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Sunday, December 8, 2013

CHRISTmas for the CHRISTian!

The Lord was speaking to my heart about how we, as Christ followers, celebrate the birth of our Savior that Holy Night thousands of years ago. Why do I get sucked into what everyone else does or expects during a time that should be sacred to the Believer?
The awe of Jesus' birth has been replaced with awe of Santa Claus...the treasured gifts of the wise men have been replaced by mountains of gifts under our trees...the wonder and fear of the shepherds that Holy Night has been replaced by the wonder and fear of missing out on a one night sale...and The Spirit of CHRISTmas has been replaced with the Magic of the Holidays.

We live in a country that has commercialized Christmas; therefore, the TRUE meaning has been belittled and even cast out of our society. We say, "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" and celebrate with Santa, elves, decorated trees, lights, outdoor pop-ups, and presents galore. We're willing to go into debt, and not pay our bills just to buy more stuff and call it "celebrating" Christmas. Oh, and then, we add a little "baby Jesus in the manger" nativity set and even attend a Christmas service just to suffice our Christian religion.

But what if there were no Christmas trees, decorations, lights, Santa and his elves, no presents...What would the American Christmas look like? Would there be a "Christmas spirit" or would the holiday seem bleak? Unfortunately, I believe that if we did not celebrate the commercialized holiday, there would be a "dark cloud of Holiday despair" among Americans, yes, even Christians.

I have personally experienced this, "dark cloud of Holiday despair" when we couldn't afford the gifts our children put on that infamous list. As a parent of four, I often do whatever it takes to make Christmas special for my kids, and I get stuck in "commercial land" and believe they will only be happy with lots of gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.

I even went back in time to my own childhood, where a single mom on welfare raised her kids to the best of her ability and resources. I remember when we didn't have presents under the tree, and I thought Santa only visited the rich kids, or I must have been on Santa's naughty list A LOT! This commercialized holiday we call Christmas, has become a time of depression for many adults and sadness for children for various reasons.

Worst of all, when people from other countries see our Holiday celebrations throughout the month of December, they believe we are celebrating the coming of the New Year...How sad to think that we have become so materialistic that this once Christian nation is no longer shining forth the birth of God's One and Only Son, Jesus. Instead we scream "Bigger is Better", accumulate as much stuff as you can and if your home can't fit it all, go out and rent a storage unit...SAD!

How do you feel about our commercialized American Christmas? How do you and I make it truly about Christ and His Holy Birth? When it's all said and done, The Greatest Gift you and I can give to a hurting world is the True meaning of CHRISTmas lived out in our lives, after all we are CHRISTians!

I hope I am not the only one who feels this conviction??

"Oh Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining
 It is the night of our dear Savior's birth"

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