Do they know it’s Christmas?
Christmas is nearly upon us again or so you would believe if you look in the shops, pubs and restaurants.
The summer holidays are barely over and the ‘Book Early for Christmas signs’ have already started to appear but how many children in the UK today actually know what we celebrate at Christmas?
Shops will soon be stocked full of Christmas goodies; Singing Santa’s, Dancing reindeer, Christmas cards and wrapping paper and M&S will be doing their usual range of ‘I can’t be bothered to think of anything else so I’ll get it all in M&S’ Christmas Gift sets.
The latest everything will also be out for Christmas. Authors publish new bestsellers, Apple will probably release a new iPhone that you don’t really need, Nintendo will bring out a new games console and children around the world will be pestering their parents for the latest must have gadget or toy.
Families will be preparing for the festive season at home as well: ‘who’s having Auntie Maud this year’,’ I suppose it’s our turn to have Christmas at our place’, ‘why don’t we just go away for the holiday’.
And, through all this hubbub and spending, all the partying and celebrating, isn’t there just one thing missing?
Yep, the big JC himself.
Imagine going to your own birthday party and finding everyone there having a great time. Drinking, eating, being merry and passing around presents to one another but no one gives you a present, no one wishes you happy birthday and, in fact, most people there don’t even know it’s your birthday.
Meet the Messiah – Simon Cowell
Two years ago in a survey commissioned by Woolworths, the now defunct retailer, 22% of children surveyed thought that we celebrate the Birthday of Simon Cowell on the 25th of December and 36% didn’t know that Christmas had anything at all to do with Jesus.
Whether you are or are not a Christian, this is a shocking statistic. If nothing else it’s historically inaccurate, Simon Cowell was born in October!
And it’s no wonder that Children have little idea what Christmas is really about. Anything even vaguely Christian is being erased from Christmas itself.
Have you tried to find a Nativity or Christian themed Christmas card lately? Here’s a selection of this year’s Christmas cards for children available from Hallmark, one of the largest suppliers of Christmas cards in the UK:
Why are we afraid of celebrating Christmas?
There is a well-worn joke that refers to the choral work by George Frideric Handel; Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Messiah.
So why have we reached the point of a virtually Messiah free Christmas? It would appear to be due to our old friend Political Correctness.
Shops won’t display Nativity scenes in their windows for fear of offending non-Christian customers, and schools no longer present Nativity plays for fear of offending non-Christian parents. We are so keen to be a multi-cultural society that we are in fact becoming a non-cultural society.
Surely it’s better to celebrate our diversity rather than just dilute it out of existence. I would not be offended to see shop window displays celebrating any religious festival so why not Christmas?
Would people of other faiths really be offended by a Nativity scene in a shop window or a picture of an angel on a Christmas card?
At the very least surely we should be teaching our children that at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, a kind and good man who spread a message of hope and goodwill to all men and leave the decision to teach the more religious aspects of the story to individual parents perhaps.
Let’s remember Christ this Christmas
Christianity is in danger of becoming a closet faith; hidden away from sight for fear of offense. How long before we have to draw the curtains at church windows and worship in secret, how long before we have to remove any visible signs of faith from view?
Isn’t this what we would call, in other countries, oppression?
We do live in a multi-cultural multi-faith society and there is nothing wrong with that but if you are a Christian; lapsed, part time or even just vaguely now and then at weddings and at funerals, why not take just a little time to make sure that your children know what Christmas is really about or perhaps even take them to a Carol service this year?
At least let them know that it’s Christmas and not Simon Cowell day.