I’ve noticed an interesting change in the most frequently asked question in the days following Christmas. As a kid growing up, my parents asked the question that I subsequently asked all my buddies: ‘Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas?’ From my parents, I suppose the query was meant to justify the stretching of the family budget to make sure that the deep-pocketed guy in the red suit always came through for the ‘good’ kids.
My friends and I couldn’t wait to ask each other the same question. For me, I wanted to know if they made out as well as I did, or perhaps my motive was a little less pure. Maybe I wanted to have the opportunity to gloat some if they didn’t. Regardless of my true intention, the question: Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas was asked seeking a quantifiable answer.
As adults, the question changes to, “How was your Christmas,” or for the more politically correct, “How was your Holiday?” It seems to be the most common of greetings in the week between Christmas and the New Year. We ask friends, neighbors, bank tellers, just about everyone meet. In some ways, I suppose we’re still looking for that quantifiable something. Perhaps we ask as a means to justify and commiserate about the frenzied shopping most have recently completed. Whatever the reason, asking how things went on or about the 25th of December is a long way from what I believe the celebration is meant to be all about.
“How was your holiday,” in my opinion, takes more than the word Christ out of the question, it implies that He isn’t even in the mix. The true meaning of Christmas ought to exclude any idea of attempting to justifying our actions by the putting of a hard number on them. I realize that much has been said, more eloquently than I am able of producing, regarding the commercialization of Christmas. I won’t attempt to add any more to it except to say that God choosing to break into human history through the miraculous birth of His Son is slightly more important than any great deal you might have found at the mall.
I will take the opportunity to rephrase the question in question from ‘How was your holiday’ to: Who was Jesus to you on December 25th? I’d love to hear from you.
Blessings to all and thanks for reading,