Since as far back as I can remember, the day after Thanksgiving has always been the day that retailers started in on their heavy sales campaigns to entice the American public into buying Christmas presents for their family and friends. This day later became known as Black Friday—a name given because retailers would be “in the black” financially, as opposed to being “in the red” on their accounting ledgers.
Today we often see retailers jumping on the commercial Christmas bandwagon before Thanksgiving, displaying all of their Christmas decorations and the endless amount of junk they are trying to sell to us.
While we have heard all about the “War on Christmas,” the true war has been the long-standing one against anything Christian. Christmas long ago became “Xmas” so as to not offend anyone with the mention of Christ.
The celebration of the birth of our Lord has been overshadowed by loud and tacky music blaring 24 hours a day on the radio, by ridiculously elaborate and electrifying house decorations, and by endless commercials guilting us into spending money we don’t have.
Liturgically, Christmas begins on December 24—Christmas Eve. Until then, let us try to minimize the stories of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, turn the secular music off, and instead pray, fast, and prepare for the birth of our Lord during this Advent season, for we have many truly important reasons to celebrate. Let us focus on the special feasts and the people who mean so much to the Catholic faith: Saint Nicholas Day on December 6, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12. And we cannot forget to celebrate and pray for those caroling at abortion facilities who try to save babies.
Back in the 1930s, a Coca-Cola Company artist named Haddon Sundblom painted the iconic Santa Claus we have all seen. He’s the fat and jolly Santa with a plate of cookies and an ice cold bottle of Coca-Cola. It is Sundblom’s Santa who has almost singlehandedly destroyed Saint Nicholas in the minds and hearts of so many generations of our Catholic children. Let us revive that image and memory of Saint Nicholas by our actions and prayers this Advent season.
Until then, I wish you a blessed Advent, and I’ll wish you a Merry Christmas when the Christmas season is upon us.
Rey Flores is the director of outreach and the project manager for the upcoming 2015 National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week. Learn more about NPLTW at www.NPLTW.com. Rey can be contacted at RFlores@all.org.