As a young kid in the 1960's I remember watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade with enthusiasm. I enjoyed seeing the wonderful floats, celebrities, giant balloons, and the marching bands, but I knew at the end of the parade would be Santa Claus! This signified the end of the Thanksgiving Day holiday, and the beginning of the Christmas holiday.
Even though I went to Sunday school at our church and learned about the birth of the Christ child, as a kid, I seemed to pay more attention towards the Santa Claus version. This was because I was always anxious for Christmas morning to arrive so that I could see what Santa had brought me this year!
Being immature, as all kids are, I focused more on what I was getting that day, and not what this day was truly meant to celebrate for. Probably as young Christians, most of us start out on a similar path, and then grow up, never changing our focus for what the day was meant to truly be about. The greed and selfishness of what we was getting or giving became the emphasis for this day.
Business owners are keen to this weakness of ours, and do their best to monopolize on it. The greed and selfishness of their business missing out on a nickel of sales, or the store across the street getting your nickel has become their driving force. With this said, and as the years passed, the start of the Christmas season campaigns started earlier and earlier almost every year. The secular holiday had a firm grip on most of us, and wasn’t about to let go.
I noticed that in the 1970's the Christmas season began rolling out at the beginning of November. Then in the 1980's the commercial blitz was on and the'store displays began showing up right after Halloween at the end of October. The 1990’s kept pushing the start of the commercial Christmas season even earlier, and some displays were starting to appear before Halloween.
At the turn of this century was also the turn of the secular Christmas holiday rush to start yet even earlier. The end September is now the launch for many business Christmas campaigns. Business owners and CEO's are driven to show their stockholders and board members a red arrow that is constantly pointing up on a PowerPoint chart to demonstrate to these people that they are doing their job well.
With this trend, by 2010 we will probably see Santa and his sleigh rolling out at the beginning of the first game in football season, just behind the player name announcements that are at the start of every game.
Whether we are business owners, CEO's, or consumers, we are also Christians, and need to readjust our focus on the true reason for the Christmas celebration. Our emphasis should be on the birth of Jesus Christ.
For business owners, the greed in making more money than we did this time last year seems to be the distracting factor. One passage in the Bible that states it best is Luke 18:24-25 (NCV), “It is very hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle tan for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God". For the individual, the greed and personal selfishness of what we are giving or getting is the distracting factor. Luke 12:15 (NCV) Jesus tells us: “Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. Life is not measured by how much one owns. "
Please don't take the statements above the wrong way. It is ok for us to get gifts, or give gifts to people that we care about during this celebration, as demonstrated by the Magi visiting the Christ child in Matthew 2:11 (NCV), “They came to the house where the child was and saw him with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. They opened their gifts and gave Him treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. "
We also should try performing the best we can at our jobs. We just need to reinstate the true reason for this celebration and de-emphasize the secular version, and also remove our personal greed and selfishness. Romans 2:6 (NCV) tells us: “God will reward or punish every person for what that person has done. Some people, by always continuing to do good, live for God's glory, for honor, and for life that has no end. God will give them life forever. But other people are selfish. They refuse to follow truth and, instead, follow evil. God will give them his punishment and anger. "
The Christmas season statistically shows a high depression and suicide rate, why? This is mainly because of our greed and selfishness. The business person that falls short of their business expectations and goals; The person who gets depressed because the cannot buy the wonderful gifts that they had in mind for their loved ones, all attribute to these rates being very high.
I have personally experienced these feelings of depression and suicide in some of the past Christmas holidays. One year I was unemployed at Christmastime and could not afford to get my family and friends even small presents. Being in such a bad financial position was bound to be a disastrous holiday season for me, with my secular holiday poster firmly in place. This was also the year that I personally changed my viewpoint and put Christ at the center of celebration into my Christmas. That year I experienced for myself the best Christmas holiday that I ever had enjoyed in my life!
From this personal experience, I encourage all Christians to shed the secular emphasis as the center of importance for this holiday, and experience the Christmas celebration as it was meant to be. It will be one that you will never forget.
Family-eStore.com will try to provide you with articles of interest to a Christian and patriotic way of life. The articles are written by Steven Coffman (Owner) of Family-eStore, (National Essay Contest) winner 1969. I praise God for my gifts and His grace, mercy, and blessings that I receive from Him. The Christian articles are only intended to bring you closer in your relationship to our Father in heaven. The Patriotic articles are only intended to show pride and patriotism to our “Land of the free and home of the brave, (The United States of America). I hope that you enjoy and are enlightened by them.