Christians and Holidays: What Are We So Worked Up About?
Tis the season. The season of our Lord and Savior’s birth. Or, more importantly, the season of us Christians ready to bulldoze any and all retailers that will tell us to have “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. The time where we spend time voicing our anger over whatever store deciding to open up on Thanksgiving for customers to shop in.
Ah yes…the time of year when everything is about Jesus, and at the same time it’s all about what we want and how we want it and when we want it. Yes, the time of baby Jesus and Black Friday specials, so long as those specials don’t start early on Thanksgiving, because that must be some form of retailer ethics violation.
I’ve said it for years now: it won’t be long until many stores beyond just Target and Old Navy will be open on Thanksgiving and probably even Christmas. Like it or not, we’re in a society that loves to shop.
But can we stop it with the grumbling and moaning over places looking to earn a profit deciding to do so on a holiday?
So you say your concern is for the Toys R Us cashier that can’t spend Thanksgiving with her family. But I guess that doesn’t apply to the waitress serving your Easter lunch meal after church? Or the Target employee that is frantically searching the backroom on Christmas Eve for some last minute gift you waited to get someone? Or maybe the gas station attendant who spends 12 hours on a Thanksgiving day dealing with people perhaps like yourselves who didn’t go fill up their tanks the day before.
No, it’s better if we raise our banners of protest against all things consumerism because we’ve suddenly reached the holidays and feel the need to play our “anti-materialism” card, and make sure everyone knows it.
My question would be this: are you buying a gift for someone this year? Are you decorating your house with lights and ornaments and advent calendars?
For years and years we’ve been perfectly content with Black Friday. The name itself implies it is solely about profit for big businesses. We’ve been okay with getting up seemingly not long after our heads hit the pillow to go grab some incredible deal along with roughly hundreds of other people. We’re cool with spending insane amounts of time in line waiting, waiting, waiting to get in and get the last (fill-in-the-blank) electronic or household item on the shelf that’s marked half off.
But now that some stores have decided to open on Thanksgiving day, roughly some 12 hours before we ourselves will be chasing deals, a crime has been committed?
Please, please, please can we stop being Christians that are constantly known for the things we stand against? Can we become those who don’t sneer at a greeter giving us the “happy holidays” salute, but rather exchange the same greeting to them and encourage them with love?
Can we, this holiday season, stop criminalizing retailers and instead admit our own enjoyment at getting a great deal? Can we be one of the few customers that strolls through checkout lines giving warm smiles and showing our appreciation to the single mom ringing up our needless purchases?
Can we, THIS year, be ones that stand out among a crowd as joyful, ones that know this season is not about the gifts we’re waiting in line to buy, but rather the gift God has already given us?
Can we now put down the protest signs of holiday jeer and put on the love of Christ?
If your happiness this season is depending on proud retailers exclaiming their refusal to open on Thanksgiving, then that’s cool. Spend your day gorging on turkey and other unhealthy foods while sitting down and watching football. Then you’ll REALLY show those evil Thanksgiving retailers what’s up.
Or maybe you could experience the joy and hope and extraordinary love of Christ that has already been given to you and isn’t tied to only one day or one season. Maybe today you could be thankful for what He has done for you, and not for what you think the secular world is doing to you.
Bottom line: Christ was born in a manger from the womb of a virgin, then died on the cross for your ugly sins and mine. He then completely obliterated death by raising from the grave. That’s a fact that is amazing and true and wonderful 365 days a year.