Do you remember “The War on Christmas?” I think that author and radio personality Bill O’Reilly was one of the first to discuss this. He (and plenty of others) would cite the use of “Happy Holidays” and Starbucks red coffee cups as examples of our culture’s attempt to erase Christ from Christmas. About this time, bumper stickers and magnets began to appear, saying things like “Keep Christ in Christmas.”
There is certainly the temptation to take Christ out of Christmas. We can get so wrapped up in the traditions and nostalgia of Christmas that we miss Christ. We can give into consumerism, Christmas parties, and the “spirit” of the holiday and never give a second thought to Jesus. There is also that pesky jolly man in a red suit that moves the attention away from Jesus.
How should Christians keep Christ in Christmas? We must be sure to keep Christ in Christians!
It is more important for us to reflect and communicate the love of God to our neighbors than to say “Merry Christmas.” Caring for the poor and feeding the hungry keep Christ in Christmas more than any war against red cups. Forgiving our family members (because Jesus forgives us) may be the best Christmas gift we can ever give. Asking for forgiveness shows Christlike humility. Keeping Christ in Christmas starts when Christians start living like Christ.
We are 10 days away from Christmas (my four kids keep reminding me). May we reflect and embody the message of Christmas to those around us: God loved us so much that God became like us so that we might be with God. May God’s love and grace overflow from our relationship with Jesus and into the lives of the ones we love.