My friend Earl Crecelius, pastor of a UCC church in Illinois, has some good holy sarcasm in his upcoming Christmas Eve message:
I know I’m becoming a Christmas grump when I realize the slogan “keep Christ in Christmas” bothers me. It may sound funny for a preacher to say that, but it does. I’m not sure I ought to worship a Christ than can be put into or taken out of Christmas like a plastic doll in a manger. I have a hard enough time just keeping up with Him, much less putting Him into, or taking Him out of, anything. What does it mean to keep Christ in Christmas anyway? To pray while you shop? Has the Lord of the universe become flesh and blood so we can have Christmas trees in airports?
I think if we’re going to keep Christ anywhere, it’s more important to keep Him in Friday than in Christmas. Friday comes 52 times a year more often, for one thing. Besides that, Christmas time is all warm and tender and delightful, who really needs Christ at times like that? But on Friday – when you’ve reached the end of your rope and smacked your kid, and you’re wondering just what the heck kind of father you are; on Friday – when the doctor says you need that surgery now; on Friday – when you realize that you just can not help someone you love – that’s when you need Christ. So whatever you do with Christmas, keep Christ in Friday. Please!
...So don’t worry about keeping Christ in Christmas, or getting Christ in Christmas. He’s already here. Emmanuel – God with us.