Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Let's just call it "X-mas"

I'm preparing myself for the inevitable forthcoming "Christmas vs. X-mas vs. Happy Holidays" debates where Christians at large begin to hyperventilate over the fact that the pagan joystealers of the world are trying to take Christ out of Christmas.

Well, I've got news for you. He's been left behind long before now.

You see, as Christians we take up arms this time of the year with proclamations of "REMEMBER THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!!" Which inevitably leads to the inclusion of manger scenes in our home decorating, perhaps a lack of the jolly guy in our montage, a Christmas Eve church service, and a not-to-be-forgotten reading of the Christmas story before we engage in our wild frenzy of present opening.

But the problem is that we are just adding a little bit of Jesus to a holiday that we have turned into something that mocks what Jesus stood for. Every year Americans spend $450 Billion dollars on Christmas shopping!!! All this while much of the world remains in poverty, fighting issues such as lack of sustainable food and water--issues that can be greatly impacted with just a fraction of the resources that we spend on Christmas presents.

I understand that the point of giving presents has been to remind ourselves that Jesus was the greatest gift--and we say things like, "It is better to give than receive." But if that's true, that giving is the enjoyable part, then it doesn't really matter who we give to. And if so, shouldn't we give to those that have the most need? Isn't that what Jesus would want us to do? Isn't that what Jesus DID?

For us, in our consumerism, to act in a way that so directly flies in the face of so much of Jesus' life and teachings, and yet complain that people are taking Christ out of Christmas merely by changing the name, or even insinuating that we are "REMEMBERING THE REASON FOR THE SEASON" by merely retelling the story, is laughable...like celebrating MLK day in segregated church services or commemorating Earth Day with a sale on Hummers.

This year, let's either change our habits and traditions to really reflect the priorities of Christ, or let's just go ahead and call it "X-mas".

P.S. Here is a video that my friend Lisa first posted that speaks well to this issue: