Ho! Ho! No! People too often forget the true meaning of Christmas! If I were to ask you the first thing that came to your mind regarding Christmas, what would it be? Would it be Santa Claus? How about Frosty the Snowman? But do you recall what Christmas, the most famous holiday of them all, is originally all about? The hard truth is that our mainstream consumer culture has made Christmas increasingly about making money for some businesses, resulting in many kids not realizing that the word Christ is in Christmas.
For starters, the “reason for the season” is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior according to Christians. We exchange gifts on Christmas because of the greatest gift of all, which is God becoming Man to save all of humanity. We also commemorate the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh which were given to Our Lord Jesus while He lay in the manger. Therefore, Christmas is a time of joyfulness and celebration within The Church as well as with family. But how many kids who celebrate Christmas know this?
When I turn on the television during this “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” it seems every marketer loves Christmas. I can find about twenty soap operas or Hallmark movies about two people falling in love during Christmas. Then there are those phony commercials about a guy buying his wife a new car with a bright red bow. Does this convey the full meaning of Christmas? That is up to you to decide, but for me this does not exemplify what Christmas is about.
Over time, people figured out that there could be a market around Christmas. They could make a lot of money off of toys that kids would open and only use once or Christmas lights that get too tangled that you must buy new ones every year. They found a soft spot in the consumers’ “religion” and have exploited arguably one of the most important days of the year to take advantage of people more willing than usual to empty their wallets. We have all fallen victim to the Christmas “trap” because we do not prioritize the birth of Jesus, but instead, focus only on the Douglas firs that we put up in our living rooms.
I looked just the other day at the top Christmas song on the charts right now and it was Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.” I don’t think that she is referring to Jesus being the “You” in the song. The song never mentions Jesus at all. How can we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, if we rarely acknowledge CHRIST in Christmas in the biggest songs and movies?
There are, however, some things that we have right during the Christmas Season. The sense of family and love is great from Thanksgiving until New Years Day. Little kids light up when they see all their presents underneath the Christmas tree and are filled with gratitude. We should keep this tradition but also teach our youth why they are receiving their presents–because God gave us the greatest present of them all: Himself.
We should keep many of the traditions people celebrate if we remember their original purpose at Christmas. We must remember that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. We can remind ourselves and others through the media, articles, movies, social media, as well as by word of mouth.
There are many people out there who still maintain Christmas as a sacred Holiday and are not engrossed in the commercial aspects of it. We should follow their lead and do likewise.