After recent centuries of focusing on Christ as the “reason for the season,” we seem to be experiencing a trend in our culture to move Christmas away from Christ toward a general season of celebrating family, giving gifts to one another…and boosting retailers’ profits. Santa has taken center stage, with Jesus in a supporting role. Losing the passion and inspiration of Jesus is a tragic development.
Some believers have lamented the loss of “Christ” in the word “Xmas.” But the letter X is not some atheistic cleansing of Christ from the holiday celebrating His birth. X indicates the greek letter chi, which is short for the greek word for Christ. Xmas is, quite literally, Christmas!
We have the freedom to keep Christ at the center of our Christmas. As we “put the X back in Xmas” we can hand down to our children a meaningful tradition to keep holy the celebration of Christ’s birth. What would that actually look like?
Perhaps we could base our own traditions on the virtues modeled by Christ himself: humility, generosity, kindness, faithfulness, mercy, justice, and unfailing love. Not only will Christmas itself look more like Christ, but every day can look a bit more like Christmas.
Christmas is caring for others: the elderly, needy, and homeless.
Christmas is offering shelter to others and welcoming the stranger.
Christmas is protecting the oppressed and defending the defenseless.
Christmas is feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.
Christmas is comforting the broken and bearing one another’s burdens.
We have the opportunity to intentionally make this Christmas a true reflection of Jesus by honoring Him with our giving, and with our living. I suspect that this could be the best gift we could give Him on His birthday.