Out of 196 countries worldwide, 160 celebrate Christmas in some form. That calculates to 81% of the world’s population. Since only 32% are Christian, what is the other 49% celebrating? The answer is not complicated. Anything for a party! Anything that helps us forget the daily rigors of the human experience. In this case, it’s a birthday party, even if you don’t personally know the person whose birthday you’re celebrating.
The world is a diverse place, but all have one thing in common, a spiritual emptiness to fill. Islam does not accept Christmas, although many residents of Islamic countries are Christians and celebrate privately. Those of various other religions including atheist are simply celebrating altruism, the Christmas substitute for love. Israelis, on the other hand, welcome Christmas for an altogether different reason. The holiday brings millions of dollars into the holy land every year. It’s a monetary windfall! And so it goes, many different reasons for the season.
If you could peek into the hearts Christmas revelers around the world, you would probably see one of these two motivations at the core of their celebration, altruism or capital gain. On the surface, altruism seems a noble attitude but is severely hampered by our corrupt nature. A flawed effort to duplicate the love of God without possessing the nature of God. An extreme example might look something like this; a man beats his wife one day; the next day he smothers her with love and affection, asking forgiveness. The next day he beats her again.
The commercialization of Christmas is no secret to anyone. Retailers and marketers who view Christmas as an opportunity to prosper, drive the holiday, starting the party six weeks before the birth date. It’s a recipe for depression and stress. Wouldn’t it be more satisfying to skirt the trappings of the holidays and simply remember whose birthday it is?
A young maiden named Mary was full of faith and accepted God's request to bear His son. His earthly name would be Jesus. He would be the only man ever to be born without Adam's sin. His mission, pay the penalty of death for the sinning nature of the human race, even though He was innocent of the charge. He did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. His followers call Him Emmanuel, God with us. This is what I prefer to celebrate, quietly, at Christmas time. If you would like to know God in a more personal way, read the Study More link.