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Take _________ Out of Christmas

As Americans living in a foreign country with access to American media via both television and the Internet, we sometimes wonder if we have an accurate picture of what is taking place at home. Perhaps we can more accurately assess things because we are more detached. But perhaps we don’t have all the information, or balanced information, thus our assessments may not be always on the money. It was definitely interesting to observe an election from the outside for the first time.

Those who are astute, probably saw the previous paragraph for what it was: a disclaimer; not about the election, but about our ability to assess things accurately. That said, this is my observation: as the world increasingly wants to separate itself from things Christian, we as Christians want to increasingly try to reign them back in. Renee’, what in the world are you talking about now? No, I’m not just rambling as I wait for the pizza dough to rise. I do have a point.

I see and hear people talking about the need to “Keep Christ in Christmas.” As more and more places of secular employment move from “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” and as our cities are allowed to put up “Holiday trees” instead of “Christmas trees,” I understand the frustrations.

However, I can’t help but wonder if the issue isn’t that we are insisting on non-believers keeping Christ in Christmas. Perhaps we need to address what we as believers take out of Christmas. We know that the Holidays are becoming increasingly secularized. Could the reason be because those of us who profess to follow Christ have allowed the secular in first? Perhaps we need to ask ourselves: what is the most important thing about Christmas for us? If we answer “Christ”, we must honestly assess how we spend our holidays and ask if that is what others see in us. It is so easy to allow other things to be most important. Obviously, that includes gifts and material things. Could it be the food? Family? Traditions? Sentimentality?

Our family deliberately never celebrated Santa Claus for this reason. There can only be one center, and we knew we would never be able to keep Christ there with Santa around. That is what we had to take out in order for Christ to be where He ought to be during the Holidays. I invite you to join me in asking God if there is anything in our lives that needs to go --- “Take ________ out of Christmas.” Only then can Christ truly be the center.

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