Radical Simplicity and a Beautiful, Messy Life

How to *Really* Keep Christ in Christmas (It's Probably Not What You Think)

Friends, can we talk?

Can we talk about this so-called war on Christmas? About "keeping Christ in Christmas"? About the boycotts and the fear-mongering?

As I see it, there is in fact a war on Christ's mass. Advent, which is meant to be a contemplative season of anticipation has become a whirlwind of obligations, sugar and spending.The special night once a year, set aside to celebrate the birth of our saviour, has been replaced with six weeks of plastic, sparkles, and gingerbread lattes.

But it has nothing to do with holiday sentiments at the shopping mall or on your company Christmas cards and the songs chosen for your child's public school choir performance.

We don't need the world to validate our worship.

Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings aren't nasty offensive awful things to say. They are nice, kind-hearted greetings from well meaning friends and neighbours. They are inclusive, open, welcoming, and yes, secular greetings. Like "hello" and "good day".

To expect everyone everywhere, and even corporations and government offices to recognize our holy day, not just on the day of but for a whole month in advance,regardless of what other traditions and religions they themselves may practice is....

....it's absurd.

And, can I say this hard thing to you, in love? The idea of boycotting a big box store for a month because they have the words "Happy Holidays" plastered out front of their store and then returning in January to buy their unethically sourced, unsustainably produced items from an employee who isn't getting paid enough to live on? It seems a little inconsistent with my understanding of the new testament.

Frankly, I'm not sure that fighting to keep Christ's name on a social occasion marked by marketing and materialism and a mass stampede to the cheapest new electronic is something Christ would want. I wonder if maybe he'd rather us leave his name off of it all together and just do the things he asked us to do, like give and love and trust Him.

There is a war on Christmas. I know there is. It's in my own heart. It's the parts of me that want miracles and joy and community without surrender and sacrifice. It's the part of me that is tempted to buy a bunch of gifts I cant afford so that I can be an awesome gift giver instead of keeping my focus on the One who gave us the greatest gift imaginable. It's in the distractions and the noise of the season that blind my heart to the needs of others. It's in me, it's in you.

Dear friends, let's keep Christ in Christmas. Not by trying to make the corporations of the world scrub themselves up and look holy by our standards. But by intimately worshipping our saviour, teaching our children about the hope that was born in a manger, giving to those in need, and gathering together with a motley bunch of friends and family for a feast of joy and celebration of the King that came for us.

The trees? The gifts? Take them or leave them as your conscience permits. But gather together and worship. Worship the God who dared to step into our darkness to bring us the light. Nobody can take that from you.

Merry Christmas!

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  1. Beautifully written and many excellent points.

  2. I love your new blog posts (I miss being able to refer back to the ones on minimalism though--hint hint!)! This post is great. Sharing!

  3. Great post, I thing that we forget what's the real meaning of this holiday and waiting for Christmas just for lights and decorations, food and gifts, shopping and this is so sad.

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  4. Yes!!! Thank-you!!! As I am getting older, I am seeing things differently, and I can say that with complete honesty and with love, I am happy for ALL out there. When we show love to everyone, not just the Christians; when we are not out to make the world bend to our thoughts; when we just live and love others, we are really doing what Christ would want us to do. Thanks for this reminder. I'll be sharing this with my friends!

  5. This was such a wonderful read with many "YES" moments! I love that you called out the absurdity of expecting others to share religious aspects of Christmas that may directly conflict with their own beliefs, while convicting us on our own heart focus during this busy commercialized season!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Katelyn! I hope you have a very blessed Christmas!