’s birthday when we want more and more stuff and forget it’s not about the objects, but about our savior being born and saving you, and me and offering us eternal life.
This Christmas, even though you can’t change all the things that distract you from Christ’s birthday, the Talon staff challenges you to change how you react to these distractions.
Focus more on Christ instead of earthly things, give more than receive, continue to go to church after Christmas and take your religious or spiritual life forward. This is how we believe can find Christ at Christmas time.