$easonal Merriment

Perhaps you will be waiting in many lines this Christmas season as you wait to purchase presents for loved ones. And don't forget the decorations. Everyone's goal at this time of year seems to be to "get it all done." We must rush to the mall, to parties, and to events for the sake of being "finished." Many of us are sick of Christmas before December 25th even arrives. The Christmas retailers, who stand to gain a third of their yearly revenue in a few weeks, know how to appeal to many desires in us, even legitimate ones. We all want, for example, nice things for our families as well as a time to celebrate with them. But at some point it goes too far. Have we come to believe, albeit unwittingly, that materialism wrapped in sentiment is the spirit of Christmas?

Regardless, many will find that simply being "finished" with their seasonal obligations is a less than fulfilling goal. Before we arrive at an unsatisfying moment in the midst of our unwrapped goodies, let us ponder that perennial, yet relevant, question: What is the meaning of Christmas? We shall consider some of the symbols of the Christmas season as a means to address that question.

Feature Article:

Is Christmas Necessary?
Jerry Solomon
What do you think of when you hear the word "Christmas"? Frantic shopping? Family traditions? A commemoration of the birth of Jesus? Or a combination of all these responses and more?

Additional Articles:

The Theology Behind Christmas Music
Robert A. Pyne
Most radio stations play some type of Christmas music during the holiday season, but many of the songs have become so familiar to us that we no longer consider their content.

The Drama of the Christmas Story
Jack L. Walker, Jr.
Is the story of the Nativity very dramatic? Answering this question may move us to a deeper reflection on the life of Christ.

America's Messiah
Michael Linton
The reason for the popularity of Handel's Messiah in America, particularly during the Christmas season, says more about Americans than it does about its famous composer.

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