What Does Christmas Mean to You?

By Michael Stelzner

First let me wish you and yours a very warm Merry Christmas!

Can I ask you a question: What does Christmas mean to you and your family?  I also wanted to share a story with you…

WARNING: This post is NOT politically correct.

Back when I wrote my book, I made a very conscious decision to NOT hide my Christian faith.  It’s there in my bio, and if you’ve been following me long enough, you will see traces of my faith everywhere.  While I knew I might face some backlash for not hiding behind the banner of political correctness, I never would have expected how many fellow Christians have contacted me over the years, thanking me for not hiding my deep convictions.

Three years ago, I wrote a post called “Merry Christmas, NOT Happy Holidays” in response to the total elimination of the phrase Merry Christmas in American culture.  Funny enough, I still get a ton of responses to that article each Christmas.  It was simply a survey asking folks if the phase “Merry Christmas” is offensive.  Hundreds have taken the survey and as of today, 87 percent do NOT find the phrase offensive.  That’s good news.

What Christmas means to me.  I grew up not able to celebrate this holiday because I was not raised in a Christian household.  So, I have only come to appreciate this holiday as an adult.  Simply said, this time of year represents an amazing time of hope and redemption.

Even if you do not ascribe to the beliefs of the Christian faith, you might notice the abnormal nature of doing good to others, the amazing feelings that emerge from singing Christmas carols and the other general attitudes of this season that far transcend materialism during this season.  Deep down, I think our culture does NOT want to convert this national holiday into just a reason to spend money and take vacations.

Lastly, for my Christian brothers and sisters, let us reflect on the real meaning of the season!  “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” Matthew 2:11

Whatever your faith, I would love to hear what Christmas means to you and your family?

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  • Lucy

    Christmas for me, is before all the birth of Jesus and a time to celebrate His wonderful day; after all, if it weren’t for Christ there would be no Christmas. I’m also of Italian origin so… there are big family get togethers with TONS (I mean that literally) of food and celebrations that last well over a week. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. Christmas Eve is our special 7-fish meal; a truly lavish event. Chrismas morning is unwrapping of gifts and then off to Church, with a huge lamb meal after that. The rest of the week all the way to New Year’s we greet everyone with a ‘Merry Christmas’ and visit relatives and friends daily (and we keep eating). It’s a non-stop celebration for young and old. That’s what family is all about- I feel it especially at this time of year when we all take the time to re-connect. Thanks for this great post. Merry Christmas!
    Lucy

  • http://www.writingwhitepapers.com/blog/ Michael Stelzner

    Lucy – Thanks for sharing a great story!! Merry Christmas. – Mike

  • http://www.de-soto.com Sergio DeSoto

    Christmas for me is all about grace!! This time of year really makes me focus on what matters and causes me to reflect on our example of a perfect father as it relates to my fathering. Had it not been for Christ we would not be able to have a relationship with this perfect father.. So in short Christmas is a special time for me to focus on my kids and be thankful for my heavenly Father.. be thankful in the grace im given daily and the grace I need to extend my family..

    Have a blessed Christmas..

  • http://SourcesOfInsight.com J.D. Meier

    Christmas to me means a bit more oneness and community. It’s like a shared blanket that wraps everybody up into something more important than their day to day. While things speed up, life slows down, and gives people a chance to reflect on what matters most. Good deeds snowball. It’s a thin slice of the year, where there’s a bit more comradery along with an attitude of grattitude. It’s about showing the folks who really matter to you, that they really matter to you. The good will is more powerful and pervasive, constantly looking over your shoulder in a watchful and uplifting way.

    It’s about reflecting on the year and teeing up for the next.

    Of course it also means a Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph, Frosty and the rest of the gang.

    J.D. Meier’s last blog post..Character Trumps Emotion Trumps Logic

  • http://www.initialcallblog.com Catherine Brown

    Thanks for your blog, Michael. One of my children recently asked me what period of time I’d like to live in if I could choose any time to live. I chose the present day because it is in the present that we have the joy of seeing the fulfillment of all of God’s promises throughout the Bible, culminating in the birth, death and resurrection of Christ. Christmas is a reminder that He keeps His promises.

  • http://www.writingwhitepapers.com/blog/ Michael Stelzner

    I hope you all had a great Christmas!

