There’s a lot of talk these days about a War on Christmas, and I think you have to admit it – whether you celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday or not – you have to admit that there has been a change in our Western cultural attitudes toward the holiday.
It makes me sad when I hear about this, although I’ve laughed when I heard non-Christians discussing it this year – this is news to you? The first time I heard the phrase “war on Christmas” was in the early ‘90s.
The thing is, it’s not the date that’s sacred. December 25 means nothing. December 25 was just a convenient date. There isn’t any historical proof that Jesus wasn’t born on that day.
What matters most is not the when nor the how nor even the what.
What matters most is the why.
I have celebrated Christmas for 25 years in different places and different cultures. I’ve celebrated on December 25 as well as December 26, January 7, and other days.
It doesn’t have to be Christmas Day.
Why do we celebrate Christmas? We celebrate it because over two thousand years ago a little baby was born so that he could die thirty-three years later.
For Christians, this day is the day that Heaven and earth met each other.
For Christians, this was the day that everything changed.
It could have been December 25 or March 9 or July 4 or September 17.
When I hear about a War on Christmas, it makes me sad because I love Christmas. I love the traditions and the food and the awkward family dinners. I even love the idea of Santa Clause.
I don’t want to lose Christmas.
But then I remember something very wonderful:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss.
So he paused,
And the Grinch put a hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low.
Then it started to grow…
But the sound wasn’t sad!
Why, this sound sounded glad!
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling:
“How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes, or bags!”
And he puzzled and puzzled, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.”
December 25 will come no matter what. So will December 26 and all the days before and after.
Christmas is more than just a date on a calendar. It’s more than Santa Clause, it’s more than Rudolph, it’s more than George and Mary Bailey.
Christmas isn’t limited to one day – it’s a day that we should remember all year.
Because if the true meaning of Christmas is celebrated all year long, than how can anyone ever stop it?
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31 NIV
“I tell you,” [Jesus] replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Luke 19:40 NIV
And so, although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you.