Who Took Christ out of Christmas?

In my local newspaper, someone had written an opinion piece about how, around this time of the year, Christians are calling to “keep Christ in Christmas” or “put Christ back in Christmas,”* which begs the question: Who took Christ out of Christmas in the first place? In other words, at whom can we point the finger? The author of the opinion piece believes that Christians themselves are responsible for the secularization and extreme materialism of the holiday. Christians are still a majority in this country, so they most likely make up a majority of the consumers as well. They probably also make up a majority of the people who line up for Black Friday deals, pushing and shoving to get the latest iWhatever before it’s gone. So, yeah, might as well blame them.

I suppose you could also blame the stores that sell all the latest gadgets and relentlessly bombard you with advertising. After all, they do start setting up their Christmas displays in September. You could blame the liberal media, which is supposedly so anti-Christian. You could even blame Starbucks and that stupid red cup or that creepy Elf on the Shelf.

Basically, you can blame whoever or whatever you want and be correct in your accusation. I think the removal of Christ from Christmas has been caused by society as a whole. No one group or person or institution shoulders all the blame. The purpose of Advent, those four weeks before Christmas, is to reevaluate your spiritual life and get it back on the right track. It doesn’t mean rush around in a crazy attempt to make your holiday perfect enough to post on Pinterest or Instagram. And it definitely doesn’t mean blame everyone and everything for dropping Christ from Christmas. Blame, like candy canes, is a fun indulgence sometimes, but it’ll make you sick if you have too much of it.

*Interestingly enough, removing “Christ” from “Christmas” leaves you with just “mas,” which is really “Mass.” That is not a bad thing. I suppose what I really mean to say is “put the spirit of Christ back in Christmas,” but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Who Took Christ out of Christmas?

  1. Very well said and you echo what I’ve been asking for the last few Advent/Christmas seasons on other social media. Each year it’s the same old memes about Keeping Christ in Christmas and “I’m going to wish everyone a Merry Christmas whether they like it or not!” type of attitude. I’ve yet to have anyone tell me personally that I cannot say Merry Christmas. Just another thing people use to agitate and get angry about.

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  2. This has always been a really interesting topic to me because from what I’ve seen there really isn’t anyone trying to take Christians’ god out of their holiday. Efforts along the lines of saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas are more about inclusion rather than exclusion, so that when Christians start fussing it looks more like a self-fulling prophecy than anything mean-spirited. And speaking as a non-Christian looking in, the whole thing doesn’t do the religion any favors, y’know?

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      • It’s unfortunate too that it’s the loud-mouthed and negative people who are heard most often. Takes twice as much effort from truly decent people for the same impact. Though that’s true of everything and not just religion.

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  3. I concur. People are always searching for that scapegoat, that one specific thing or person to throw vitriol at. I think it’s human nature. Christian or not, every holiday in America has become monetized, more about appearances and competition with family/friends than being about the day’s original purpose. I know not everyone sees holidays that way, but I see it more often than not and I’d rather stay home with family in the holiday spirit than make a big display like the media imposes.

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  4. I’m a bit late on this one, but I recently learned something I thought you’d find interesting. You know how people claim that “Xmas” is taking Christ out of Christmas? Well, it’s not! The “X” is actually indicating the Greek letter “Chi”, which is short for a Greek word [made up of symbols that can’t be pasted here], meaning “Christ”. So “Xmas” and “Christmas” are essentially the same thing!

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