Is there a battle to "save" Christmas?
It seems today that many Christians claim there is a "war on Christmas." I find the terminology curious because war usually connotes those who take sides in the battle and are clear which side they are on. Yes, there are many "businesses" that wish to keep their customer base broad so they try to avoid seeming exclusive to one group or tradition. Yes, there are polititicians who have the same motivation. Yes, many of them are Catholic and Christian. And yes, there are secular organizations who are trying to keep "the season" without the "reason".
It is sad that we have reached this point but it is time for Christians to admit that we may well be part of the problem. Consumerism and capitalism have turned Christmas into a profit motive. For most of Christian history, gift-giving was not at the heart of Christmas and gift-buying was not the way to celebrate Advent. Yet most Catholics and Christians continue to fall prey to the consumerist and capitalist process. We are vicitims of social engineering and we have now claimed the "gift" aspect of "the season" as our own. We think there is a war because the business that takes our money or the politician who received our vote will not use the word Christmas. And we continue to spend the money and cast the votes acting as if the consumer version of "the season" was our idea.
The real problem is the number of Catholics and Christians who have been convinced that Christmas is about gifts and parties. I often tell people that I refuse to go to a Christmas party until it is the Christmas Season and I get some of the most interesting looks. Many Catholics do not realize that there is a Season of Christmas that begins on Christmas Day. They are already celebrating it.
In this regard, anyone who even suggests that we end the "Santa" lie or return to a Christmas without presents is labeled a scrooge. Yet it is high time we reclaim the Feast for what it is -- a celebration of the Birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Our preparations should not be wasted in malls and online stores. Every Christian should be on his or her knees in a church preparing for the immanent Second Coming. Until such time, we, as followers of Jesus Christ, will have to accept that the war is not being waged from without but from within... Come Lord Jesus!