Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more. —Dr. Seuss (1904-1991), from How The Grinch Stole Christmas
For hundreds of years, the world has been in a culture war for possession of Christmas Day. It’s worth noting that December 25 was originally an ancient pagan holiday in northern Scandinavia. The sun completely disappeared during those winter months, and they thought that if they threw a really good party, the sun would be inclined to return in the spring. For thousands of years, it seemed to work pretty well, so we kept it up. The truth is, we really don’t know the date of Christ’s birth, yet atheists, Christians, humanists, and polytheists all seem to find new things to fight over every year about who owns this day. And the only ones who really seem to be winning are the big box retailers!
Maybe all the bickering is misguided. I think my dad, Stuart, puts things in an interesting perspective:
The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.
As important as Christmas is to many of us as a holiday, shouldn’t it pale in comparison to who Christ is in us every day?!
Father, give me the wisdom to choose my battles wisely. Above all things, may the eternal, supernatural, divine Spirit of Your Son, Jesus Christ, overwhelmingly supersede the annual, sentimental, human spirit of Christmas. Amen.