The following article is an excerpt from Rick Warren's The Purpose of Christmas.
Christmas is a party. Specifically, it's a birthday party — for Jesus — and birthdays are meant to be celebrated. It's why we say "Merry Christmas!"
Ironically, at most Christmas parties the person whose birthday we're supposed to be celebrating is completely ignored. He's never even mentioned. Although Jesus is the reason for the season, he's often overlooked or merely mentioned along with Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus, the Grinch, elves, and a long list of celebrated fictional characters.
As I was writing this little book, I decided to take a survey of Christmas shoppers. I asked, "What are you celebrating this Christmas?" Most answers had nothing to do with Jesus:
- "I'm celebrating that I made it through another year."
- "I'm celebrating being home with my family."
- "I got a Christmas bonus."
- "My son is home from Iraq."