Christ is at front of Christmas

Published 12:01 am Sunday, December 9, 2018

Christmas season is upon us which means we’re deep in the throes of the capitalistic side of the holiday.

National Christmas sale ads sometimes underscore exactly how warped out society has become and how off message we can get this time of year.

A sharp-eyed reader called me last week to point out something he saw in the Walmart sales circular that got under his craw.

Several pages into the sales piece inside last Sunday’s newspaper was a large promotion for a card game called, Exploding Kittens.

The game’s box suggests it’s a card game “For people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams.”

The caller, who has long volunteered with local, youth baseball leagues said he couldn’t believe someone would promote such a game to young children.

Just below that ad, however, was another touting the game Unstable Unicorns with the slogan touting, “Build a unicorn army. Betray your friends. Unicorns are your friends now.”

“I can’t believe they would promote these to children,” the caller said in disgust.

Call me old, call me prudish, but I agree with the man.

Blowing up cats — even if only a card game — doesn’t seem like a good thing to be promoting to our young.

Nor is a game promoting that you betray your friends.

Just below that, were other toys aimed at children to promote the online video game Fortnite. If you’ve not heard of it, it’s most popular form is a shooting style battle royale in which a player tries to kill the other 99 players.

Suffice to say such commercialism misses the ark on Christmas cheer.

A few years ago, when people were raising a fuss over the diminishing use of the word “Christmas” and the increasing use of “holiday” in its place, I didn’t give it much thought.

But after the reader’s call, I’ve taken a little more notice and the omissions and twists of purpose are a little astounding.

In the Walmart circular the word Christmas appeared only a couple of times, emblazoned on a couple of produces, a shirt and a gift bag.

The global retailer instead either omitted the obvious — Christmas trees were just “trees” — or used holiday instead.

Christmas stockings were holiday stockings

Christmas ornaments were just ornaments.

And the food section promoted that you could “holiday in a hurry.”

I recently heard First Baptist Church in Natchez’s pastor Doug Broome purposely emphasize the word “Christ” in the word “Christmas.” His focus was to emphasize the real reason for celebration — CHRIST-mas.

Broome’s simple reminder was a good one for all of us.

The season isn’t about us. It’s about Him.

As we work through the Christmas season we need to focus not on gifts we’re buying or gifts we’d like to receive, but on the greatest gift of all — Jesus Christ.

The politically correct, agnostic approach to Christmas is pervasive, but it’s not everywhere yet.

And we can all do our part to prevent it from becoming the norm.

If someone says “happy holidays” why not reply with “Merry CHRISTmas?”

Rather that focus clearly inappropriate messages this season — exploding kittens, unicorns and killing one another in a virtual world — we would be wise to think about a lesson that the very first founder of CHRIST-mas promoted: love.

If we all did that, even a little, imagine how much happier and brighter our collective Christmas experience would be.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.