I took the Christmas week off of writing so I could enjoy spending time with my family. During the break I was hearing a lot of discussion from friends and others that they felt Christ was being taken out of Christmas by main stream media and other outlets. I was a little bothered by this due to their intense feeling that Christ was really being taken out of the holiday. Some of the reasons they listed were “Well, people are saying happy holidays” or “They say Merry Xmas now” (which is an inaccurate statement, but that is not being touched on here) or “Everyone focuses on Santa more than Jesus” and the list could go on. I just couldn’t, and still can’t, bring myself to agree.
Christ can only be taken out of Christmas if we as Christians allow Him to be. We are the people that need to celebrate the birth and lead people toward Him so they can celebrate it with us. It is not for us to shove our ideals or faith down other’s throats and expect them to fall in line with us because “This is OUR SAVIOR’s DAY!” Christian’s need to celebrate the day for what it is, the day our savior came to earth in the form of a baby in order to live a human life and reconcile us back to our creator. Those who do not believe, well, that’s their deal and we need to love them regardless. We need to love, respect, and grant them freedom to celebrate the holiday the way they want to. If we live as Christian’s should, loving God and loving our neighbor (especially on Christmas), then Christ is present on the day of presents.
It is hard when I hear people say happy holidays because they are afraid of offending, but then I remember Paul saying he was all things to all men and respected everyone wherever they were and never did anything to cause them to look differently on him as a representative of Christ. He probably would say “Happy Holidays” or “Happy Hanukkah” to someone out of respect to their faith, but people also knew he was a Christian and he would celebrate Christ’s story over the old traditions. There was no anger or backlash on people because they chose not to acknowledge Christ, in fact, there was even more love being shown to them by respecting them. In reality, we have to be living a life similar to Paul’s. We need to express the message of the Gospel throughout our life in order to protect His name on the day we celebrate Him. If one says “Happy Holidays” to someone of a different faith as a Christian does not negate their Christianity, quite the contrary, it strengthens their love for their neighbor; which in turn shares the Gospel even more.
We keep Christ in Christmas. It is not the fact that we say “Merry Christmas” that Christ is still here, it is the Gospel saying HE IS STILL HERE that keeps Him in the day and every day after.