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We have a rule in my home; when writing, we don’t write Christmas as
“X-mas” because we don’t believe in taking “Christ” out of “Christmas.”

In fact, to do so is the worst form of hypocrisy; the reason for all
the sales, the office parties, the days off from school and work, and
the family get-togethers is because, on Dec. 25, Christ Jesus was born.

Not “X Jesus” or, in modern terms, “Jesus X.”

Yet all around us we see evidence of an increasingly secular American
society working overtime to remove Christ (and, in effect, Christianity)
from the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior.

Legal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union sue cities and
individuals who “dare” to put up Christian Nativity scenes in public.

Traditional Christmas music has been rewritten to omit words like
“Baby Jesus” and “Christmas” itself, replaced by nondescript terms like
“the little baby” and “the holidays.”

To many American adults, Christmas is little more than an
unanticipated time of the year when they must spend lots of money they
don’t have to brave rude crowds and store clerks to buy gifts. To many
children, Christmas is little more than a chance to open those gifts and
“get stuff.”

Christmas is also a time of blatant hypocrisy in a “multi-ethnic”
society; even many who don’t believe in God and Jesus Christ have no
crisis of conscience when electing to celebrate this time of year in
traditional Christmas fashion.

All of this happens because our secular society has been too
successful in removing Christ from Christmas.

Our Lord and Savior’s birthday is not about sales and gifts and
lights and days off; it’s about counting and appreciating the blessings
we’ve been given by God. It’s about recognizing that He sent His son, in
the form of man, to this earth He created to show us there is a better
way and a better life — now and ahead.

The problem is, most of us are simply too busy or too uninterested to
notice or appreciate this most precious of all gifts — life
itself.

We all realize and understand that, in a secular world, businesses
must sell goods to survive and provide a living for owners and
shareholders. We know that in our busy lives, escaping the rat race even
for a few days is a “gift” of utmost value. We know that parents buy
gifts for their children because they love them. And we realize that not
everybody looks at the Christmas season the same way we do.

But despite these realities, what harm could come from slowing down
and taking stock of the true meaning of the Christmas season?

Even for non-Christians, the message of Jesus’ birth — which
represents new life for all humanity — ought to be comforting and
encouraging.

At a minimum, it ought to mean more than finding the next blue-light
special or waiting out the crowds at the Wal-Mart “returns” counter.

In general, America has been blessed by God’s gifts more than any
other nation in history. But with each new success, each new rise
in the stock market, each new automobile model year, Americans seem to
appreciate these gifts less while, at the same time, selfishly demanding
more of them — as if it were our inherent right.

It’s not.

Christmas — in celebration of the birth of Jesus — comes once a
year as a reminder to all of us that there is more to life than material
comforts and personal gratification. Jesus’ birth demonstrates that life
itself is an invaluable gift.

But if we remove Him, we remove the greatest gift of all — life
itself.

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