Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Don’t Ruin Christmas!

A month ago, in a mall in Charlotte, NC., shoppers were taken by surprise to discover a “Glacier Experience” had replaced the traditional Christmas Tree to feature Santa Clause for their annual holiday pictures. Almost immediately shoppers led protests and social media online went viral with outraged parents bewailing their children’s ruined Christmas. Boycotts ensued....and eventually Simon Malls replaced the glaciers with Christmas Trees. Just weeks after the glacier fiasco, Starbucks made news with a plain red “holiday” coffee cup. Again shoppers went viral online with their anger and accusations that the company was being politically correct and some even suggested persecuting Christians. Starbucks, unlike Simon Malls, has not changed their decision, but it should be noted the Starbucks annual “holiday” cup has never said Merry Christmas, but rather included snowflakes and candy canes designs.

It seems a shame to me that Christians have turned Christmas into such a secular and commercialized holiday, even to suggest somehow shopping mall decorations and coffee cups could ruin Christmas. And let’s not forget the Santa Clause image we see in stores IS and HAS BEEN a commercial endeavor for many decades. The world has long since forgotten the story SAINT Nicholas, the ORTHODOX Christian Bishop of Myra. If anything has ruined Christmas, it has been using Christmas to sell toys and gadgets simply to increase profit margins for large corporations. Twinkly lights and snowflakes hanging from a fur tree don’t “make” Christmas anymore than Santa and his elves make Christmas.

Christmas is the queen of Feasts as Saint John Chrysostom says. Without Christmas, there would be no Pascha, and without Pascha, our life would be in vain. To prepare to celebrate the coming of the Creator of the Universe into creation requires more than lists of good little boys and girls, or waiting in line to sit on the Santa’s lap. It requires prayer, fasting, reading the Scriptures, Holy Confession, remembering and helping the poor, attending Divine Liturgy often, and being prepared to receive Holy Communion – the Body of Blood of Christ – at EVERY Divine Liturgy. If anything can ruin Christmas, it would be forgetting to prepare our soul to receive God.

Fortunately for us, we have another chance this year to “get it right” and worry more about our souls than our Christmas stockings.
  • Serve the Poor
  • Read and Study the Scriptures
  • Fast.
  • Schedule Holy Confession
  • Attend Divine Liturgy OFTEN

1 comment:

Virginia Mejail said...

simple and true expression of how far from the true essence of Christmas we are lead to stray