Christmas has arrived once again, and with it comes bargain shopping, home decorating, gift buying and a myriad of charity drives.
In the midst of all of the insanity, the question must be asked: what happened to Christmas?
The first Christmas was simple. Joseph and Mary could not even secure comfortable lodging for the evening. In the filth of a crude structure meant to house livestock, a Savior was born.
There were no gifts. Scholars agree that the magi from the Orient did not arrive and present their gifts until Christ was around two years old. Other than his parents, the only other people around were shepherds.
There was no ornamentation. Green and red were not yet the seasonal colors. Christ’s first crib was a feeding trough. His parents likely had not even had time to bathe after their long trip.
Somewhere in the 2,000 years since that night, the celebration of Christmas has become the largest commercial event of the year. Since Black Friday, stores have been far more crowded than at any other point in the year. Wal-Mart has entire aisles devoted to Christmas candy and decorations. Department stores fill their shelves with all-too-enticing bargains that persuade consumers to indulge in new gadgets, technology and many other trends for the coming season.
As people scramble around and pour huge sums of money into the American economic machine, the simple message Christ meant to bring to the world has been lost.
People will contend that the season was not originally about the birth of Christ, and they will be right. If America wants to have a monstrous commercial celebration of the “Winter Festival,” then so be it.
The tragedy is that Christians, just like everyone else, get so wrapped up in the commercialism that they forget to remember what they are celebrating.
The beautiful message of God’s love is lost as the world stresses out and becomes furious at each other over his birthday party, yet it happens year after year as consumers stand in line for hours, run through stores and fight over who gets the new Playstation.
Christ would want peace on earth, good will toward men and a simple celebration of the greatest gift in history.