Here we are again in the midst of getting ready for Christmas. The secularization of this religious holy day has reached new heights. Rudolph, Santa Claus and all the beautiful secular music all at least implied that Christmas was the reason for the merriment. Today, though, retailers are trying to convince us to buy, buy, buy not because it is Christmas, but because it is the “holidays.” Christmas trees are being renamed “holiday trees” and any reference to the word Christmas seems to be politically incorrect as though using the term might disturb those of different religions or no religions at all.
Let’s make no mistake about it. Christmas is a Catholic feast. Many Protestant denominations in the past did not celebrate Christmas because they too saw it as a Catholic feast used to Christianize a pagan festival held on December 25th which is true. There would be no secular “holiday” season if not for Christmas.
With that said, I don’t think we can do much to persuade our ever increasing secular culture to put Christ back into Christmas. But persuading Catholics to keep Christ in Christmas is another thing. Make sure your Christmas cards are Christian, not secular. Make sure you greet people with the term “Merry Christmas,” not “happy holidays.” Make sure you decorate your house with the crèche. There’s nothing wrong with secular Christmas music and the other mythological aspects of Christmas that capture young people’s minds, but make sure everyone in your household, especially the young, know why we decorate, why we shop, and why there is so much merriment at this time of year. It is because Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God became incarnate of the Holy Spirit and was made Man. He came to save us from our sins and from eternal death and damnation. He came to open the gates of heaven for those who respond to Him and pick up their cross and follow Him. As stewards, we share gifts in gratitude for the ultimate gift God has given to us in Jesus Christ!
As good stewards during this Advent season, let us make a concerted effort to keep Christ in all our celebrations during this “Holy Day” season. Let us do so by meditating more on the reason for the birth of Jesus Christ, praying more frequently and offering God our gifts of time, talent and treasure for the material and spiritual needs of Holy Mother Church and all her ministries.