It’s been all over Facebook. Probably the news too. If I could bring myself to watch the news, I guess I would know.
Are we bringing Christmas back? Did it never leave?
What I want to know is what it means to bring Christmas back.
To me, it isn’t about the wording on a card. It isn’t whether a Starbucks cup has a “Christmas” scene or not. (This would be true, even if I had ever been to a Starbucks. Or if I had ever been a coffee drinker.) Frankly, it isn’t even whether a nativity is displayed in the White House.
Oh sure, I’m a sucker for Christmas decorations. For me, one of the best parts of renovating our town’s square was how the black lampposts wrapped in lights and garland look like they’re from a movie. I love all of the different interpretations of nativity scenes – big and small, plastic and illuminated, wooden and painted. And, I confess, although I generally throw out cards for birthdays and anniversaries, I have an overflowing bucket of Christmas cards. Some old enough that you can see families expanding and babies becoming big kids, just by pawing through the stack of cards.
I love Christmas.
But, if we want to bring it back, I don’t think it’s about any of those things.
By setting a date to remember Christ’s birth, we set aside a time to reflect on the greatest gift any of us could ever receive. And it wasn’t bought on Black Friday. It didn’t come with shiny paper or a designer Christmas tree.
It was all about love. Unvarnished. Plain. Unadorned. But so deep.
If we want to “bring back Christmas,” I think we had better start with love. More love for people whose lives and struggles we can’t begin to understand. More love for people who have different opinions and even different beliefs than we do. More love to cover the multitude of sins in the world and in our own lives.
I know I’m guilty of not loving enough. So, today, this Christmas season, I’m going to try to do my part to bring more love…and I suspect I might just find the “real” meaning of bringing back Christmas.