The Spirit of Christmas: Being Excellent to Each Other

The Spirit of Christmas: Being Excellent to Each Other

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  1. Every year when December rolls around, I hear Christians complaining that people have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. But how can people forget the meaning of Christmas when every year they are subjected to these vociferous gripes about commercialization, Santa’s creeping influence and how everyone else is forgetting all about the birth of Jesus? How can we forget the true meaning when our TVs blaze with shows such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, Jesus of Nazareth and King of Kings?


     I don’t think any Christian has forgotten the significance of Christmas. As for shouting at non-Christians about the true meaning of Christmas, you might as well rant to a cow or a stone. Telling people how wrong they are is rarely an effective way of turning them toward your way of thinking. At best you’ll only make them shake their head and walk away; at worst, they may punch you in the nose. Besides, as a Christian who does know and reveres the true meaning of Christmas, I say just let non-believers celebrate whatever way they want. It’s still an improvement on society overall, if only temporary.


     In Japan, Christmas is huge. The whole country gets into the spirit of the holiday, even though few of those celebrating are Christians and understand exactly what they are celebrating. Still, they put up the decorations, they exchange gifts, they have grand feasts with friends and family, they treat strangers with more courtesy, they are more generous to charities and overall behave as better human beings, despite their lack of understanding the true meaning of Christmas.


     The Christmas season has a way of transforming even non-believers into better people for at least a month. As far as I’m concerned, this can only be a good thing. I liken it to the philosophy shared by the title characters of the silly and wonderful movie, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, who taught Abraham Lincoln their valuable lesson: “Be excellent to each other… and party on, dudes!”


     So if you want to discuss the miracle of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, tell the story the Three Wise Men and the Manger, or the story of the Shepherd’s Visitation by the Angel, or even gather around a birthday cake large enough to support 2,012 candles and sing, “Happy Birthday dear Jesus,” feel free to do so with your fellow Christians, but give the non-believers a break. They want to celebrate, too, and they don’t want to be told about how they’re going to Hell for not believing in the Christ.

    Save that speech for Easter.

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