It’s no secret that Christmas has become a commercialized holiday over the years. East Texas church leaders say it’s okay to celebrate Santa and enjoy all that comes with this season, as long as you’re remembering the reason why we celebrate.
“To celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ is for the sins of mankind,” Woodland Hills Baptist Church Pastor Michael Ogdie said.
“Emmanuel came, he lived in the middle of us, he gave us all a second chance,” Father Tim Kelly, of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, said. “That’s the spirit of Christmas.”
It’s a spirit that enters the homes of families across the world.
“Our sons and cousins and daughters who maybe during the year aren’t always our favorites, they come back from college or from wherever they are,” Fr. Kelly said. “They get a second chance. Who wants to fight at Christmas time? Everybody wants to get along.”
Pastor Ogdie reminds us to not let a commercialized Christmas overshadow the true importance.
“While giving gifts, and while going and seeing Santa Claus is a lot of fun, that we must never lose focus that Jesus Christ is the whole reason why we even celebrate Christmas in the first place,” Ogdie said.
Fr. Kelly chooses to take the topic of Santa Claus head on.
“I teach my kids here, God sends Santa Claus down the chimney!” he said. “I wish he’d send our bishop down the chimney and send some gifts to me!”
After a rollercoaster election season, he said we need to hold onto the truth of Christmas now more than ever.
“Oh bid our sad divisions cease, and be for us a prince of peace,” he said. “That’s my wish for America this year.”