“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Charlie Brown
I understand Charlie Brown’s frustration. The true meaning of Christmas is lost in all the cacophony of commercialism. I too want to yell out in frustration. I too want to throw a pink aluminum Christmas tree across the room and start quoting scripture (Linus did not do that, but that would have been amazing if he did haha). I want to gather up what Christmas has become, wrap it all up in gaudy wrapping paper, … and then crumple it up into a tight ball … and throw it out .. well, maybe set it on fire first haha. Seriously though. Let’s get rid of it. Let’s start again. Let’s do Christmas right. The holiday has been hijacked. It is no longer the religious holiday it once was. I want Christmas to be simple and pure…. The birth of Jesus. Family. A few gifts. A nice meal. Christmas Carols. And snow, of course.
I came to this conclusion recently when I was discussing my “Why I refuse to say Happy Holidays” blog post with a co-worker. When I mentioned that 96% of American’s celebrated Christmas he commented, “But how many of those 96% really celebrate the true meaning of Christmas?” … Hm. …that made me think. How many truly celebrate Christmas as it is supposed to be celebrated? Probably not a lot. Probably …hm… maybe less than 50% … heck I’m being generous… probably more like 30%. And what I mean by that is… who lives their Christian faith on a daily basis, not just during Christmas? Who believes in Jesus Christ? Who prays (without ceasing!). And who goes to church weekly?
There are many people who claim they are Christians, but have not set foot in a church since someone’s wedding or funeral. And there are those CAPE Catholics… they only go to church on Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Easter. … which means on Christmas and Easter we have to get to church an hour early to get a good seat. It’s not that I don’t want them to come, I do. I just want them to BE the Catholic they are supposed to be. Come every week! Be active in the church. LIVE the faith. Church IS IMPORTANT! It is sacred, holy, beautiful …. God created you, you can’t give Him one hour a week? Really?
Being Catholic is awesome… Being a Christian is not just a once a year thing! … Hey! Don’t be a little bit Christian, don’t be half a Christian… BE a full time Christian. It may just change every aspect of your life.
Advent is a time of joyful, anxious (in a good way) preparation for the coming of the baby Jesus (and the second coming). I am not a complete Bah Humbug Scrooge. I don’t want to get rid of it all… I still love many of the traditions we do at Christmas time. Let’s decorate. Let’s sing. Let’s watch Christmas specials/movies. Read Christmas books. Let’s give and receive Christmas cards. Let’s make Christmas cookies. Let’s set up the Nativity and let that be the center piece this holiday season. It should be something looked at and meditated on daily. Let’s read the gospel stories about Jesus’ birth while looking at the Nativity.
What must it have been like to be a shepherd back then, to have seen the angels glorifying God, telling about the birth of a savior? What must it have been like to come upon the holy family in a stable (or cave), surrounded by smelly animals and hay, to see the King of kings in a humble manger. What would you have felt, knowing that the baby in front of you was God?
I think I have disliked Christmas in the past because it was not like that. It never seemed Christ centered. It was always about the buybuybuy mentality. Sure I have been told to ignore the negative side of Christmas from the commercialism to the War on Christmas. But it is there, ugly and sneering, devouring the true meaning of Christmas like an obnoxious hungry beast. You can’t get away from it. I want it to go away. It won’t.
So. What do I want for Christmas? A miracle. …
I want everyone to be in awe of Christ our Lord and adore Him.