XMAS. I’ll write it this way if I want to. Do not tell me to “Keep Christ in Christmas.” Unless... you have the RIGHT to tell me. And do you? Do any of us? You can blast me for writing “xmas” ONLY if you are willing to do the Christ-like thing during the Christmas season... and help ONLY the needy!
Christ would NOT buy lavish gifts for his family and friends, let alone spend hundreds of dollars on wrapping paper, bows, tags and boxes. He would not put up a tree decorated with lights, bulbs, garlands and artificial snow. He would not spend hundreds of dollars decorating the outside of the house with blow-up snowmen, twinkling lights and fancy wreaths. He would not spend a minute agonizing over what to buy whom, what to serve for dinner, how to work in all the traveling, which party to attend and which to skip.
He WOULD provide food for people who were hungry and unwrapped gifts to fill a need for children and grown-ups. He’d marvel at the beauty of snow covered trees and stars twinkling in the sky. He’d spend time with family, friends, and strangers listening to their stories.
So, unless you are willing to do as He would do, don’t tell me to keep Christ in Christmas. I don’t know ANYONE who actually keeps Christ in Christmas anymore, including me. I get “wrapped up” in all the glitter too. It’s tough.
Going to church for Christmas Eve services, saying we are giving gifts (to anyone who already has everything they need) because it is giving out of love, putting up a fancy tree to bring cheer to the house, decorating to make the house and neighborhood look pretty, wrapping gifts so a loved one can open them and be surprised... all these things and more are NICE, but they are NOT what Christ would do! Serving dinners to the homeless in a soup kitchen on Christmas day is NICE too, but Christ wouldn’t do this and then go home to a family dinner around the dining room table in a warm cozy home decorated for the holiday. Christ would not buy three gifts and donate them to ‘Toys for Tots’ or ‘Secret Santa,’ and then buy 10 more expensive gifts for each his “own” children.
And by the way, since Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, why do we give gifts to other people? In his honor? Really? As my daughter-in-law recently said, “Oh, the things we tell ourselves to justify what we do.”
Furthermore, Christ would not set aside a special day or season to do the right thing... Christ did the right things, the Christ-like things... every day.
My point is not that we shouldn't celebrate Christmas in what's become our traditional ways and do as many Christ-like things as we can. It's that I personally can't preach "Keep Christ in Christmas" when I'm not doing it myself! And I'll go so far as to say that no one else can either. Except for Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. :-) Not one of us should think that refraining from using the "X word" is enough! It's not. Getting caught up in stupid details is just another excuse to ignore people around us who are suffering... and it’s very self-righteous to think that spelling out “Christmas” is sufficient to consider ourselves good Christians.
If keeping Christ in Christmas were as easy as not writing “XMAS”... then everyone, I mean EVERYONE, all over the world, would have all they need on Christmas and... every day.
Merry Xmas and Merry Christmas!