With Thanksgiving 2017 in the record books, most people’s full attention turns toward Christmas. The stores have had us thinking about it since July, when the Fourth of July decorations came down and a few Christmas decorations began appearing.
Christmas is one of the most beautiful celebrations of the year, but we must remember what we are celebrating. It is not primarily the jolly old white bearded man in a red suit with a reindeer with a red nose, but a tiny baby child in a manger surrounded by animals, shepherds, angels and wise men. The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ brought a great illumination of hope into the world. Christ is the reason for the season, and if we truly want peace on earth that we often speak of at this time of the year, then we must make sure that our preparation for Christmas is not void of spiritual activities.
Christ must be the focus of these next four weeks leading to December 25.
The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic, family, fraternal, service organization, annually sponsors a number of activities to encourage the theme to “Keep Christ in Christmas.” The children in Holy Name Catholic School and our Parish School of Religion Program are making posters to display that theme. The theme will also appear on billboards and radio announcements nationwide.
I would encourage all Christians to make sure Christ is in your Christmas by displaying a nativity scene in your home along with your other Christmas decorations. One of my customs is to wait to put out the figure of the baby Jesus until Christmas day.
Finally, a good way to keep Christ in Christmas is to remember those who are in need and be generous to the many organizations asking for donations during this time of year. The joy of Christmas is to be shared by all, and the true joy comes from the birth of Jesus!
Celebrate the season with your family in the manner it was intended, by keeping Christ is Christmas!
The Rev. Ken Schuckman is pastor of Holy Name Catholic Church in Winfield.