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. 🙂