What does Christmas mean to you?

Photo of William T. Robinson Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Christmas is upon us and I would dare speculate that its purpose and meaning is not shared unequivocally among those who profess to be Christians. Unfortunately, the selfish manipulation by man for profit and greed has significantly tarnished what is supposed to be one of the most spiritual and holy events of the year. Many of us have compromised Christmas by giving presents we can barely afford, forgoing giving homage to a God who loved us so much he sacrificed his only begotten son so we may be forgiven of our sins and have salvation. How could this message have been diluted or in some cases totally ignored? Why is God’s primary intent put on hold to promote man’s attempt to make money? Commercialism and materialism have literally upstaged God. During the Christmas season more emphasis seems to be put on Santa Claus than our Savior’s birth. This is not to say that the spirit of giving is not a good thing or is wrong, but the true message of Christmas shouldn’t be lost in the process.

Why do so many young Christian-raised children associate Christmas with Santa Claus and toys and not with its true spiritual content? Buying toys and presents for loved ones is okay and commendable if that’s what you want to do, but too many people are opting to leave Christ out of Christmas—and that should be the number one priority. The truth of the matter is that many business owners and retailers making big money during Christmas are not Christians. The Christmas season has become nothing short of the biggest time to promote capitalism. That is okay because we encourage capitalism in our country, but let this not make you blind to the true purpose of Christmas. If, after Christmas, you are broke, depressed, and spiritually depleted—it is probably because you missed the whole purpose of Christmas.

Many Christians have become involved in the pageantry and ostentatious manifestations the Christmas season brings about. One cannot deny that the season brings a sense of joy, happiness, and wellbeing to most of its participants, non-Christians as well. How can one not get caught up in the cheery, festive atmosphere of decorative, colorful ornate scenery displayed by homes and communities proclaiming the Christmas season? The sound of Christmas music inundating the airwaves and the happy faces of young children awaiting this most glorious day are heartwarming. You cannot leave out the excitement of decorating the Christmas tree and the smell of cakes and pies filling the air.

However, the decorations and participation are meaningless if the One making these moments possible is missing or has been left out of the scenario. We must stop leaving Christ out of Christmas. Children of true Christians must know the true meaning of Christmas and give Jesus Christ as much recognition as Santa Claus. Christmas should be more about love for family, friends, and God than seeking man-made possessions. Enjoy Christmas with loved ones and enjoy a big meal, but welcome and acknowledge the real reason we celebrate this day. Spend a given part of the day acknowledging and thanking God for his love borne gift. I, for one, would like to thank and praise God for his most precious gift, his son, the Deliverer, Jesus Christ.