Yet another Christmas has come and gone. It's funny to think about all the changes I'm made from this time last year to the present day; from all the personal challenges that I've faced this year concerning my faith, to the issues surrounding love life, to the changes I've made in my attempts at growth. But some parts of me have remained the same. Namely, I'm still boycotting the concept of Christmas.
I must make it clear that I'm not, in any way, in opposition to the birth of Jesus Christ (although He wasn't born anywhere near December 25th). Rather, I'm boycotting the commercialization of Christmas. I'm really getting annoyed by it all. Mostly, I'm annoyed by all the people racing to the stores, looking for the best sale, making out lists of what to get and what they want, and supporting the lies about a magical jolly fat man who travels around the world to bring gifts (who seems to forget the poor and starving children of the world every year. But, I digress..).
Last year, I went to Miami for Christmas. While I was walking through downtown, I saw an interesting headline for an article from a progressive newspaper with the title "Merry Giftmas". Though I only saw the headline, I could infer what the article was about. It gave me a pretty good chuckle.
When I think about Christmas, I think about the Magi who went to see Jesus. It's not so much that they gave Jesus gifts (although their gifts were hot in the streets!). It's that they did acts that honored Him. They traveled from a great distance solely for purpose of worshipping the baby Jesus; and doing so in spite of the orders of King Herod. It should also be noted that they risked their lives by not reporting back to Herod about the baby they found. In essence, they made a brave and honorable sacrifice for what they believed in. It was their act -- not the gifts -- that mattered most. But what about us? What do we do today? Instead of honoring God, we get caught up on what to buy or what we want to receive from others. We fail to put actions behind our beliefs (James 2:17).
I often hear people say "we need to put Christ back in Christmas". I disagree. Instead, we should take Christ out of Christmas and place Him in our hearts where He belongs. This is a year-round concept that shouldn't be reserved for one day. As for the holiday that we celebrate on December 25th, let's call it for what it really is: "Giftmas". I mean, that's what it's been reduced to, right? For all of you who may think that my ideas are too sacrilegious or blasphemous, answer me this: Have you ever found the word "Christmas" in the Bible? Have you read anywhere in the Bible where Jesus' birth was ever celebrated during His life, through His death or after His resurrection? Hmmm...?
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for celebrating Christ, family, and togetherness. But let's not get in the habit of dishonoring the birth of our Savior by trippin' about some material crap that will only keep up satisfied until we get newer stuff.
Whether or not you're a Jesus freak, I'm happily declaring that I AM! So for me, Jesus truly is the "reason for the season." But just in case He isn't for you, still keep in mind that life's common denominators are love, family, friends, and togetherness; not the stuff you can neatly wrap and fit under a tree with lights (which, I still maintain to this day is fire hazard. I'm just sayin...). It's not about the giving; it's about the living!
Have a blessed and safe holiday season! See y'all in the '08! Go Blue!