Thanksgiving is past, so it is now permissible to play Christmas music at my house. My better half, MaryAnn, believes that Christmas prep cannot legitimately begin until after Thanksgiving has been appropriately celebrated.
While thinking and planning for Christmas, I stumbled across some stats that surprised me. For instance, 92% of all Americans celebrate Christmas, including 81% of non-Christians. Even more surprisingly, 87% of people with no religious beliefs whatsoever celebrate Christmas, as do 76% of Buddhists and 73% of Hindus.
As if all this isn’t interesting enough, 51% of all Americans say that they celebrate Christmas as a religious celebration; 32% celebrate it as a cultural holiday. Ah, but 73% of Americans believe that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary; 81% believe he was laid in a manager; 74% believe that an angel announced Jesus’ arrival; and 75% believe that wise men, led by a star, brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Only 14% of the American population believe that none of the above actually happened.
So, as you listen to Christmas songs, make lists, and hang decorations, what do all the stats mean to you?
To me, it means there is fertile ground for great conversation with people you know who do not know God’s love in their lives!
You can start the conversation by just asking what their Christmas tradition is, or if they do anything special to celebrate Christmas. If that goes well, ask what they think it all means. The stats above may be great grist for the conversation. Who knows? You may be asked what you think of Christmas, what you believe it all means. And what an opportunity that is, not just to reminisce about past Christmases, but to talk about the God you know loves you so much He sent His Son to be born a babe in Bethlehem. This Christmas may afford you the first chance to share true Christmas love and joy with someone who has yet to experience it.
Be ready for the moment!