Ok, so I’ll begin with the fact that I’m a Christian. And so for me Christmas is all about Christ. The clue is in the name really; CHRISTmas.
Jesus is the reason for the season. Literally.
And as much as I love Father Christmas, reindeer’s, candy canes and multi-coloured fairy lights, I love Christ more. Because the essence of this time of year is that God sent his only son down to earth, in the form of a cute little baby. To reconcile us to Him.
So what exactly does the giant X stand for? The X that I’ve been seeing all over the place? It’s an abbreviation that really upsets me. Because it physically takes Christ out of Christmas; it wrongly removes him. Yet he should be synonymous with CHRISTmas, because it’s all about him. His birth is the foundation on which we decorate our Christmas trees and eat turkey; His coming is why we pull crackers and exchange presents with our loved ones. Writing C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S out on a Christmas card, or a shop sign or a classroom display should be a privilege not an inconvenience because of all the hope and love that those nine letters convey.
Yet, Jesus is sometimes the forgotten hero, obscured by good old, jolly, ho-ho-ho-ing Father Christmas. And no, Jesus didn’t come dressed in a plush, soft, velvety suit of red with a fur trim. He didn’t ride a sleigh pulled by Rudolph, he certainly didn’t shimmy and squeeze down a chimney either, or leave a whole bundle of glitzy presents in His wake. But He did arrive in the dead of night; humbly. He was born in a stable, surrounded by livestock and proud parents, a star resting over head, Shepherds and Wise Men flocking to see Him.
And if we strip away all the fancy, foiled paper, the ribbons, all the decorations and all the trimmings; there we’ll find Him. If we just look up from our frantic shopping and if we stop huffing and puffing in the ever multiplying queues for just a few minutes, then we’ll see Him. Remember Him even. A baby boy, lying in a manager, crying, helpless and fragile but simultaneously the best super hero, the biggest ransom Mankind will ever know.
Behind all the tradition and the tinsel and the brandy butter and the pigs in blankets, all this revelry is really because of this baby boy, born in a stable. He came to save us and give us a present more spectacular and more wonderful than anything that Santa and his elves could ever leave us on Christmas morning.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3:16
It’s a pretty important and special time of year for Christians. And I just wish that merchandisers, big brands and the UK’s retail giants wouldn’t keep taking Christ out of CHRISTmas. Because that pesky X, marks the spot where He should rightfully be.
I guess, this post is really a reminder for me, of all people, to remember and be extra aware this year, of the true meaning of this wonderful, festive season.