Sadly, each year the list of Scrooges and Grinches grows, as more public spaces remove the vestiges of Christmas during this holy season and new retailers announce policies that replace well-wishes of Christmas cheer with politically correct pap about “happy holidays.” The great irony is that the government seeks to be “inclusive” by turning its back on our Christian heritage and rejecting public appearances of that tradition, and retailers want to downplay Christmas while profiting from the gifts that will be exchanged at this time. It is as if the gift that God gave to man two millennia ago was no different than the latest electronic gadget or that old stand-by, a new sweater, and as if He sent his only Son to earth so we could share eggnog with family members and kiss co-workers under the mistletoe.
But Christmas, as readers of The Interim need no reminding, is about the birth of the Son of God, the coming of Christ Jesus to earth – the greatest gift possible. (“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” – John 3:16.)
We at The Interim are confident that the suppression of Christmas will not last long. In 1649, Oliver Cromwell banned the celebration of Christmas by prohibiting carols and parties, but the English did not long abide his commands and were once again legally permitted public festivities by 1660.
However, the killjoys and Christophobes are at it once again. We leave it to you to decide if what Bloom Elementary School in Rockford, Ill., is doing is silly or offensive, but either way, it demonstrates why Christmas will regain popularity. Since at least 2000, school authorities have prohibited even secular expressions of Christmas, such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman in a school that is 90 per cent Christian. Yet, it permits the celebration of Hanukkah. Such double standards cannot last forever, as Christians increasingly stand for their rights.
So what can you do to save Christmas for Christ? First, do not succumb to the modern, secularist mentality that says spreading Christmas cheer is a sin – if the politically correct elite still believed in sin. Joyfully wish those you meet this month a “Merry Christmas.” Any person who would be offended by such well-wishing, quite frankly, is incorrigible. It should not matter to you that they are offended by goodwill. Just because they deny the “reason for the season,” does not mean that you need to follow their lead.
Also, remind friends and family that the reason we celebrate Christmas is to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. All the staff parties, eggnog, gift giving and Christmas dinners are well and good, but the reason we share this festive time with others is to celebrate the greatest gift of all. And remind society, too. When governments and stores reject Christmas in favour of “the holidays” (which holy day is it that they are promoting, again?), complain to them and write letters to the editor strongly criticizing such decisions. Reminding our fellow Canadians why we celebrate Christmas is not the same thing as foisting our beliefs upon them. We should not be ashamed to share our faith.
Finally, reject Christophobia by refusing to give your business to retailers that will not celebrate Christmas. Many store catalogues and displays recognize the “holiday season,” but do not admit what holiday is being celebrated. Some stores instruct their employees to not wish customers a Merry Christmas.
Bruce Clemenger, of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, says that Canada needs the essential message of Christianity – the peace, love and compassion of Jesus Christ – now more than ever. Pray that Canada becomes receptive to that message, praying specifically that the wonder of the Christ child will proclaim the sanctity of human life to all the world.
All of mankind was given hope when a child was born to a humble couple from Nazareth, a child whose later suffering, death and resurrection would conquer death for good. That is worth celebrating. We cannot acquiesce in the “velvet oppression” of Christians (as Christianity Today once called it) by being silent.
Merry Christmas to you all and have a happy and blessed New Year!