Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Christ on Christmas

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Christ on Christmas

Article excerpt

For a story with such humble beginnings--a young couple, a newborn, and a stable--we sure have piled on the glitz. Seemingly unsatisfied with angels and kings, we've added in Santa, reindeer, presents, elves (indeed the entire North Pole), Christmas trees, stockings, cookies, spectacularly lit houses, carols, and hot buttered rum. It's a lot for one babe's birthday celebration. Since "put Christ back in Christmas" has almost become a cliche, how can we approach the holidays in a way that honors Jesus? Let's ask him to weigh in.

What do you think about Santa? Santa's got guts. Sneaking into strangers' houses to leave gifts--what an example of brave Christianity. This Christmas, sneak into someone's life and leave a gift without waiting for one in return. Think what our world would be like if everyone were as generous as Santa.

What do you have to say about the 12 Days of Christmas? Twelve days? The reason I came into the world was so that we would have 365 days of Christmas. Three hundred and sixty-five days of love. Of peace. Of joy. Twelve is not enough. Work for more.

Can you comment on the elves? Elves set a great example for the rest of humanity: Work hard. It doesn't matter if you're short, or if your ears are too big, or if your feet are too long, or if you live in a location that's less than desirable. Work hard at everything you do. And while you're working, sing.

Do you know Frosty? Frosty is great. He's not afraid to melt. You can't live your life in fear of melting. So get out there and live the way you are called to live. It's worth the risk of melting.

What about the Grinch? The Grinch reminds me of a lot of the leaders I knew back in my days of teaching. But the Grinch could not stop Christmas from coming. He took the presents, the decorations, even the roast beast, but it came anyway. …

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