The Christmas season has begun and with it comes the music, the sales, the trees, the smells and the frantic pace of holiday events. I’ve noticed in the last few years, along with all these things, another curious trend has become increasingly popular. The good ‘ol fashioned boycott of retailers who greet customers and advertise their products without ever actually using the word “Christmas”.
Focus on the Family in fact has put a lot of effort towards alerting Christians as to what stores are “Christmas Friendly” and those that are not. Let’s be clear from the start, I don’t resent Focus on the Family at all. Several of the links on this blog are for FOTF resources that I highly recommend.
However, perhaps we are missing the point of Christmas when we expect OLD NAVY, for instance, to say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays and if they don’t say what we want them to say we’re not going to buy their fleece and we’re going to encourage Christians all over the world to not buy their fleece. What have we then accomplished (other than missing out on quality fleece)?
“Is OLD NAVY honoring Christ more if they’re required, under threat of a Christian boycott, to say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays?”
Let’s put it another way:
“Would Christ be honored by OLD NAVY’S begrudging submission to cultural Christian demands?”
Let’s put it another way still:
“Is Christ primarily honored by Christian retail spending AT ALL?”
Allow me to propose an alternative. This Christmas season, do all your shopping in as few locations as possible (Christmas friendly or not) and, as far as is possible allow the same employees to assist you each time. This Christmas season, allow that employee to see you, over and over again exhibit the character of Christ as you try to steward your money well. Allow that employee to see the character of Christ as you treat them respectfully and lovingly. Allow that employee to see the character of Christ as you do everything within your power to help make their job easier and more delightful. Then, when the holiday season is winding down, and if the opportunity presents itself, tell them you are thankful for their service and help. Tell them they have been a blessing to your holiday season and then tell them about the greatest blessing that you’re reminded of this season – Jesus Christ.
Let’s spread the aroma of Christ together this Christmas season by actually making a difference in someone’s heart (and don’t forget about that Rockin’ Fleece!)