Two big stories in the news the last week or so having to do with preparations for Christmas.
First you may have heard that there's a campaign to "force"stores that have dropped Merry Christmas/Christmas sale for Happy Holidays/Holiday sales to go back to using Christmas.
If you see or get a copy of such a petition do me a favor - delete it, destroy it, throw it away.
The underlying logic seems to be that we need and want Christmas to associated with sales and shopping and gifts.
In fact I would ask ALL the retailers - leave Christmas out of it. While you have every right to run big sales this time of year the close association between merchandising and Christmas is destroying our religious holiday. I want Christmas back. If you're not celebrating the birth of the savior of the world please find something else to celebrate. What the heck, it's already been created. Festivus! Festivus sales and parties and whatever. Then maybe we Christians can really start focusing on the Christ child again.
And in a related story...
We have the various mega churches around the country (mega-churches if you're not familiar with the term are humongous congregations with membership in the thousands. They do everything BIG! That works for some folks but I'm personally not a fan) Several of the better known ones have decided NOT to have a Christmas morning service (which would be Sunday morning) because Christmas is a "family day". Apparently going to church isn't something you do on a family day.
Am I missing something here?
My home congregation WILL have a service Christmas morning (one instead of the usual two, and there's a baptism scheduled!) I'll be honest with you normally I'd be 50/50 on going that morning. Mostly because we do a midnight service and I do a live "narration" of it on a local radio station(being doing it for almost 20 years now). So I won't get home till about 1 AM and technically I'll have been at church on Christmas morning. This year my wife and daughter have duties that morning, and the family will probably like to get a video tape of the baptism service (I and a couple youth take turns operating our video system). We talked about it as a family and have decided that we're just going to sleep in, go to church and open presents AFTER!
Kind of a family day set of activities. I think the churches in question out to be ashamed of themselves and reconsider.