.If you purchase a set of "holiday cookies," this is what it might look like: one can expect to see see green and red icing for Christmas, blue icing for Hannukah, and red, black & green for Kwanzaa. Are those still "holiday cookies" if the package has only green and red? Aren't those called "Christmas cookies?" Is there a problem with labeling them as Christmas cookies?
.What about these new "holiday trees" that I have been hearing about? They look an awful lot like Christmas trees to me. What's the diff? I don't get it.
.Is it because everything that somehow bears the name of Christ is of him or for him? Let us not kid ourselves. Jesus himself said that may will come to him on that day and say "Lord, Lord..." but to some, Jesus will say "depart from me... I never knew you." The Christmas holy day has become a secularized Christmas holiday. I do not see a need to make sure that the name of Christ is stripped away from rich, established tradition.
.So what if we DO see a radical transformation into *The Non-Denominational Secular Thing Buying Period? Shall I tell you what I want to do about it? I want to remember the significance of the incarnation of the second person of the Trinity. I want to be freshly awed by the many, many prophecies that were fulfilled in that one life. I want to connect the dots, and see the necessary relation between Christ's birth and his death and resurrection.
.Some churches will hold services on Christmas day, and some will not do that unless the 25th falls on a Sunday. My own church will have a shorter-than-usual service. (I am not sure how I feel about that.) The Christmas morning tradition in my family is that we do not open gifts until Dad (that's me) opens up the Bible and reads the account of the birth of Jesus. First things first.
.Bottom line? Do not let retailers, popular media or special interest groups dictate how you celebrate Christmas, and be picky about who gets the privilege of informing you about the same. Wise men still seek him.
.P.S. For any of you, who for whatever reason, do not celebrate Christmas... I still wish for you the very best. Let me offer a sincere and well-intentioned "happy holidays" to you and yours.
.* This clever phrase was not my own, but it comes from an article by Sam Biddle entitled The 7 Absolute Worst Tech Gifts to Give This Holiday.