At this time of year, we hear a lot of lamenting from the Christian community about how society has secularized Christmas. They make it sound like some evil secret society got together and hatched a plot to replace Jesus with Santa Claus…or should I say SATAN Claus?
Anyway, I do think society tells us to value material possessions and make sure we’re always a step ahead of our neighbors, and it’s only natural that we exhibit those values during the holidays. But I also think that everyone really wants so much more from Christmas, and it’s evident in the seasonal movies we’ve absorbed into our culture:
It’s a Wonderful Life: By seeing what it would have been like if he’d never been born, a man discovers that his life has meaning and purpose after all.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: When the evil Grinch robs Whoville of all its holiday trimmings and presents, the community unites to discover that Christmas is really all about love.
Miracle on 34th Street: A hardened businesswoman overcomes her skepticism about Santa and decides to believe in the impossible.
A life with meaning, love as the greatest gift, and the hope to believe in miracles – these are the holiday themes we’ve embraced, that we watch over and over again, year after year. The ideals portrayed in these movies are what the world really wants Christmas to be all about. And ironically, Jesus came to make those very things possible.
So forget secularization. When it comes right down to it, I think society is actually desperate to put Christ back in Christmas. It just doesn’t know it.