A few years ago, I wrote a short Christmas story in which (nutshell version) fifteen-year-old Al Fischer spends the holiday enthusiastically telling his family everything he loves about the Christmas season.
By purist coincidence (or not…), Al and his author have similar ideas about Christmas. And he’ll be pleased to know that I’ve decided to commemorate our mutual obsession here on Ever On Word by dedicating a series of blog posts to The Top 10 Reasons Christmas Rocks My World.
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The tenth “declaration made to explain or justify action, decision, or conviction” listed by Al is the “basis or motive for an action, decision, or conviction” behind the holiday itself. That is to say, his reason number ten is the reason for Christmas.
There occurred an intermission in the writing of this piece while I browsed online for the literal definition of the word “Christmas”. A bit of Googling led me to an article which states:
The World Book Encyclopedia defines “Christmas” as follows: “The word Christmas comes from “Cristes Maesse”, an early English phrase that means “Mass of Christ.” …The word “Mass” in religious usage means a “death sacrifice.” (“The True Meaning of Christ-Mass”, David J. Meyer)
Meyer proceeded to go on a tirade about the satanic evil inherent in a holiday where people go around laughing, “Merry death of Christ!” (Full diatribe found here, for any who care to see.) I’m gonna go ahead and respectfully disagree with this guy’s view. I’m well aware that the idea of a midwinter celebration has pagan origins (plenty of history on that here), and anyone can tell that Christmas has undergone its share of secularization. What surprises me is that the “Merry death of Christ” detail offended Meyer the way it did. See if you follow my reasoning:
Some two-thousand-odd years ago, God sent his son to be born on earth. The reason behind this? The world needed a Christ – a Messiah – a hero to save us from our just desserts for the misdeeds it’s been in our nature to commit since Adam and Eve’s big goof-up. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and only a perfect death sacrifice would cover all of humanity. Well, shoot; none of us are perfect. So enter Jesus of Nazareth, born for the sole purpose of living a perfect life to offer on our behalf before returning to Godhood with his father. We Christians celebrate Jesus’ birth because he’d come to die for us. In light of that, why not hail each other with a “Merry death of Christ”? Sounds like the last laugh’s on Satan, to me!
Leave it to God to rock our world, eh, Al?
Al nods vigorously and self-quotes, “I mean, salvation aside, I say we owe him just for this awesome holiday!”
It stands to reason.