25 Days of . . . ?

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A short reflection on Christmas

Each year since I was a little kid, there were always Christmas movies played on TV in the month of December. This eventually evolved into the “25 Days of Christmas” on a regular network. I remember getting so excited coming home from school to check the TV Guide (That was a magazine that told you what was on TV on which channel at a certain time-before just hitting “guide” on the remote.) Usually there was an animated or claymation movie like Rudolph or The Grinch, other nights there was classics like Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life. As the years passed, more and more movies were made, but less we’re being showed on TV. Nowadays the lineup includes a majority of films that, if your lucky, have a single Christmas scene. The 25 days of Christmas has turned into 25 of random movies that have no holiday affiliation at all.

Some argue that we must be sensitive to not offend those who do not celebrate Christmas. However, censoring or ignoring what I believe and not allowing me to fully celebrate Christmas is offensive to me, not to mention an infringement on my rights as an American. What about being sensitive toward and respecting the rights of those who DO believe in Christ and celebrate Christmas?

Something that is becoming lost in America is the beauty of what once made this nation great: freedom. There is a founding principle of this nation that each man and woman has the God given right to worship God how they wish. This also allows people to choose not believing in God all together. However, what is a minority ideology – not believing in God – has some how infiltrated its way into society as a victim of injustice, having their rights violated, and having beliefs being forced upon them. Since when does putting up Christmas lights and going to Mass Christmas Eve and eating Turkey on December 25th impose my beliefs or force someone else to believe in them? Quite frankly, it does not. Yet society, more and more so each year will have you labeled as an intolerant bully for believing in Jesus, following His teachings, and worshipping Him.

As Christians we must be charitable and respectful of each human being. We are called to love as God loves. We must love our neighbor, whether they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, agnostic or atheist. We are not called to force our beliefs down their throat or impose a religious teaching in an uncharitable way. Instead, we are called to live our faith and profess our belief…we are free to do so as Americans. Do not water down your faith or your Christmas cheer so as to not offend someone, but live it out with joy so that it may be contagious. Let the light of Christ shine through you so much this Christmas season that others around you say, “I want what they’ve got.” Don’t turn your 25 Days of Christmas into something less than it should be.

Merry Christmas.

Matthew Higgins

Matthew Higgins

Matthew Higgins serves as Assistant to the Vocation Director for the Archdiocese of Newark and adjunct professor of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University. He holds a Master's degree in Systematic Theology from Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University. His 10 year ministerial experience ranges from Junior High faith formation to Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry. He lives with his wife, Olivia and 2 children in Northern NJ.

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  1. Pingback: CHRISTMAS DAY EXTRA | iwannabeasaint

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