By Rep. Mike Sanders
I tried a little experiment this week, typing in Christmas Heritage on Google. The first thing to come up was an ad for a line of dinner plates. Disappointed, I switched my search to Christmas history, which brought up the History Channel’s definition of Christmas as both a sacred religious holiday and a cultural and commercial phenomenon.
I guess this is true. For Christians, Christmas celebrates the birthday of Christ, the Son of God, Lord and savior. For the rest of the world, Christmas might mean a variety of things. To millions of children, this involves a visit to and later from Santa, a jolly old elf who somehow magically flies around the world, visiting every home in one night, squeezing down the chimney, his belly shaking like a bowlful of jelly. To others, the tradition of hanging lights and ornaments on the Christmas tree is a time-honored tradition. Still others love the food and the treats of the holiday, the gathering with family, the exchanging of gifts, the singing of carols.
I’m as torn as the next person between the customs that have evolved around me in America and keeping Christmas sacred and holy. It’s tough when you have small children to teach them the value of the divine when surrounded by the commercialism, the lights, the sounds and the colors of the season. But this is the pull of life in general. We all have to decide what is worth fighting for to hold apart as sacred and when it is OK to just relax and have some fun.
I’m hoping that whatever traditions you observe this season, you get to experience joy and peace and light. For me and my house, we’ll be observing a Merry Christmas, which involves reading “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” laying out some reindeer food, and spending time with family and friends. But, most of all, we’ll share a few silent moments with heads bowed, thanking the Lord above that He chose to come to this earth as a humble baby, born in a manger in Bethlehem to a young woman deemed pure enough to carry the Son of God. This baby, this king, this Lord, this savior deserves that devotion.
Merry Christmas to all and a happy New Year.
As always, I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted at Mike.Sanders@OKHouse.Gov or(405) 557-7407.