As Christmas is rapidly drawing near, I can't help but get excited. It all began with my family's annual viewing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on Thanksgiving, and I've been having visions of sugarplums in my dreams every night since then. The holidays render the majority of humanity in good spirits -- I honestly can't express my love of the holiday season enough.
Being raised in the Bible Belt has given me a unique view on Christmas, though. Everything is about "Christ" down here. Now, don't get me wrong -- I was raised a Christian, and I am still a Christian. However, I don't think of Christmas the same way that my 1,400 Facebook friends do. I don't go a day in December without seeing the following posts:
- Put "Christ" back in Christmas!
- I hate it when people say "happy holidays." It's "Merry Christmas," folks!
- Gosh, it gets on my nerves when people say "X-mas." Stop trying to take Christ out of Christmas, guys!
Besides the fact that the letter X is an ancient symbol for Christ used in the original recordings of the Bible, all of these statements are absurd to me. Yes, I, as a Christian, can greet people with "happy holidays," because there are other holidays than Christmas around this season (shoutout to Hanukkah!). And why do you insist that people are taking Christ out of Christmas? You can't! If you're truly the Christian you claim to be, you should realize that Christ literally is Christmas.
One of the fundamentals of Christianity is that we must share Christ with others who don't believe in him because Christ is available to everyone. So why should Christian believers, Christian believers only, have a monopoly on Christmas? We absolutely should not. You see, if Bible Belt Christians would step back for a minute, they would truly see something very Christ-like going on all around them... even in those families that are not Christians.
Christmas is love. Christmas is joy. It's happiness, it's peace, it's family, it's feasting, it's gift-giving, it's beautiful and it's red and it's green and it's Bing Crosby. Besides the last few things that I mentioned -- red, green and Bing Crosby -- don't you see that my description describes Jesus Christ just as easily as it describes Christmas? I don't care what you are -- black, white, straight, LGBTQ, Christian or not -- I'm thrilled if you celebrate Christmas. The feeling you feel, whatever your religion, when you are with family and friends is the same feeling I feel in my faith. This holiday is a Christian witness that has a hold on most of America. And to be quite honest, I don't feel comfortable holding my Christian holiday away from people who don't believe in Christ.
Have a blessed Christmas, whatever you believe. The next time you complain about the status of Christ in Christmas, think again. I want you to know that this little teenager thinks that Christ is much more present than you may realize.