Selfless Holidays

There’s an annual battle that takes place around this time of year. One that has the appearance of good but never actually accomplishes anything. The war waged is Christians versus The World — sometimes it’s really just Christians vs. Christians.

It’s really easy to get caught up in the battle, especially on social media.

The narrative is all too familiar: “keeping Christ in Christmas.”

It sounds great, but the problem is that he never left Christmas. Christmas is the time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. Simple, period, end of story.

Digging a bit deeper, you’ll find other religions and nonreligious celebrating this season in their own ways, and that’s where the battlelines are blurred.

People celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanza, or perhaps those just celebrating joy, love, and peace, are often times found in the crosshairs of particular Christian groups.

These folks aren’t trying to “steal Christmas,” or even “remove Christ” from Christmas — as if that is something that could actually be achieved. They’re simply enjoying the holiday season just like the majority of Christians do — buying gifts for one another, spending time with close friends and family, and my favorite, gorging on ridiculous amounts of food!

As I’ve mentioned in my other posts, people of faith — no matter what faith they’ve chosen — are typically sold-out believers in it. Just as earnestly as Christians believe in Jesus, other religions and nonreligious have reached their own conclusions.

The last thing any of us need is to ruin this special time of year by forcing our beliefs on others. I feel we’d all be better served by focussing our energy in other ways.

According to my Googling, in the United States there are:
610,042 people homeless on any given night,
48,100,000 living in food-insecure homes,
and 400,000 children in our foster care system.

IN THE UNITED STATES (1)

There’s been a very particular chapter of Scripture on my mind in recent months. You’ve seen it in my other writings, but it applies here as well.

1 Corinthians 13:1, “What if I speak in the most elegant languages of people or in the exotic languages of the heavenly messengers, but I live without love? Well then, anything I say is like the clanging of brass or a crashing cymbal.”

The noise from crashing cymbals today is deafening!

I created the meme above when I learned of a person on Facebook “starting a movement to keep Christ in Christmas.” This person was offended that Starbucks’ new holiday cups were just plain red — void of snowflakes, reindeer, and trees. It’s precisely what I’m talking about when I referred to crashing cymbals, and it makes my skin crawl.

I never expected my meme to go viral, but it did, and I’m glad of it. Perhaps this post will go viral as well. I certainly hope so.

I propose that this holiday season we come up with some creative solutions to reduce the given statistics above.

I’ll start:

  1. Fill and give a purse or backpack with items helpful for homeless people. Here are some suggestions.
  2. Wear a coat that you can part with, and physically take it off and put it on a homeless person.
  3. Load your trunk with umbrellas to give to homeless people when you see them.
  4. Have your church “adopt” a homeless person (or homeless family), and make sure they have a roof over their heads and hot meals to eat.
  5. Much like #4, reach out to homes that you know won’t have a holiday meal, and provide them with one — or better yet, invite them to yours!
  6. Offer to buy someone’s groceries in the check-out line at your grocery store.
  7. Volunteer at a foster care group home.
  8. Become a foster care parent.
  9. Tip generously — when dining out, visiting a bar or coffee shop, getting your nails done, getting a tattoo or piercing, or getting a haircut. These folks could use all the help they can get! I know… I used to be one of them.
  10. Be Santa. Buy gifts for kids in need, and make this a holiday they won’t ever forget.

Instead of adding to the noise this season, I’m proposing we start a different movement. One that can forever change the way we view the holidays — a movement of loving our neighbors.

That’s one I can get behind, and it’s one that can go beyond the holiday season. Submit your ideas in the comment section below or on social media!

Share this post using: #SelflessHolidays, and let’s be the change we so desperately need.

David Dietz

Author: David Dietz

Born and raised up into leadership in the American Church, David is unlearning Christianity and instead advocates for the full acceptance of others. "To love someone is to allow that person to be fully themselves without interference or expectations of change--to accept them exactly as they are. Loving someone isn't just 'accepting' who they are, however; it's giving them freedom to be a wholly distinct individual. When you love someone so deeply that you relinquish any control or ownership you *think* you have over them, you are showing that person love untainted."

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