One day a foreign diplomat said, “We congratulate the United States on your 4th of July celebration – the second greatest day in history.” Immediately someone raised the question- “Well, what was the greatest day in history?” The foreign diplomat replied, “December 25th. If there had been no December 25th, Christmas, there would be no 4th of July.”
He got it right. If there had been no Christmas – no birth of Jesus Christ into the world, would there even be a world in existence today? Would there be a United States? Do we get it right?
I saw a TV newscast covering a Christmas lighting ceremony in another city. A community leader was asked about the importance of the lighting ceremony. I’m sure he didn’t intend to communicate what he did, but he said, “The lighting ceremony is what Christmas is really about.” Really?
A Blue-Gray football game used to be played on Christmas Day. I was invited with a group of about 25 people to meet and discuss how the football game might be better promoted. We had a television contract. We needed more people in the stands on Christmas Day. One person made a suggestion of a “give away” of a car to some lucky person, but you had to be present to win, and the winner wouldn’t be announced until the end of the game. The business leader then said, “What we need to do is to get people in central Alabama to think of Christmas Day as being the day of the Blue Gray football game.” Really?
Christmas celebrations will be different this year because there will be 35% less office parties. The reason is that companies today are afraid of the liabilities of a party and the legal ramifications of sexual harassment raised by so many lawsuits. It’s safer not to have a party. One employee said, “Instead of a party, the boss will probably double our Christmas bonus this year – we’ll get two fruit cakes!”
Presents are an important part of Christmas, but presents are not what Christmas is really about. Many presents are exchanged on the day after Christmas. Many Christmas presents of today become the garage sales of tomorrow! As one lady said, “I believe my husband is the most generous person in the world.” When asked why, she said, “I gave him a dozen of the most beautiful ties for Christmas, and the next day he went right down and gave them to the Salvation Army.”
Someone put it in a language that I can understand when she wrote, “It was evening on the day after Christmas and the night watchman in a large department store was making his usual rounds. Floor after floor presented the same wild disorder: piles of mixed up merchandise, boxes and cartons of all shapes and sizes uncovered and out of place. It looked like a miniature cyclone could not have left a worse jumble inside.
A bigger shock came to the watchman as he looked under one of the counters and found a man who apparently had been pushed aside and trampled in the mad rush of shoppers on Christmas Eve. The man was an absolute stranger, and no item of his clothing provided a single clue to his identity. But when his body was examined for markings, nail prints were found in the palms of his hands.”
He is the reason for this season. The angel said to the shepherds, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David, A Savior who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
Get it right this Christmas!