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Ah, Christmas… It’s that time of year again. The time when we sing Christmas… err… to be politically correct… holiday songs (most of which have little or nothing to do with Jesus and more to do with Santa), give gifts to those we care about (because doing it any other time just wouldn’t make sense), and, of course, we put up all kinds of decorations around the house — lights, trees, ornaments, stockings, berries, branches, and ribbons. All this in order to, allegedly, celebrate the birth of Christ.

But wait… did I miss something? What does a Christmas tree, eggnog, mistletoe, stockings, or eight reindeer have to do with the Son of God? Sounds like some kind of bad riddle, doesn’t it?

I’m pretty sure those things — in fact, probably 85 percent of what we do when it comes to Christmas — have absolutely nothing to do with the true reason for the season, which, is the birth of Jesus Christ into the world.

We talk about giving gifts to symbolize the gift that God gave us in His son, Jesus, and that’s great. Wonderful. But what about the other things? What about stockings? What about the Christmas tree? How do those relate to Jesus? (And let’s not even get into the whole Santa thing.)

But maybe it’s just some harmless traditions. Maybe it doesn’t really mean anything. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with gifts, and trees, and non-Jesus Christmas songs. Or maybe there is something wrong with it all. Maybe we become so focused on the “stuff” around the holidays that we forget what it’s really about. And if those things detract from our understanding and celebration of Christ does that mean they’re an idol in our lives? Because what is an idol, but something which we place in higher esteem than God?

Doesn’t Christmas become so all consuming that we schedule our lives around it sometimes? Trying to figure out when and where we can get the best gifts, and thinking about how we want to decorate the house, and what’s for dinner, and who’s coming over, and who’ll sit where, and the list goes on and on, doesn’t it?

Overall, there’s not a doubt in my mind that we have lost focus of what Christmas in about. But I can’t change the way a country celebrates a holiday and neither can you. So what can we do? Focus on the “who” behind the “why” and tell those you love about Christ, and his coming to Earth for the sole purpose of dying for their sins that they might accept His gift, gain eternal life, and have the most memorable Christmas ever.

[Written by Stuart McDonald for For more from Stuart, check out his personal blog and follow him on Twitter]