Dec 4, 2007

A new kind of Christmas controversy

by Amanda Sullivan

    Every year, the Christmas season is accompanied by a barrage of cynics who attempt to defame the holiday that honors the birth of the Lord Jesus. For the past several years, the Christmas controversy has centered around many department stores opting to remove the words “Merry Christmas” from their décor. However, I believe the biggest “Christmas controversy” comes from within the hearts of Christians who fight for the right to say “Merry Christmas” but then proceed to forget the true meaning of the holiday.
    Christians are lost in the world of Christmas commercialism and consumerism. Recently, I have noticed that the decision of what gift to buy for which person has taken precedence over the purpose of the holiday. Getting lost in the commercialism of Christmas is not hard to accomplish with the holiday season being the most advertised of the year.
    Do not misunderstand; I think that Christmas should be celebrated to the fullest with lights, trees, tinsel and other traditions that make the holiday special. However, the problem occurs when the holiday buzz overshadows the meaning of Christmas, and shopping and decorating become more important that celebrating the birth of Christ.
    My family celebrates Christmas in a big way. Decorating, baking and present shopping play a big part in the holiday season, but my parents were always careful to make clear the reason as to why we celebrate Christmas with such lavish style. The celebration was never about gifts or decorations; it was about family and the birth of Christ. The decorations were a form of celebration.
    Every year on Christmas Eve my dad would gather us around the fireplace, make hot chocolate and light candles, regardless of the Texas heat.
    My family would begin the yearly tradition with the reading of the Christmas story – each person reading a portion of the Scripture.     At the end of the night, my father would remind my siblings and I that the reason we celebrate Christmas is because of the birth of Christ. Furthermore, he would tell us the reason we give each other presents on Christmas morning was because God gave his son,     Jesus, as a gift to us.
    Jesus is the greatest gift, and His birth should be celebrated in grand form. The purpose of Christmas is not the sparkle of lights or the smell of the evergreen Christmas tree; it is about Christ. Therefore, it would be wise to remember that – as cliché as it sounds – Jesus is the reason for the season.

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