Christmas Fail

It feels like Christmas has shifted for Christians. Oh we still open our iPods and eat our pies and throw the football around just like the rest of society. But something has changed.

I don’t know when it happened either. Michael W. Smith probably wrote a wintery song about Christmas slipping from our collective grasp or perhaps Rebecca St. James penned some lyrics on how Christmas used to be, but I must have missed them.

See, for Christians, Christmas has become open season on people who don’t share our beliefs. We seem to get rather upset with how people celebrate Christmas.

We’re funny about it though. We pick and choose what we want to be mad about.

We’re fine with the neighbor who burned down half the block because he went all Griswold with the flying angels in his oak tree. We pay no mind to the colleague who hasn’t showered or shaved since Thanksgiving because he’s trying to “be in character” as Joseph for the church Christmas play. Flocks of sheep holding up traffic in the town square for a re-enactment of Jesus’ birth? No worries.

But for some reason Christians (and conservatives – and the two are mutually exclusive) get all crazy about these four things in the month of December:

We get all crazy on people who say “xmas” – This seems to be the standard “yeahhhh, we’re gonna have to remove you and your family from the Wednesday night church dinner list” holiday sin made popular over the last 5 years. I don’t care if you had 400 Christmas cards to sign and were just trying to save time!! Use a laserjet next time!! Carlos Whittaker wrote a funny post on this the other day.

We get crazy and think people who say “Happy Holiday” are closet Satanists – For some reason the “Happy Holidays” people have been lumped in the “yep, that person hates God and probably lights wooden mangers on fire in his spare time” group Christians love to hate. Conversely a simple “Merry Christmas” lands you in the “yep, that person loves God so much he probably gives out frankincense and myrrh at his office party” group. Jon Acuff wrote a funny post on this the other day.

We get crazy about the Fox and Friends Christmas program – Not watching Fox’s Christmas special? Might as well be ramming a trident into the chests of all the inflatable wisemen in your neighborhood. Christians get crazy about their Fox News Christmas special. Don’t get me wrong, It’s a fine program, no haterade here, I just see no need to spew vitriol all over people who choose NPRs Christmas program or CNNs program. I actually have no idea if either of those networks have Christmas programs but if they do and our friends choose to entertain themselves elsewhere let’s not imagine them with poking wisemen with tridents.

We get crazy and make websites like this – Go ahead, click on it, check it out. Then scroll all the way to the bottom and look at the left-hand corner to see who your sponsor is. I’ll save the holier-than-thou rant because I’m sure I’ve spent my time and money on pursuits that were less than what the Lord desired but if this is what the church is pouring itself into: the political segregation of a community based on what words people in that community did or did not use to celebrate a holiday, well, I mean, what are we doing?

I say all this not to eviscerate any singular organization or person but rather to bring light to some things we might need to evaluate this Christmas. Do we love others or do love others as long as they love the things we love?

Feel free to disagree with us in the comments below, but if you feel the need to write a 1000-word prayer over souls however we ask that you just send an email.

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I'm an aspiring freelance writer and blogger (which doesn't make a ton of sense when you think about it). I started a blog called Our Marriage Project and one about OSU called Pistols Firing. I love both of them, and I love my wife. And I love Kevin Durant, Explosions in the Sky, Tim Riggins, Blue Moon ale, Twitter, and the state of Georgia.

10 thoughts on “Christmas Fail”

  1. Thank you so much for this excellent post. The naughty/nice website is appalling, and in my opinion, is yet another example of how organized religion alienates itself from society through its own superiority complex. I think that the Christmas season should be an opportunity to show God’s love through genuine kindness and service and I hope that through acts of love — instead of acts of anger — during this time of year people will remember and/or come to know the true “reason for the season.”

  2. Is FB Dallas serious with that website? That is disappointing. And I did not know Fox News had a Christmas program preferred by Conservatives. What happened to A Charlie Brown Christmas?

  3. I have been bothered by the Xmas thing for years! People have told me, "don't take the Christ out of Christmas". And since I feel you've given me the platform to respond, I'm gonna use it 🙂 I want to tell people that the X comes from Χριστός which means Khristós in Greek, aka Christ. So all you're really doing is abbreviating Christ, not taking it out! Ok I'm done with my rant. Ha. Also, I agree with the rest of your post. I think it's important to celebrate Christmas by loving what's good about Christ and what he came to do. Why is it ok to buy into (no pun intended) the materialism of the season, but you have to say Merry Christmas. Doesn't sound much like the message of Christ to me…

    1. Drew, I’ve been telling anyone who will listen to me what the X really stands for as well. Rant away! Christ has also been abbreviated XP (or Chi Rho) in many old church documents.

      Kyle + Jen, I love this post.


  4. I heard about the Naughty/Nice list on the news last night. It makes me so sad. My goal is going to be to love others this Christmas! Great post!

    Hope you guys are loving Dallas! It is kind of hard to get used to after you've known the Greatness of Oklahoma! 🙂

  5. haha. this made me laugh so much.
    we christians are so lame.. when are we going to remember that christmas is about loving others and God, and celebrating life and Gods gift, and not about us.

  6. I have been meaning to come back and comment on this one for a while. I loved this post. I am thankful that people are talking about things like this. This unfortunate attitude is defeating the Christmas spirit of showing everyone love. Hopefully this love thing will start to catch on! 🙂

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