Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's All About Jesus

I don't know about you, but I am saddened by what Christmas has become.  People know that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ. Even people who don't believe in Him know this.  I was born in the 50s & fondly remember people wishing each other a Merry Christmas, & large nativity scenes displayed in the windows or on the grounds of various businesses.

The PewResearch Religion & Public Life Project published a report today that shows people who consider themselves to be Christians make up 78.4% of this country's population.  More than 3/4 of the people in this country claim to be Christians!!!  So why do we suddenly have "holiday trees" rather than Christmas trees?  Why are people wishing each other a "Happy Holiday" rather than a Merry Christmas?  Why are businesses no longer able to display nativity scenes?  Why do schools now have "winter breaks" rather than Christmas breaks?

Last year parents of children attending the Ralph J. Osgood school on Long Island, New York, were outraged when at the school's Christmas concert, the children sang the beautiful carol Silent Night with ALL references to Christ's birth removed.  I've been listening to the radio & have heard about this happening elsewhere.  What is going on here?!?!?  A nationwide radio station is broadcast here & they start playing Christmas music 24/7 right after Halloween.  I kid you not.  I listened to them off & on for a year or two after moving here.  I knew something was missing, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.  It dawned on me last year.  No real Christmas music.  No Silent Night, no Joy to the World, no Oh Come All Ye Faithful ... nothing like that.  Nothing about the real meaning of Christmas.

The focus of Christmas for too many years has been gimmie-gimmie-gimmie.  Christmas for many people is kicked off by standing in a mile-long line on Black Friday just so they can elbow, shove, & trample each other to get a flat screen TV for $200 ... for themselves!  Christmas commercials encourage buying expensive gifts for friends & loved ones, or worse, gifting yourself!  I saw a Christmas commercial a couple years ago with the catch phrase "Don't you deserve it?"  Another commercial encouraged people to "Do something nice for yourself!"  Sad.  Oh so sad.  

John & I watched a Christmas movie the other night called Guess Who's Coming to Christmas. The family of 4 ... father, mother, son, & daughter ... have the tradition of buying only one gift for the one person in the family whose name they draw out of a jar.  There is a $10 spending limit on the gift. They have this tradition so they can focus on Jesus during the season, not on what they want or what they are going to get.  I indicated to John that I thought this was a nice tradition.  He thought so too.

Jesus is not only the reason for the season ... he is the ONLY reason for the season & the reason for every single day of our life.
Just a little something to think about   : ) 


Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I find the whole thing you describe very weird! In the UK the word "holiday" means a vacation at any time of the year, not at Christmas. We still say Merry Christmas etc, our trees are Christmas trees and we sell advent calendars too. Not just ones with chocolate!
My sons' school does a Christmas performance in the local church with the vicar doing a little talk. We used to do a Christmas play but the new Head felt it took up a lot of time during the term and a carol concert was easier!
Have you been reading the stories on my Advent Calendar this year? I asked about the Best Gift Ever and there is one thing for sure - the true Christmas Spirit is alive and well in Blogland!
You should move to England before it becomes too Americanised. We had "Black Friday" for the first time here this year. Insane!!!

Kaisievic said...

So true, Shirlee!

Vickie said...

Oh Shirlee, I could NOT agree with you more. The funny part is that they don't even realize that when they are wishing Happy Holidays, this means Happy Holy Days. Yep, it is true.

Julie said...

A lovely post. Our local infant school has stopped doing the nativity as 'it's offensive to children of other religions'.......what's that all about, surely we embrace the religion we follow and let others worship there own too. Children need to learn about other faiths.

Terri said...

Oh, well said! I've been thinking the same things, but don't have the way with words that you do! Amen! :-)

Baa. xxx said...

Totally agree!

Pam in IL said...

Most of my family quit exchanging gifts for this very reason.

Kathy L. said...

I so agree with you. It is so sad. I fear that I got caught up in this for too many years while my children were growing. I hope that they will find the true meaning of Christmas and when they have children, make sure they know this as well.


Maggee said...

Been saying/feeling this for quite some time... But it is hard to break people's habits. Especially when they are associated with 'warm and happy' feelings. We just have to pray for our country! Maybe the world (or part of it!!) Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Dear Shirlee

Thank you very much for leaving a nice comment on my blog. It's lovely to meet a new blogging friend.

I agree totally with your post. Christmas seems to begin in September and the shops run Halloween and Christmas displays along side each other. Christmas seems to last for months.
I also worry that because I don't work for health reasons I have to stick to a budget. Adverts (also starting months before ) suggest that we should buy all the latest and expensive presents so that our loved ones have a good day don't help either.

I put my tree up 10 days before Christmas Day and I love the Carol Service on BBC Radio 4. That's when the magic begins for me, the service is beautiful.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and much peace x

Hazel said...

I thank my God that he placed us in a Christian school but even we are under attack from the government at the moment. It's the sign of the times but I am resting in the knowledge that Jesus knows all about it.

Farmhouse prims said...

Hi Shirlee, your post is the absolute truth! And this is the way it is in this country. It makes my heart sad, when we went to school it was the Christmas program, not Winter program, and it was Merry Christmas not happy holiday. I like the idea of name drawing! Jesus is the reason for the season. Hugs, Lecia

Ninnu said...

I agree ♥

Sheryl S. said...

Pleased to find your blog Shirlee, There is a lot of truth in what you say, rather sad.

Judy said...

I agree. I wanted to let you know that there is a radio station here in Denver that plays Christmas music 24/7 and they DO play religious songs. I've heard O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, O Holy Night, etc. We also have a Nativity scene at the City and County building. So maybe all is not lost.

Merry Christmas!