Meaning of Christmas

Himouto! Umaru-chan is an anime series based on the manga of the same name about a lazy teenage girl living with her older brother. In public she’s pretty, popular, sweet, and gets good grades at school. At home, she’s a lazy bum who sits around and watches anime, plays video games and is generally a slob. A true discussion of her lifestyle and her two-faced persona may deserve further discussion later. But, for now, let’s talk about Christmas.

Wait, Christmas – you ask? Isn’t it early to be talking about Christmas? Why Christmas in September? Well, the Christmas/New Year’s episode of the show recently aired (episode 8) – and so, I am interested in talking about the new episode and, therefore, Christmas now.

In the episode, Umaru describes Christmas as being a celebration of winter. People go out, look at lights, and she wants to stay indoors. Christmas as a celebration of winter is how Umaru views it. As Umaru prepares for Christmas with her brother, she spends her time focused not on Christ, not on the Lord, not on others – but on herself, her attempts to remain lazy, and winter in a generic sense. Lazing about in winter with a day off. That’s not Christmas.

When Christmas approaches, we all have different memories which pop into our heads. We remember times with family. We remember Santa Claus and the magic of that as a child. We remember gifts we’ve given. We remember winter months and the winter themed songs from the radio (Baby It’s Cold Outside, Jingle Bells). But let us not forget – those things are not what Christmas is about.

In Blues Traveler’s Christmas song entitled…Christmas, they refer to Christmas as having whatever meaning you want it to have; which currently is the secular approach to discussing Christmas. In my piece on the topic, I wrote:

Christmas is about the birth of Christ (Luke 2:1-20). It is about our remembrance that a virgin gave birth to a Son (Luke 1:29-35), as prophesied long ago (Isaiah 7:14). This Son would wipe away the sins of mankind (Matthew 1:20-23, John 1:29) through His death and defeat of death forever (1 Peter 1:18-19). He would defeat the serpent as predicted by God all the way back in Genesis (Genesis 3:15).

For the Christian, Christmas has one meaning and one meaning alone – Jesus. The world can take their false version of Christmas with the generic “love, happiness, and gift giving.” They are wrong. The true joy of Christmas is Jesus Himself. He is the greatest gift of Christmas, not anything bought at the store, and not even Blues Traveler can deny this truth.

Umaru seems to take the secular approach to Christmas – it’s about what I want it to be about. In her case, bundling up indoors and playing video games with a vague thought about winter. For Blues Traveler it meant a warm and fuzzy feeling about being nice to your fellow man. Those things aren’t Christmas. Christ is what Christmas is all about. Christ is even in the name of the holiday – Christmas. We as a culture tend to forget about that, getting lost in the sea of stress, vacations, travel, and secular buzz surrounding Christmas. The secular version of Christmas, the version Umaru chooses to trust in, is what we see most of the people around us celebrating. But we who claim Christ know better.

This is not to say that we cannot enjoy some of the secular celebrations of Christmas or enjoy the winter months. The Lord wants us to enjoy the gifts He gives us. But, when we put them first – put them ahead of our Lord, we are blaspheming Him. We are ignoring Him. We are sinning. Let us remember what Christmas is about and, for those we know who do not – tell them.

Umaru doesn’t know better. She appears to have no Christians in her life who will share the Gospel with her. Be that Christian to those you know who celebrate the secular, sharing with them the joy beyond compare of the God who came to Earth as an infant; dwelling among us, suffering alongside us, mourning with us, and dying as we die. Tell them of His miraculous and amazing resurrection. Tell them of His offer of salvation. Tell them about Christ.

About the Author

Matthew Newman

Matthew Newman is a Christian environmental engineer (Professionally licensed in Maryland). He’s also a husband, beard aficionado, Dad of four beautiful children, blogger, and all around geeky guy from Baltimore County. When he’s not chasing his kids or working, he’s probably asleep.

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