It can be difficult to engage teens in a conversation about Christmas. Here’s a Bible study that will help you get them talking, and digging into scripture. We’ve also created a downloadable powerpoint and pdf of this lesson (it’s at the end of the post).
When Starbucks unveiled its Christmas Cups a few weeks ago, some believed it was yet another volley in what some call the “war on Christmas.” The fact that they were simply red—without a single snowflake or Christmas tree on them—offended some Christians.
“Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of its brand new cups?” read the Facebook post of irate critic Joshua Feuerstein. “That’s why they’re just plain red.” His response was to order a coffee under the name “Merry Christmas.”
“Guess what, Starbucks?” He said in a video. “I tricked you into putting ‘Merry Christmas’ on your cup.”
If Starbucks hates Christmas, its campaign against the holiday seems inconsistent, given the special Christmas coffee blends, Christmas music CDs, stocking stuffers and Advent calendars the company sells in most of its stores. Indeed, you could argue that many businesses love Christmas—as in the commercial version of Christmas—a little too much.
As our culture grows increasingly secular, it can’t get enough of Christmas. Many stores and malls began decorating for the holiday season right after Halloween. Businesses often rely on Christmas for their yearly profits, and no wonder: The average American shopper plans to spend approximately $882 on gifts this season.
It’s not just shops that love the holiday season. Many secular radio stations launch into “all Christmas music, all the time” as of late November. The Hallmark Channel unveiled a slate of 17 new Christmas movies beginning in early November. That’s not just 17 Christmas movies but 17 new movies.
While some of this commercial Christmas cheer reminds us of the religious origins of the holiday, it’s pretty rare. Christmas is celebrated by Christians, agnostics and atheists alike. Most of our favorite traditions, such as Christmas trees and stockings by the fire, don’t have much to do with Jesus’ birthday. It’s easy to forget sometimes that Christmas is about Christ.
Talk About It
Engage teens by asking the following questions:
– Do you think Starbucks was wrong by not making its Christmas cups more Christmasy? Does the controversy change the way you think about Starbucks? What do you think about the people who protested?
– What’s your favorite part about the Christmas season? Are there parts of it that annoy you? If so, what? Does your family have any special traditions? What’s your favorite Christmas memory?
– There’s nothing wrong with loving to open Christmas presents or drinking eggnog or watching Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer; but how do you keep Christ in mind during Christmas? What religious traditions do you observe? What are your favorite such traditions? Are there things your church does that are extra special to you?
What the Bible Says
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.”And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”‘And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.'”And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,”‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!'” (Luke 2:8-14).