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Where Did Christmas Go?

I wrote this blog and posted it two years ago. It is just as relevant today as it was then.

 

Christmas has come and gone and once again this year, I ask myself, where did December go? But this year, there is a more important question to be asked: “Where did Christmas go?”

The retail industry and the media have banned together (perhaps it wasn’t planned, but they are working hand-in-hand) to take Christ out of Christmas.

It started a number of years ago when someone decided to take the word ‘Christ’ out of Christmas and replace it with an ‘X.’ Thus the word became Xmas.

My employer mentioned the other day that Target has forbidden their employees to say “Merry Christmas.” Apparently, the “powers-to-be” don’t want to offend anyone who may not celebrate Christmas because of their religious beliefs–or the lack thereof. Yet, when you go into a Target store, guess what’s playing over the speaker system? Christmas music.

I suspect other stores have quietly told their employees the same thing – don’t say “Merry Christmas” to the customers. There is a grocery store about a block from where I live and I’m there at least once a week to pick up an item or two. Every time I shopped there during December, the checkout clerks wished me “Happy Holidays.” And I would respond with “Thank you. Merry Christmas!” The clerks didn’t know how to respond:“Do I say something? Do I wish them a Merry Christmas? What if the boss hears me?” and so they stood speechless, looking like a deer caught in the headlights of a tractor-trailer.

President Obama, at the lighting of the great tree at the White House this year, deemed it the “White House Holiday Tree.” No longer is it the White House Christmas Tree. In fact, the President never said the word ‘Christmas’ during the ceremony.

Radio stations that have traditionally played a mixture of secular and religious Christmas music, at about a two-to-one rate—now play secular/religious Christmas carols at about a ten-to-one rate. If you listen closely, you may hear one religious carol in a one hour period.

Light shows around the country are no longer Christmas Light Shows, but are “Winter Wonderlands” or “Holiday Lights,” etc.

Children are no longer out of school on Christmas break, but rather they are on Winter Break.

I’m sure there are other situations like the ones I’ve mentioned, but these are enough to prove my point, which is, the true meaning of Christmas is being lost. It has been a subtle change over the last few years, but this year, it was blatantly obvious.

So, what does it really mean—this removing Christ from Christmas? Who does it impact? Does it make any difference? As Christians, we will always celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas time. After all, He is the “reason for the season.” So it doesn’t impact us, or does it? We must be careful that we don’t get caught up in the commercialism, which is another way of taking Christ out of Christmas. Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t have a problem with giving and receiving gifts. Even Jesus received gifts at his birth. We, and I include myself in this group, need to make sure that in our Christmas rush of buying and wrapping gifts, baking, and entertaining, we take as many opportunities to sit before God and experience His gifts to us during the Christmas season as well as throughout the year.

And maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but what better time than the birth of Jesus to share his love and salvation story with our families and friends who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? However, if we—and again I include myself—don’t take a stand against taking Christ out of Christmas, we will have nothing to witness about.

What can we do? Continue to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas.” Don’t shop at stores who forbid their employees to wish the customers “Merry Christmas.” Write the President. His mailbox should be filled to the point of bursting with letters from Christians protesting his elimination of the word Christmas during any White House celebration, not to mention the discrimination he shows to Christians year-round.

Politicians, media, and the entertainment industry are so concerned about being “politically correct” to everyone but Christians. When are we going to stand up and say “Enough!”

Thanks for allowing me to speak from my soapbox today. Please leave a comment and let me know if you agree or disagree with me—and why.

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Book Review: The Christmas Challenge

JoAnn Durgin has written another #1 best-seller in The Christmas Challenge. And as with all of her books, I was captivated from the first page until the last.

The story takes place in Serendipity, Pennsylvania, where the hero, Donovan, and heroine, Claire, are joint owners of an advertising agency. They had dated for a while, but are now doing only what is required in order to maintain a working relationship. But that is not going to last long. Read the book to find out what happens!

The Christmas Challenge is a sweet love story that will bless you whether you read it now, during the Christmas season, or in the middle of the summer. Just don’t let 2017 go by without reading it! You won’t regret it!

 

 

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Hope Prevails

My dear friend, (whom I know only through FaceBook) Michelle Bengston, has been through so much this year. In the midst of all, her book, Hope Prevails was released. Although we’ve not spoken of this, I would venture to say that when she began writing this book, she was not aware of how much all of us, herself included, would need this book.  If you haven’t read it, the book should be on the top of your list of books to read in 2017.

Michelle posted the comments below on Christmas Eve night. It resonated with me and I asked her permission to share it with you. My prayer for you is that you will know, regardless of your circumstances, regardless of how bleak your life seems to be at this moment, that you will grasp and hang onto the fact that Hope Prevails!

Posted on FaceBook by Michelle Bengston on December 24, 2016.

I’ve got my sick lads tucked in bed, and the house is now quiet, lit up only by the lights on the tree. The tree has only one ornament on it this year, one that says “HOPE.” It’s been a year of sharing the message of #HopePrevails that was only made possible because of the birth of our Savior. 

Yet tonight I can’t help but think of the miracles we are waiting to see come to pass in our family and also thinking of all those I know who are in need of His same touch. The grieving widows and parents. The orphans coming to the table this year missing one or both parents. Single parents trying to make ends meet. Parents of incarcerated children. Those who are divorced, alone, and trying to find a new normal. Those who are estranged from their loved ones. Those in need of physical healing. Those in need of emotional healing. Those in need of financial healing. 

Tonight as I reflect on the significance of the holiday, I’m ever grateful that God didn’t send a president, or an entertainer, or a professor, or a scientist to the world, but instead He sent a Savior who was born in the most lowly of places to save us from our lowest selves, and to show us an unfailing love that isn’t dependent on what we do or who we are but whose we are. 

The greatest miracle was that Jesus would give up His place in heaven to come to save us all before we even knew we would need it. If God would do that out of His great love for us, surely He is able to meet any other need we would have. “He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you can ever dream, imagine, or pray for!” (Ephesians 3:20) Now that is a miracle we can all depend on!
Because of His great love for us, #HopePrevails!