First, I’m a little late with this post. Second, I realize there are already a million similar posts floating around the internet this time of year, nonetheless, I’m throwing my two cents in as well.
Last weekend, I indulged in some vlogmas watching on YouTube. (If you are unfamiliar with vlogmas, this is when YouTubers vlog every day during the month of December until Christmas.) I focused on some of the more well-known YouTubers, as you do, and came across various videos of these internet celebs opening Christmas gifts from friends and family. It was in one of these videos that a popular, young YouTube personality loudly exclaimed, “Christ!” when he opened an apparently particularly pleasing gift from a family member.
Was this young man so thrilled with this particular gift he just had to proclaim his thanks to the Lord? Was he suddenly overcome with an urgent need to praise God during this moment of excitement? Or, was he, in fact, taking the Lord’s name in vain? Having watched several of this young man’s videos in the past, I’m leaning towards the latter option. And in the midst of his blaspheming, this young man unknowingly painted a poignant picture of how many of us have lost the plot altogether when it comes to Christmas. There he was, opening gifts at a time we should be celebrating the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ and he chose to express his excitement by blaspheming the very savior we are supposed to be honoring. Now, to be fair, this young man has never claimed to be a Christian so I expect he would have a significantly different view of his behavior than I (although that does lead me to wonder – what does the non-Christian celebrate at Christmas?) and, though it was a cringe worthy moment, I am thankful I came across his video because it served as a wake up call for me if nothing else.
As a person of faith, I find Christmas has become virtually unrecognizable and, unfortunately, I count myself among those guilty of losing sight of the true meaning of the season. I have allowed myself to become so wrapped up in the stresses of trying to create that unattainable, perfectly perfect Norman Rockwell Christmas and have foolishly accepted the false responsibilities (spend, buy, spend) imposed upon me by the ridiculous commercialization of Christmas that remembering Jesus’ birth gets relegated to the bottom of the to-do list. These stresses and unrealistic expectations certainly do not bring peace nor do they encourage my goodwill toward men. They do; however, take my focus off of what Christmas should be about – a time to celebrate the seemingly uneventful birth of a tiny baby who, despite such humble beginnings, became salvation and hope to an undeserving world.
In my opinion, the character Henry Brougham explains it best in his Christmas sermon from the 1947 version of The Bishop’s Wife: “…We forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled – all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s his birthday we are celebrating. Don’t ever let us forget that…” And, we should remember that not only at Christmas, but always.
Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.