Spirit of Grace Ministries
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Disappearance of Jesus from Christmas

santa on beach

By Dennis Pollock

Many young people have a hard time getting a true perspective about the direction of our nation, due to the fact that they can only remember the last fifteen years or so. Those of us who have vivid memories of Christmas in the early 1960’s have a little better picture. I have been saddened to see just how much Jesus has been removed from the day we celebrate as His birthday. It’s not as though in the old days every song, every movie, and every Christmas illustration celebrated Jesus. I know better than that.

 I can remember Perry Como singing about Rudolf, the Red-nosed Reindeer, and Andy Williams singing about how that Christmas was the “most wonderful time of the year,” and others singing about a winter wonderland. And I do not feel that it must be compulsory that every Christmas song refer to the Nativity. But a generation ago the singers and movie makers felt a sort of cultural pressure to at least give Jesus about equal time with Santa and songs about snow. For every “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” there must be a “Silent Night.” For every “Winter Wonderland” there must be a “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.”

No more. Today it is possible to view “Christmas Specials” on television and hear maybe one song refer to Jesus’ birth over an hour’s time. Sometimes you wouldn’t hear any at all. One can watch tons and tons of “Christmas movies” and never hear a single reference to Jesus or even God. Romance – always, pretty lights and decorations – for sure. But nothing of Jesus.

I am not quite the Scrooge that I probably sound like. I appreciate the Christmas season, the lights and decorations, movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and some of the classic Christmas songs like “Deck the Halls” and “White Christmas.” What troubles me is the almost total absence of Jesus in Christmas movies and TV specials these days. Does He not rate at least some honor on His birthday? Christ-less Christmases have almost become the norm.

Not a Surprise

This trend could easily have been predicted. The sad truth is that in the U. S. there are far fewer evangelical, Bible-reading, church-attending Christians than there were in previous generations. The Christmas issue is miniscule in comparison to the real problem. Our singers and movie makers feel no need to sing about or mention Jesus in movies, because they instinctively know that very few will miss Him. Few will even notice His absence. We focus on themes of romantic love in our Christmas songs and movies and ignore the greatest love story of all – God’s great love for the whole world, as evidenced by the gift of His Son Jesus.

We Christians like to say “Jesus is the Reason for the Season,” and it is surely true. But hardly anyone pays any attention to us. For most, presents are the reason, or family is the reason, or romance is the reason, or snow is the reason, or cute little elves, or a week or two off work or school is the reason.

What can be done? We are not going to change things by simply pressuring Hollywood or the music industry to include more of Jesus. If we are to make any dent in this progressive downward trend, it must be soul by soul. Every person we win to Christ, every new believer bubbling over with love for God and Jesus, every new follower of the Savior who thrills as he or she reads of Him in the gospels, is part of the cure. And while we may not be able to change the direction of our country, we can certainly change the direction of men and women’s lives, and by the grace of Jesus Christ we can create a subset of believers and Christ-enthusiasts in the midst of our ever-increasingly secular generation.



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