Christmas without presents

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

There is no other festive season I enjoy more than the Christmas season or being politically correct during the winter holiday season. I am a Christian so I have a tendency to identify more with Christmas than other celebratory occasions such as Hanukah and Kwanza—which may be just as important to others according to their beliefs or preferences. I respect other religions and groups in celebrating events they feel just as important as Christmas and enjoy in recognizing and participating in rituals they find important.

Acceptance and involvement when possible in different cultural and ethnic traditions helps me grow as a whole in appreciating the customs and practices of my fellow brothers and sisters who are of other faiths. It aids in cultural diversity and brings us closer together.

I just feel that Christmas is perhaps the most important event besides Easter in adhering to Christian teachings and practices. It is not only the religious significance of the event but also the aura of love and goodwill generated by this festive holiday season. I love the bright colorful decorations that adorn the streets and communities. The bright colorful lights, Christmas trees, and decorations appealing to the fancies of young and old children are ever-present reminders of the beauty the world has to offer. The constant sounds of Christmas songs bringing smiles and tidings of joy to one another only heightens the celebratory season. The love and warmth generated in the air should supersede one’s religious preference bringing about brotherhood and good cheer to all.

We as Christians, must be mindful that this is a time of religious observance and that Christ should not be omitted or put on the back burner. We must not be apologetic in announcing and manifesting our love for Christ, bowing down to pressure of those who adamantly disagree with our faith or feel we are being insensitive to others celebrating important events during this time.

I would like to think that no one is being coerced into celebrating Christmas. You have a choice not to participate in activities or events celebrating the Christmas spirit. This time should manifest a contagious spirit of love, goodwill, and acceptance that should not offend the beliefs of others.

Christian children should be cognizant of this special holiday season honoring the importance of the greatest gift possible to mankind, with the birth of our Messiah, Christ the King, knowing that he is the key to hope, salvation, and eternal life to those who acknowledge him and adhere to his teaching. No disrespect to those of other faiths but that is the premise of our Christian beliefs.

While Santa Claus is given more recognition among Christian children, it is important to have a child know the real and most significant reason for Christmas. It’s not just about the exchanging of presents—presents many people can’t afford and find themselves paying for throughout the year.

Could you truly honor and appreciate Christmas without the giving of presents? I question the importance of gifts over the holy acknowledgement and honoring of Christ among so many Christian families. I’m not saying that the giving of presents is not a good thing, but one must admit that Christmas has become commercialized. The true winners seem to be the stores and businesses, many which don’t recognize or practice Christianity. Many devout Christians would argue that Christmas is being hijacked, primarily for profit.

Spending an exorbitant amount of money on presents that you may not be able to afford seems ironic in celebrating the true significance of the birth of Christ. Too many people get caught up in determining the love others may have for them by the extent or value of present given. In all honesty, for so many, love has been relegated to money and materialism—and Christmas is a good time to capitalize.

Can you imagine taking gifts out of Christmas and putting more emphasis on the true meaning or significance of the holiday? It can start with the gathering of family and friends together to praise and glorify the gift of Christ, accompanied with a sumptuous feast. Gifts should be replaced with warm smiles and words of hope, acceptance, and love. The air should be inundated with harmonious music honoring the occasion, bringing tidings of joy and happiness to the recipients.

Do as you must, but be mindful of the real reason for the season and to make Christ a welcome participant.