This was a special day, because it officially launched the countdown to Christmas Day. The coming weeks would be filled with baking special treats, Dad hanging lights around the house, practicing for the Christmas Program at Church, and best of all, blowing 11 months of dust off the Nat King Cole album and playing "O Come All Ye Faithful" -- ah yes, that velvety voice!
The Christmas season has always been that time of year when you could count on a wholehearted feeling of joy and peace among everyone, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ garnished with everything good in life. When I was growing up, it was something everyone celebrated, as far as I was concerned.
Looking back, some 35 years later, I don't really recall the point at which I realized there was whittling away of this precious day -- but there is no mistaking the annual "Holiday" movement nowadays. My best guess is it started sometime around the launch of the Cabbage Patch Kids. Remember those lovable little dolls that somehow became hard to find, just weeks before Christmas, creating one of our first glimpses of chaotic consumerism.
I must admit, at the time, I was amused watching nightly news stories that featured clips of 50 or so parents clawing the store manager to get one of the 10 or 15 dolls that arrived on the delivery truck the night before.
But, sometime between the Cabbage Chaos and the invention of modern day "Political Correctness", a movement spawned to devalue the one celebration that brings peace and joy to millions, if not billions of people, around the world. A celebration so powerful that caused a temporary truce in the middle of a World War; and transcends political, social, cultural and economic differences that plague society 11 months out of the year. All because of one word: "Christmas" ... the very word that defines the celebration.
I'm amazed by the offensive worrying the media and big business have injected into mainstream society to protect a seemingly powerful, yet non-existent group that is annually traumatized by hearing or reading very word "Christmas". Exactly where are these victims?
Lets face it, unfortunately, it's not that hard to find someone who hates Christians and is hungry for a moment of publicity to tout his or her hatred. And, the media, with their "ratings-by-controversy" approach to journalism, is all too willing to present this as if it's an epidemic on the verge of dismantling human existence. You will never convince me that one ounce of harm is caused to anyone reading or hearing the very word: "Christmas".
However, if by chance I'm missing the plight of an unknown entity that is, in some way, emotionally rattled by reading the word "Christmas", that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Why? Because ultimately it's causing them to question their own faith and make a decision to follow Him or not. And, if the offended victims hate me for it, I'm in good company because Jesus was hated, too -- remember Jesus said: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." John 15:18
So here it goes, again:
I'M KEEPING CHRIST in CHRISTmas ... Who's with me?