Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What Christmas Means to Me

Candles burnin' low,
Lot's of mistle toe.
Lot'sof snow and ice,
Eveywhere we go.
Choirs singin' carols,
Right outside my door.

All these things and more
That's what Christmas means to me my love

-Stevie Wonder, What Christmas Means to Me

One of the motivations for the "keeping Christ in Christmas" campaign is the increased secularization of this holiday. And that's my common defense against the secular backlash against it. Most Christmas carols are about snowfall, reindeer, Santa, presents or family. A few classic carols are actually about the baby Jesus. If I were to walk up to you in the middle of summer and I mention Christmas, what would be the first thing to pop in your mind? For me it would likely be vacation, family, shopping, what I want, etc. I'm not sure if the birth of Jesus would come as quickly.

And I don't think I'm alone. But the statistics prove otherwise. In a Rasmussen poll released a week ago, 66% of Americans claim to celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. The cynic in me thinks this means that most of those feel that way because it's one of the two times a year they actually attend church. But the numbers suggest there's more to it. 81% believe Jesus is the Son of God and died for our sins and 82% believe that Jesus Christ is an actual historic figure. These are interesting numbers and consistent with the roughly 80% of Americans who claim to be Christians. The flipside of these numbers show that 20% of Americans celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday (meaning 14% don't celebrate it at all), and only 3% don't believe that Jesus Christ is an historical figure.

So don't be afraid to wish someone a Merry Christmas! The odds are good you're not going to offend anyone.

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