Maybe it’s because I’m better connected to social media than ever before. Or maybe it’s because I’m deeper and more discerning of what is going on in the world. Or maybe it’s just because I’m getting older and crankier. Whatever the cause, my toleration of certain things is growing thin.
Much has already been said and written about this Starbucks-red cup-war on Christmas thing. Some reflect pure lunacy. Others hold to a more balanced position. Some from a theological point of view, others from history, or profit and loss, or freedom of expression, or culture shift, or persecution of treasured Christian values.
Me? I really feel like telling you how much I hate coffee. The smell of it. The taste of it. The ridiculousness of paying three or four dollars for a cup of it. The hypocrisy and momentary loss of judgment I had when I purchased some fancy, one-cup contraption for Wanda. Love will make you do stupid things.
The truth is, I really don’t care what kind of cup Starbucks puts their overpriced, liquidey, pukey, beverage in. Solid red…red with snowflakes, red with sleigh bells, red with trees, red with dollar signs. Whatever. It won’t change the taste and therefore, I really don’t care.
But I do care about the War on Christmas. It’s real and it’s been increasing in impact throughout my lifetime. And make no mistake. Christmas is losing.
I love Christmas. The stories and sights and sounds and smells (except for coffee) and memories and traditions all still take me to a place where my childhood whimsy is resurrected each year around mid-November. In spite of how much I complain about having to get up in the attic and get down all the boxes…and pull out the ladder to put lights on the house (now important again because of grandkids, ugh)…24-hour a day Christmas songs…shopping for a live evergreen tree the day after Thanksgiving (a long-held Farra tradition)…wrapping presents and the never-ending, ever-expanding holiday mess in our house…life just wouldn’t be the same for me without it.
Growing up in San Diego, the “White Christmas” I grew up dreaming about was just that. A dream. I’ve never had chestnuts by an open fire. Frosty the Snowman was all about styrofoam. I even worked the toy department at Sears during the Christmas season as my first paid gig in high school. But I still grew up loving Christmas.
And somehow, I never had a problem understanding there were actually two Christmases. The one about Santa. And the one about Jesus.
The Christmas for Santa was all about (fake) snow and tinsel and carolling and my mom’s Christmas sweets. It was about holiday traditions and warm feelings and the innocence of giving and receiving gifts.
Christmas for Jesus, though, was all about remembering the birth of the subversive Jewish revolutionary who turned the world upside down…and aligning myself with the values of His Kingdom every day of my life. That Christmas was to be about worship and serving and remembering those who are broken and forgotten and lost. Christmas was about sacrificial love and the advent of hope through a Person.
The real war on Christmas? It’s not cultural. It’s not commercial. It does not come from externals. It’s not being waged in our schools or in the malls or in city council rooms. And it’s certainly not being waged on a Starbucks cup. No, the war on Christmas only happens in the hearts of Christ’s followers, when the commitment to Santa begins to infringe on the commitment to Jesus.
Don’t get suckered into believing the “war” is going on anyplace else but inside you.
How is the War on Christmas going in your heart? Who’s winning your loyalty?