Everyone knows Christmas is commercialized,... few take it to heart. Its a money season. So the buyer of gifts is greeted with a holiday business first smile.

      Children look forward to presents while sellers blitz the world with advertisements. It's an opportunity for employers and relatives to show their love. A day of big time sports events. Of children trying out new toys, of family get togethers, and of holiday excuses for parties. Those things are all well and good in a godly way, but celebrate Christ in Christ'mas. It will make a difference in your spiritual life.

      Instead of the fantasy of Santa Claus being the target of your children's faith, would it not be healthier for children to focus their faith on the Giver of Life whose birthday is the reason for the season?

      Those who observe holidays as times of "pleasure seeking" are losing something spiritual and holy. It is written in holy Scripture, "HE WHO SEEKS PLEASURE WILL BE POOR."

      Would you have any less pleasure centering Christmas day on the Lord? Think about it. Children open presents and are caught up in thanking God for them, guided by you; and you as loving parents are caught up in enjoying their happiness.

      Enjoy singing Christmas carols together. Open the family Bibles to Gospel accounts of the Lord's Immaculate Conception and edify yourselves together going over sacred Scriptures pertaining to the Lord's birth and his youth, for those teenagers who would like to know how fast they must run to catch up with Jesus spiritually who mystified Pharisees in the temple teaching there when he was twelve.

      Imagine the wonderful effect it would have on all of you worshiping the Lord as the wise men did who perceived he was God in the flesh of the small child there before their eyes with the glorious angelic light shining overhead outside of the barn where they were led to him.

      Let sinners struggle all they might to be happy without Christ the Lord, but real happiness is in pleasing God. Once you are convinced of this great truth, it will not be a chore for you to invite the omnipresent God into your lives in songs of praise and thankfulness and your children will benefit from wonderfully as the Spirit of the Lord unites your family in his glory.

      The central theme of Christmas is a genuine thankfulness toward God Almighty for bringing his Son into this world miraculously through the virgin birth to show us what God is like in the flesh of the man, Jesus. That's why so many loved the Lord down through the centuries after experiencing the reality of him even in a small way.

      Let Santa Claus take a backseat to Jesus Christ right from the beginning. It might even be smart to tell them Jesus is Santa, but Santa is not a very good example of Jesus. It was Jesus who made the gifts to your children possible. He is the A and the Z, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega of all things. It is so easy to get caught up in our humanity to where we do not have a developed God consciousness, but reading and obeying holy Scripture helps us grow our faith in godliness so we can do the things spoken of here.

      We really can't do away with Christmas. Your children will know other children throughout the world are getting presents, and they will not be able to accept a giftless Christmas, but what they can accept is the greater goodness of a Christ centered Christmas with their gifts especially if you keep the celebration clean and sober.

      It is not wrong to drink, but waving beer bottles in the air like sinners with shouts and curses like they do in their homes is not a godly atmosphere and if you think godliness is weakness, you are sadly mistaken. It was Moses who delivered an entire nation from the dictator of ancient Egypt. It was Joshua who used the power of God to knock the walls of Jericho down to conquer that city. It was Elijah who brought fire down from the sky to kill groups of fifty police officers who came from the evil King to arrest him and it was Jesus who died on the cross for our sins without a complaint or any show of weakness.

      Rowdiness and brawling has come to be associated with toughness and with having fun, but the John Wayne's who punch out drunks in bar rooms are not so tough as Hollywood makes them seem. David went out with a slingshot and brought the giant witharmor on down with one stone sunk into his forehead. That's tough.

      Christmas is what you make it. If you love your children enough to buy them presents, you should also consider thanking God who formed them in the womb. It is God who gave us the Christ child to deliver us from the awfulness of our sins, and if you don't think your sins are awful; I certainly do think mine are awful. Sins are the produce of our imperfect human nature and of our selfishness, but through the Spirit of Christ and the Word of God we labor by faith in the hope of becoming NEW CREATURES.

      What better time to build a God consciousness in our children than Christmas when they are in awe of Santa, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, of decorating the Christmas tree and of opening the surprises packed into their gifts. You don't have to attack Santa or any of the fantasies to be successful with your children, just put Christ in the center of all the celebration and the children will catch on as they grow into mature adults.

      You may have your sports on television. That's your choice. But could you not also make time for reading about the wise men and evil King Herod and no room in the Inn (the Hilton hotel of those days) while your family is in such a wonderful attitude. What better context for such a divine story! And will you not enjoy your family more than the drunk rowdy crowd drugging themselves into fighting moods in front of their children who then become a nuisance to the adults present for whom they are such an evil example, their children also grow up to be evildoers.

      But even those godless families who are well behaved are losers. Their children do not experience the unity the Spirit of Christ provides a family nor the love so divine from God who is Love.

      Get out of the traditional rut where drivers are racing around in traffic bullying one another, honking their horns threateningly cursing others. Break the chains of the traditional Christmas rush for happiness not found in materialism. Plan your Christmas carefully preparing in advance throughout the year. Be happy with a little materialistically. Be wise and temperate in what you put into your body. Make sure your drive for success does not ruin your ability to lead your family through a Christ centered holiday where you all can unite in Him. May God Almighty be with you this Christmas in the Spirit of his goodness and divine Love. Amen.