Christmas is a Christian holiday. Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday. Kwanzaa is an African American/African Diaspora holiday. If you don’t agree with the religion or culture, don’t celebrate the holiday. Furthermore, if you don’t agree with what the holiday stands for, don’t try to change the holiday. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
As for us Christians, let’s celebrate Christmas the way God would want us to.
1. Say “Merry Christmas.”
There is nothing wrong with wanting to spread Christmas cheer while publicly acknowledging that you are of Christian faith. I never knew it was offensive to believe in something others don’t… So no, I don’t think you are being a bully by saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”
2. Go to Church.
It’s easy to get caught up with the presents and spiked egg nog, but don’t forget about church. This is where you can tone down your greed and remember its the giving holiday. At church you forget about asking “Santa Baby” for a ring (not on the phone) and remember to celebrate the birth of Jesus (the real reason we’re celebrating). So get off your butt and go to church – you won’t regret it.
3. Read the Christmas story out of the Bible.
My family always opened presents from each other on Christmas Eve after church (Christmas morning was reserved for Santa presents only). But before any of the presents were passed out, my mom would open up the Bible to Luke 1:26-38 & 2:1-20. My brothers and I would take turns reading paragraph to paragraph out loud. I can’t tell you how much this set a humbling mood for not only opening presents, but the holiday itself. Try it out this year. I would recommend reading the NIV Bible. The King James Version can be a struggle to understand, especially for kids.
4. Give to charity – money, toys, clothes, food, animals, etc.
Growing up, we weren’t always able to afford Christmas presents, so we would receive gifts from organizations like Salvation Army. To this day, I still remember every single present I got from those perfect strangers. Sometimes it was an awesome present, other times I was disappointed – but something is better than nothing. Make a difference in someone else’s life this year. One of my favorite ways to celebrate giving is through websites like worldvision.org. You can purchase, or contribute to a purchase, of animals like chickens, goats, cows and donkeys. It’s the kind of gift that keeps giving. With chickens, a family can enjoy protein in eggs daily, goats and cows provide milk, cheese, & yogurt… and donkeys help lighten the load for transporting supplies. There are other non-animal options like fishing kits, clothing, shelter, fresh water, medical supplies, etc. Do some research and give something you would want to receive.
The way you receive things say just as much about you as the way you give. Don’t thank just the person, or the money responsible for giving you the gift, but thank God for placing those people and privileges in your life. Not everyone is as fortunate as us, so keep in mind how privileged you really are. Don’t get greedy – appreciate the little things.