Why It Doesn’t Matter:
5) Calling Christmas “Xmas” isn’t taking Christ out of the holiday; you’re just saying it a different way. In the ancient Greek, the letter X is actually the letter “Chi”, which, for many Early Christians, stood as symbolic of Christ. Xmas = Christmas in every way possible.
4) Saying “Happy Holidays” doesn’t diminish Christmas either; it’s just a matter of being polite. We might want everyone to be Christians and celebrate the birth of Jesus, but not everyone does, so stop being a jerk and snidely wishing “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” To everyone you meet just because you can’t accept that someone doesn’t celebrate your holiday.
3) Christmas trees, lights, ornaments, gift giving, and many other traditions associated with Christmas were adopted from pagan traditions after the fall of Rome to Germanic tribes (heck, Christmas itself was adopted from a pagan observance of the winter solstice), so when you complain about the de-Christianizing of Christmas, remember its true origins.
2) Most nativity scenes aren’t remotely scriptural. Relax.
1) If you took the Birth of Jesus out of the gospels, you’d lose three whole chapters of Scripture (two of the gospels don’t even address it), but if you took his death and resurrection out of the Gospels, not only would we lose a whole lot of scripture, but also the Birth would mean nothing. While it does matter that Christ came, it matters MORE what He did, and a Christian tradition that misses this point is not reflective of our Savior.
That being said, let’s reconsider our priorities a bit:
5) If you’re a Christian, you know that Jesus’ coming to Earth was good news for the whole world, and if you read the Gospels, you see Jesus reaching out to the poor, the outcast, and the broken in our world. How does your Christmas celebration reflect that? If you’re in the Harrisburg area, how are you reaching out to the low-income families and homeless in our area? Christmas would be a good time to start doing that.
4) Even if you’re not a Christian, it’s easy to see how materialistic America’s gotten over the holiday. Any country where people get pepper-sprayed over Xboxes has some issues. Wanna fight back? Spend your money on someone else, or volunteer somewhere. Your family will be there when you get back.
3) Got a big Christmas dinner planned? There’s millions of people all over the world starving; some of them are bound to be in your hometown. Share it with them!
2) For many people, Christmas isn’t a very happy time because of the loss of a loved one, lack of family, or many other reasons. Share some time with them and make them a part of YOUR family.
1) If you’re REALLY daring, spend some time with a family who doesn’t celebrate Christmas (if they’re willing to open their home to you). Hang out with a Jewish family for Hanukkah, or celebrate Kwanzaa with someone. Heck, even Christmas traditions vary greatly between cultures. Reach out and celebrate the differences between you and your neighbors.
Christians, the most important thing not only this season, but year round, is being the church. The ideas I just gave you are pretty stock; be more creative! If you don’t think you can be creative, then start here. Any of them are bound to be a big stepping stone for you in your faith. Don’t worry over saying “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Xmas”; I can assure you God is bigger than that.