Perhaps the most obvious distraction from Christ at Christmas is consumerism. I would dare go so far as to say that the primary reason we (adults and children alike) get excited about Christmas is because of the giving and receiving of gifts that takes place. Yes, the food is good. Being with family and friends is wonderful. But, giving and getting stuff wins the spotlight every time.
I’d like you to check out a blog entry from thinkchristian.net. I shared this at a worship gathering of The Well a few weeks back. It addresses the consumerism at Christmas issue and has some links to other sites with suggestions for alternatives to a consumer Christmas. http://www.thinkchristian.net/index.php/2006/12/03/taking-the-consumerism-out-of-christmas/
Let me close with a few thoughts. First, with regard to Christmas, I think every Christ follower ought to wonder: “Is this how Jesus would want us to celebrate His coming to earth?” Now, don’t brand me a Scrooge when it comes to gift-giving. I’m giving and receiving gifts this Christmas. But, I think we’ve become way too distracted by festivities and traditions that don’t even remotely reflect the good news that Jesus repeatedly said was “good news to the poor” (Matthew 11:5; Luke 4:18; Luke 7:22). And so I’ll again raise the question that I’m going to return to throughout my little blogging mini-series: “What do we do at Christmas that really reflects the change-the-world reality of Christ’s birth?”