To many, it’s probably surprising–even irritating–that a former pastor would declare that he hates Christmas. I just have to be honest. In actuality, it’s not really Christmas that I hate. More to the point, it’s what Christmas has become that draws my ire.
Several of my friends have posted an article entitled, “In Case You Missed It: Christmas is About Jesus, the Birth of the Christ.” At one point, I sarcastically commented, “Yikes! When did that happen?” The sad part is that it seems almost necessary to remind people of that reality. It IS about Jesus—or, at least, it used to be.
Lost in the Shuffle
Somewhere along the way, Jesus seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. The shuffle I speak of is daily life. Or maybe I should say, holiday life. I’m no expert, but it seems to me that Christmas should be a simple time. It should be a time of worship, family, warmth, and learning. For many—if not most—it has become a time of stress, excessive spending, crowded calendars, and no worship. The only learning that takes place is the knowledge that we’re broke.
I can see how things have gotten out of control so easily. After all, giving presents is a good thing. Still, the whole present thing has become the god of Christmas. That’s easy to spot considering the fact that slews of non-Christians celebrate the season. Unfortunately, Christmas without Christ is merely Mas. My Spanish friends can tell you that mas means more. That about sums it up. We give and get more each year. Frankly, it appears we’re having a lot less fun doing it.
Somewhere along the way, the church chose December 25 to celebrate Christ’s birth. We don’t know when his birth actually occurred, but I suppose December 25 is as good a day as any. While celebrating the birth of the Savior seems like it should be a bigger and better celebration, say, than that of our own birthdays, I’m going to go out on a limb to suggest that Jesus isn’t overly pleased with the way we go about it.
All I Want for Christmas
One of the things that brought all this up for me is the fact that there are now radio stations that play nothing but Christmas music that has nothing to do with Jesus. If these stations were your only source of knowledge concerning the holiday, you would think we celebrate snow, trees, and chestnuts.
I especially took note this year of the old Mariah Carey song, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” That’s all you want? Another human being? Frankly, that seems like quite a lot. Subjugating another human being just doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of the season.
I encourage you to, at the very least, take a little time to read one of the Christmas stories from Scripture (Luke 2:1-20 or Revelation 12) and ponder it for a few moments. It might make all the difference for you this year.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]