- A nativity scene is forced off a public place because of a lawsuit.
- Store employees forced to say "Happy Holidays" instead of Merry Christmas.
- Someone stealing baby Jesus from a church nativity scene.
- Children not being allowed to wear red and greed or holiday attire at school.
Oh, I know there are those who are truly concerned that Christian values are under attack, and that we should fight back with all of our might. But I would like to submit to you that the real war against Christmas has been going on a long, long time, and the things we see now are simply logical manifestations of what many in our nation have allowed Christmas to become.
For instance, I believe we started losing the war on Christmas when the day became more focused on getting the perfect gift (for the one's you love) instead of celebrating the receiving of the gift of Jesus.
I believe we started losing the war on Christmas when the day became more focused on generating the perfect setting with the perfect family atmosphere, with the perfectly prepared meal (works/righteousness) instead of simply celebrating what God has done for us in the midst of family and friends--no matter what the external things might be (grace).
I believe we started losing the war on Christmas when many bought into the idea that one should not have any space left under the tree because the presents had take up all the room, instead of the idea that quality instead of quantity is important.
I believe we started losing the war on Christmas when we became more worried about whether or not someone would like the gift we gave them instead of simply enjoying the ability to give.
I believe we started losing the war on Christmas when we became more interested in what kind of things we could buy for cheap and what kind of sales were going to take place instead of taking an interest in the free gift of grace initiated by God's intervention in the world through Jesus.
Indeed, in many cases, Christians have led the charge (and charged a hell of a lot) to "make Christmas special" by decorating, and baking, and shopping, and running around, and wrapping, and worrying and fretting, and what have you. We have failed to realize that Christmas is special in and of itself--regardless of gifts, and meals, and cards, and wrappings, and decorations, and what have you.
Dr. Seuss tried to make that point in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." You can't steal it. It's an impossibility. Yet, in our efforts to make it absolutely special and overwhelming and the "best Christmas ever," we've managed to steal much of the joy out of it.
And I have become more and more convinced, winning the war on Christmas does not mean fighting to have nativity scenes placed in public places; or allowing Christmas carols sung in school programs; or convincing people to say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays." I am convinced, the war on Christmas can only be won by a change in our hearts--a monumental shift in focus--from what I have to do to what God has done, is doing, and will do. If we, as Christians, set our hearts on this, then we have no worries or concerns about what is going on with schools or stores or in public places; for we carry the joy of Christmas within us as we remember the babe who lay in a manger also lives in our hearts.