It’s that time of year again. Every store I walk into has sections that are covered in green and red. There are Christmas trees, lights, ornaments, kitchen towels with snowmen on them and front door mats with Santa on them.
And often all of these types of Christmas decorations are conveniently located right next to aisles of gifts and toys for all ages (including adults). All these gifts and toys are located next to the Christmas decorations just so people don’t forget what the true meaning of Christmas is.
(Yes, the sarcasm is dripping right down my chin.)
Do you celebrate Christmas? Do you consider yourself Christian? How would you feel if on Christmas day you didn’t get one present to open? And what would make you happier on Christmas, getting showered with presents or love?
Would you let your aunt save money on the clothes she was going to buy you for Christmas if she just promises to love you like crazy instead?
The celebration of Christmas should be the celebration of Christ. I wonder out of all the people who will be celebrating Christmas this year how many of them even know what city Jesus was born in. And if they know what city he was born in, how many people know why Mary and Joseph had to go there to begin with?
Christmas isn’t all about religion; it’s also about historical fact. And the best present you could give to anyone this year is a lesson in history. Toys or gifts people get will eventually break or become an item that just needs a place to be stored. Learning about Jesus can change a life … forever.
When people learn about Jesus they learn about the epitome of selflessness and love.
But Jesus has competition on Christmas. And who is stealing His sunshine? Nicholas of Myra, a saint and a Bishop of Myra. Saint Nicholas…
Saint Nicholas was also known as Sinterklaas and that transformed into the modern day Santa Claus.
And who really gets more attention Christmas morning, Santa Claus or Jesus? Who really provides better gifts, Nicholas of Myra or Jesus? I’d bet you an arm and a leg that Nicholas wouldn’t want his name or his gift giving tradition getting in the way of the remembrance of Jesus; not even for a moment.
The Sinterklaas feast used to be an occasion where money could be put into poor people’s shoes. Over time this tradition changed into children putting their shoes by the fireplace and gifts being put into them. That tradition has transformed still and now children hang stockings by the chimney with care (“in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there”).
If people want to remember Nicholas of Myra that’s just fine with me. Personally though I’m finding it difficult to understand why this man is being celebrated at the same time and almost at a cost to Jesus Christ.
But if people are going to celebrate Saint Nicholas the gift giving should be akin to the giving that took place at the early Sinterklaas feasts. People should be helping the poor. And while this giving can be a remembrance of Nicholas’ giving ways it should be fully attributed to Jesus.
Again, the giving should be centered on the poor or the less fortunate. It does a child of a well-to-do family little good to spoil them with presents. If you’re not aware, to spoil is to turn rotten (which isn’t a good thing).
And in my opinion, if there’s an adult in your life that would be upset at you for not getting them a gift, they’ve already turned rotten.
Now that’s not to say that exchanging presents with loved ones is a bad thing, but I do think people have lost focus on what’s important in life. I do think many people are over-indulgent. And I hate to think about how many people are stretching their budgets this year just so they can buy a gift that really doesn’t have that much value.
So save your money for the poor or needy. Let’s put the Christ back in Christmas. Show the people around you that a true gift is one of love. And if you give your love sincerely … no present could ever replace that.
All my love…