All these decades after the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” first appeared, people today are still attacking the song and complaining about lyrics they claim are “problematic” and not politically correct.
While many of us don’t like the phrase “war on Christmas” because of its sensationalism — there is certainly something going on in today’s pop culture that is distracting us from the true meaning of Christmas.
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I’m not sure if there is a more beautiful modern pop song than star entertainer Mariah Carey’s version of “O, Holy Night.”
Let’s consider these lyrics for a moment (and if you haven’t heard her version of this song, head straight to Spotify):
O, holy night, the stars are brightly shining / It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world, in sin and error pining / Till He appeared, and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices / For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees / O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine / O night when Christ was born
That is Christmas.
Those words reflect what is meant to be celebrated on December 25 by billions of Christians across the world.
Christmas is about coming together in amazement that Jesus was born — and through Him, our souls are healed.
But many well-intentioned, loving Christian families tend to get swept up in a culture that doesn’t put Jesus at the center of Christmas.
It reminds me of when Mother Theresa would say, “No Mary, No Jesus” when discussing the importance of Mother Mary.
The same sentiment should apply to the holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus.
Without Jesus, Christmas is nothing.
It wouldn’t exist.
If we continued to celebrate it as a secular, consumer-based day of “fun with friends and family,” it becomes frail, thin, and empty of religious meaning.
Why do so many people leave Jesus out from so many Christmas celebrations?
God wants nothing more than to love us — and for us to let Him into our homes and our lives.
Our culture doesn’t always support this.
Imagine being an alien from outer space and coming to Earth and getting dropped off at a mall during December — and trying to figure out what Christmas was about.
Or better yet, ask yourself: If Jesus were to visit your house during the holidays, where would He see evidence of your love for Him?
Sometimes it seems like the manger has been replaced with Elf on the Shelf.
Sometimes it seems people are embarrassed to show their faith — even in their own homes.
Sometimes it seems people have forgotten God altogether.
Don’t get me wrong: I love the mall. Big, extravagant gestures of love and gifts and music and food and joy are fantastic. And I enjoy the occasional kitchen gossip with my siblings as much as anyone does.
But as Christians, we can all do a little bit better during the holidays to celebrate and praise Jesus, as we sing along to all our beloved Christmas songs — and give thanks to God for our Dear Savior’s birth.
One thing I would like to try this year — and others may want to do the same — is add a tradition.
Maybe it’s saying the rosary with another family member on Christmas Eve.
Maybe it’s reading a passage from the Bible before Christmas dinner.
Perhaps it’s about asking other members of our family to bring their favorite Bible passages written on notecards to the next holiday party or Christmas gathering — and then turning all those cards and offerings into lovely, post-holiday gift booklets for everyone who participates.
We might just talk to our kids about God — something many families do already all year long.
But at this special time of year, let’s see if the kids have any questions that might spark great little conversations. (Then panic when you don’t know the answer to their questions and do the best you can — hey, there’s always Google.)
Above all, let’s remember why the weary world rejoiced when Christ was born.
And let’s tell our kids and so many others in our circles about the thrill of hope in Christ — and not be embarrassed, or shy, or hesitant, to do so.
Let’s honor Christ during this Christmas season.