Watching some local television show this morning with a gift-giving expert explaining about the tradition of Christmas gift giving, reminds me that many are always willingly taking Christ out of Christmas. There was absolutely no mention during her historical summation of the tradition of Christmas gift-giving, of the fact that Christmas gifts were and are still given at Christmas to represent the gifts presented by the Magi to the newborn baby Jesus . . himself the ultimate gift of love to the world! I am sure gifts are also now given habitually by those who aren’t believers; the commercialized and secular world, uninterested in the traditional reasons, having joined in the event because of the national holiday. But I think we have moved too far from the reason we started celebrating or partaking of Christ’s Mass in the first place; if we no longer even want to mention His name in our “historical” explanations regarding Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season! Does the mere mention of Jesus Christ cause harm somehow? Are some so afraid to mention Him in context of a national event and national history, that they prefer to dilute truths and alter facts?
And somewhere right now, in reading this, someone will want to attack me for explaining that Christmas is even a Christian event or for “picking on” this gift-giving expert! Yet, the very root of the word, Christmas, means a mass or remembrance to honor and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Which I must admit, to Christians, is the most significant part of our timeline of history, prophesy, faith, hope and tenets of belief other than the crucifixion of Christ upon the cross! The birth of Jesus Christ represents to us a long-awaited, hoped-for and promised gift of God’s love and forgiveness; so great was and is this gift, because Jesus is the lamb of salvation and redemption! So before we go completely forgetting that fact in our contemporary, more secularized, world version of the history of this big day and season, let us honor the history, which for generations we have established in this nation for Christmas. In this nation, we’ve a national holiday specifically because enough of us held a prevalent mind to want to unite in such a celebratory time of worship and praise for the sake of our Christian beliefs! And so a national holiday was created to allow us to have our masses, time of worship and praise together with family and friends, for the great joy and celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ!
I don’t mind any nonbelievers or secularists, or those of other faiths, enjoying Christmas as their favorite holiday – as it is a national holiday now set aside and celebrated by believers and nonbelievers alike; but please don’t forget, or omit on purpose, the origin of the word or what the celebrations, worship services and mass historically and actually mean to those of us who do believe! Please don’t leave out the reason for the season, or any of our purposeful, specific behaviors during Christmas in any context, especially when those help in explaining its history! It negates the very reason Christmas came to be a national holiday in the first place; that so many held – and still hold – within their hearts, a desire to worship in unity and to give praise through celebrations, the birth of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Christians are to be givers by nature, as we were taught to do so by the example of Jesus; and that is the most important part of this story. He gave Himself for us so unselfishly and so lovingly, it is beyond our ability to grasp. God gave to His children the ultimate gift of eternal life with our Father through the New Covenant fulfilled through Jesus Christ. Please don’t leave that out of your story when describing the very meaning and reason for Christmas, or the joy in gifting at Christmas-time to others!