A guest post from Chris who is part of Grace and helps out in all sorts of ways.
I have been thinking about the so-called “war on Christmas”. Many well intentioned Christians get up in arms about stores that sell “holiday trees” and they call on the culture to “keep Christ in Christmas”. But is Christ in Christmas in the first place? I believe that depends. It seems to me that there are two different Christmases: A sacred one in which Christians celebrate the Incarnation (along with all that entails, not just a sweet, baby Jesus in a manger) and a secular one that is about Santa Claus and sleigh bells and perhaps a sweet, baby Jesus in a manger( as long as He doesn’t go beyond that).
The secular Christmas is what our culture at large celebrates. I know of many Jews, Hindus, Atheists, not to mention nominal Christians, who celebrate Christmas. As far as I know, they don’t call their trees “holiday trees”. They celebrate the secular Christmas because it is part of our culture and history to do so. And because it is fun. I believe that if the “war on Christmas” is a war to change Christmas, as it is celebrated in our society, from a sacred holiday to a secular one, than that battle has already been decided.
And so what? Should we as Christians be concerned by this. Can we not celebrate the Incarnation on December 25 (and every day for that matter) and still join with others who celebrate the secular Christmas? For that matter, if it bothers us so much that Christmas is a secular holiday, then why do we get so offended when people don’t want to call it Christmas. A friend of mine made a good point. He said that if we are so concerned with the true meaning of Christmas, then why do we get so bothered if a chain store, who could care less about the true meaning of Christmas, is referring to it as a generic holiday instead? I find it odd that we would expect an unbelieving, fallen world, to celebrate the very thing they reject. After all, John tells us that Jesus ” came into the world and the world knew him not”. Perhaps those few who actually do get offended by the word “Christmas” are the ones who are keeping Christ in Christmas.