Is it not?
I am alarmed and apalled by what is happening with the spiritual Christmas remembrance.
Simply put, The Christ is being taken out of Christmas.
I really see it happening this year and on multiple levels. Now any friend of mine will tell you that I am not a particularly religious fellow – that is another discussion for a later day.
However, the gross secularization and commercialization of Christmas is just disturbing to me.
Black Thursday, Black Friday, the Saturday after Black Friday and Cyber-Monday with sales, discounts, specials, reduced prices, have reduced Christmas into a gift and gifting travesty. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for contributing to our economy and local businesses, yet we as a society have lost sight of why we are observing Christmas in the first place.
Question: What do these things have to do with the spiritual observance of Christmas: Santa Claus, Christmas trees, gifts, mistletoe, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer©, more gifts, those pesky elves, even more gifts, and on and on and on?
Answer: Absolutely nothing.
Then what is the real meaning of Christmas?
I recall as a child, my family would place a Nativity scene in the center of the room around Christmas time. Then on Christmas Eve, I as the youngest would have the honor of placing a replica of the baby Jesus in his manger. It was a simple family tradition and yet powerful symbolism as to why we celebrate Christmas – it was to remember and reflect on the birth of the baby Jesus, our Saviour.
If you don’t believe me that we have lost control of Christmas, just turn on your TV, open your newspaper or scroll through your favorite news site – I would challenge you to find something that speaks about the spiritual significance of this holiday.
Yes, there are meaningful remembrances here and there, yet the overwhelming emphasis on this holiday is on finding the right gift, giving the right gift and receiving the right gift.
And where is the outrage?
Why have we not heard from our pastors, ministers, priests and deacons about this silent tragedy? Why are they not front-and-center speaking out about the importance of Christmas? Maybe they will mention it in passing from the pulpit every once in a while, yet I have not seen them unite into one voice to say, “Enough is enough, this is our holiday, and we are taking it back from an overly secularized world.”
I challenge our religious leaders now to step forward and take a stand!
Christmas 2012 is lost. The damage is already done.
I call for a national declaration on Christmas 2013 in one voice that we are reclaiming Christmas and that every church, every minister, every person of spiritual good will, remind American society, every business and all the media as to why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.
In 2013, let us resolve together to put The Christ, back into Christmas.
(My column will be on holiday until January 9th. Until then my friends, have a spirit-filled Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!)