Dare to Call it Christmas Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? - a Christian Devotional By Debra Torres
When my boys were little and attending a public school in Virginia, I noticed they came home with a lot of information about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa at Christmastime.
Guest speakers came into their classrooms to talk about the holidays, and they would make crafts of the menorah and have information on the foods and
activities of the Kwanzaa celebration.
Now explaining Jewish and African-American holidays was all well and good with me, but there was one thing my boys never came home with -- the explanation of the Christian celebration of Christmas.
And that bothered me.
Although my boys had their fill of Christmas knowledge from their Sunday school classes and our own teaching at home, why couldn’t they hear about the celebration of Christ’s birth at school? Especially since they were hearing about other winter holidays already.
And that’s when I decided to do something about it.
Talking privately with each of my boys’ teachers, I asked if I could come into their classrooms and talk about the Christian Christmas.
It turned out that one of my son’s teachers was a Christian and was delighted to have me share.
The other one was a bit fearful about me bringing Jesus into the school. And both told me they would have to “run it by the principal.”
I think it helped that the principal was a pastor’s wife.
The book used the common candy cane to share the story of Jesus’ love starting with its shape that resembled a shepherd’s staff and moving on to its “stripes” saying they represented the shed blood of our Savior.
In the increasingly secularization of Christmas in our media and in our government, it’s becoming quite common now to see the word “Christmas” abandoned.
While I understand that people are trying to “include” all beliefs into the holiday celebration, there’s something I can’t quite shake.
This season marks the birth of our Savior. And that’s why Christians celebrate it. Period.
If we take apart “Christmas” we find it to be a compound word that originated from “Christ’s Mass.”
Since the beginning of the 4th century, Christians have been celebrating Christmas as a holy time of remembrance of the birth of Jesus.
And in Handels’ Messiah we hear the Christmas message loudly proclaimed: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. … And His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”
And we’re just supposed to sit back and let that be taken away from us?
Last week, a friend of mine received an employee email inviting him and his coworkers to attend a gathering to decorate their “Holiday Tree” at work.
Now my friend, a Christian believer, took offense to that. Since when, he wondered, has the traditional evergreen been called a “Holiday Tree”?
You and I both know that my friend could have sat back and let that one slide. Who cares if they change the name right? It’s still a friendly gathering where maybe they’ll sing some secular holiday carols and enjoy some holiday cookies…
You can see where this is leading right? If we take out Christ’s mass – then who have we not invited to the holiday gathering?
And if they take out the true meaning of the celebration – what are we left with?
A whole lot of nothing.
I think it’s a stand worth taking folks.
Here are some Bible verses that'll help you on your journey:
Romans 1:16-17 New International Version 1984
16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
2 Timothy 1:8-9 English Standard Version
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
1 Corinthians 1:18 King James Version
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.