In 2013, 29% of Americans believed, and 54% strongly disagreed, that there was a “war on Christmas” – a concerted effort by secularists to remove religious elements from the Christmas holiday season. Now, those numbers are evenly split – 37% believe there is a concerted effort to take Christ out of Christmas, and 37% still believe the controversy is made up, according to a 2021 Fairleigh Dickinson University poll.
It is my contention that there is a war on Christmas, and that it’s not so much a political battle taking place in our culture, but a spiritual battle taking place in our homes. I believe we can win the war by winning the battle for how we celebrate Christmas in our households. Here’s how:
1. Celebrate CHRIST-mas
Jesus really is the reason for the season, but is it obvious in your house? Before you open gifts with your kids, you can teach them about the greatest gift of all: God came to earth to be with us and to bring peace and salvation to the world.
2. Make Jesus the hero of the holiday
In your household, is Santa the hero? How much do you feature Rudolph, Frosty, Elf-on-the-Shelf, and Mariah Carey? These can be innocent additions to Christmas, but be careful not to feature them more than Jesus. There’s a long list of Christmas characters to talk about, and Jesus should be at the top of that list.
3. Pray at Christmas dinner
If you’re the host or the head of the family, it’s your responsibility to keep the Christ in Christmas in your household by praying. This year, instead of saying “grab a paper plate and dig in,” try the following steps: (1) gather everyone around the food, (2) thank them all for coming and tell them you love them, (3) take lead and pray for dinner. It’ll only feel awkward the first time you do it. After this, it’ll be a tradition.
What does it look like when you’ve won the war on Christmas? Imagine your kids being able to name all the Christmas miracles as easily naming Santa’s reindeer. Imagine them growing up to believe in the virgin birth and incarnation miracles because you celebrated those each Christmas. Imagine their favorite Christmas story being the nativity instead of Die Hard.
You can raise your kids with Christian values, and you can keep God at the center of your family, and you can begin creating your legacy as a parent or grandparent of faith, by celebrating Christian Christmas with your loved ones.
Ben Auger has served as a full-time minister for 13 years in Enumclaw and is a member of the Plateau Ministerial Association. He leads New Spirit Church.