A few days ago I was traveling from Philadelphia where I attended the AOH National Board Meeting and the President’s Dinner making my way to Jacksonville, Florida, for the Canon Law Convention. I could not believe my ears when I heard “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” coming from the car radio. Only October 10th and we were already being besieged with non-religious Christmas songs. However, these non-religious holiday songs are not to remind us of Christ’s birth, the dawn of our salvation. Unfortunately, materialism and commercialism, making the “big buck,” have replaced the significance of Christmas. The season to celebrate Christ’s Birth has been replaced by such titles as “Sparkle” Season.
The number one way to keep Christ in our Christmas celebrations is to have Him present in our daily life. Keeping Christ in Christmas means daily revealing the character, love and spirit of Christ that dwells in you, by allowing these traits to shine through the actions of your everyday life.
There are some simple ways to keep Christ the focus of your life. You can give God one very special gift just from you to Him. This gift can be something personal that no one else knows about, and let it be a sacrifice. Maybe this gift will be to forgive someone you’ve needed to forgive for a long time. Perhaps, your gift will be to commit to spending time with God daily. Set some time aside to read St. Luke’s account of the birth of Christ. Make sure you have a Nativity scene in your home. Plan a project of good will, like adopting a single mom. Make her life and her child’s life happier by buying her and her child a gift. Or maybe there is an elderly neighbor in need of home repairs, yard work or snow shoveling. Find someone with a genuine need; involve your whole family and see how happy you can make someone this Christmas. Set aside a time of family devotions on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, especially by
The wonder of Christmas is that in Jesus, God and humanity are meant for each other. The Christmas story tells us that God chooses to be human, chooses to know human life from the first moment of conception to the end of our days on earth. In Jesus, God knows what it is to be a toddler, to have a stomachache, to feel the sun and wind, to be betrayed and forsaken, and eventually to die. Incarnation is about God choosing to be one of us, so that we may become people of compassion, mercy, courage, justice, care, the presence of God here and now. In essence, we can become more like Christ, if we live out the Hibernian virtues of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity in our daily lives.