  • http://taylorvaifanuabio.blogspot.com Erik | Taylor

    I don’t find the phrase, Merry Christmas, offensive either. I think that even for people like me who aren’t active with respect to religion, the phrase has taken on a cultural significance in addition to the original religious signification. And after all, with all the things wrong with the world today, and with all the offensive words and images being thrown up in public spaces, why focus on something as innocuous as Merry Christmas?

    Erik | Taylor’s last blog post..Taylor Vaifanua

  • http://w Brian

    Xmass; Santa clause was the first of many lies/control /guilt trips to be programed into me(& you) by Christians etc…………WAKE UP

  • http://twitter.com/shaywest Shay West

    Michael: It is good to see a successful person giving evidence and public proof of their faith. Looking forward to reading more of your blog posts and your messages on Twitter!

    Shay West
    @shaywest

    Shay West’s last blog post..ShayWest: @Mike_Stelzner Your Twitter page DOES look nice… clean and crisp design.

  • http://www.types-of-flowers.org/ Sandra Dowson

    Christmas is my famous holiday. It is time to spend with my family, gather together on the festive dinner table. It is the very holiday to thank God for all good in our lives, for everything we achieved and will achieve. It is a perfect time for gift-gifting and gift-receiving, the time to say the words of appreciation to those you love and care for indeed.

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  • http://www.bradfordsbakers.com/?target=category&category_id=344 Christmas Hampers

    And since Christmas is just around the corner, I want to say my views because like you I love this jolliest day of the year and wants to celebrate it with love in my heart: to share with others especially to the less privilege. Am too don't like the happy holidays greetings but I know for sure this is in reverence to those whose beliefs is not inline with Christianity. So this may be favorable for everyone. But nevertheless, the Merry Christmas greeting is more appropriate to Christian people. By the way, I find giving xmas hampers unique and a good idea because of its simplicity and yet full of meaning.

  • Sgtpeper1

    MMm.. this is tough.. in my heart there are so many fond memories with family that have past away and some that are still here. To me one one woman changed it forever.. I wish I knew her name but I don't. I was 7 months pregnant, 19 years old and downtown Seattle with my mom just looking and enjoying the holiday lights and festivities, we got hungry and went to a Wendy's to get something quick to eat.. this woman came up grabbed my moms hand with a big smile and looked at my mom and myself and told us we we're blessed that coming year and to have a Merry Christmas..She turned walked away and my mother opened her hand to see a 20.00 bill there.. we both we're stunned.. this is in the 90's.. I hold that woman dear to my heart because I believe in people so much and I know there is good like that but my mom had a tear in her eye that day I had never seen before and a look at me that said Mindy you do believe in people and because I might too.. Today my daughter is now 19 and expecting(crazy huh?) And I still try to carry what i witnessed that day.. Itmay not be the same amount but the same gesture she had given to me.. I will tell this story to my granddaughter one day in hopes that she remebers we don't always have to give to those we give are love to everyday ,, we could change it by giving to that stranger we don't know. What they use it for I will not ask.. I justhope it gives them that HOPE that not all people are cruel..

  • Sgtpeper1

    MMm.. this is tough.. in my heart there are so many fond memories with family that have past away and some that are still here. To me one one woman changed it forever.. I wish I knew her name but I don't. I was 7 months pregnant, 19 years old and downtown Seattle with my mom just looking and enjoying the holiday lights and festivities, we got hungry and went to a Wendy's to get something quick to eat.. this woman came up grabbed my moms hand with a big smile and looked at my mom and myself and told us we we're blessed that coming year and to have a Merry Christmas..She turned walked away and my mother opened her hand to see a 20.00 bill there.. we both we're stunned.. this is in the 90's.. I hold that woman dear to my heart because I believe in people so much and I know there is good like that but my mom had a tear in her eye that day I had never seen before and a look at me that said Mindy you do believe in people and because I might too.. Today my daughter is now 19 and expecting(crazy huh?) And I still try to carry what i witnessed that day.. Itmay not be the same amount but the same gesture she had given to me.. I will tell this story to my granddaughter one day in hopes that she remebers we don't always have to give to those we give are love to everyday ,, we could change it by giving to that stranger we don't know. What they use it for I will not ask.. I justhope it gives them that HOPE that not all people are cruel..