The Christmas spirit is alive and well in the North Woods, evidenced by busy churches, nativity scenes that include a live nativity and generous giving to those in need — the latter of which follows an example started by God, who gave the world the gift of a special child.

For those who don’t celebrate Christmas or who would be offended by a simple, heartwarming greeting such as “Merry Christmas,” you might want to stop here. This is not a secular opinion wishing “happy holidays” and “season’s greetings.” This is much more direct than the vague words of the average greeting card. 

The holiday we are about to celebrate is not really about Santa, shopping sprees and presents under a tree, though intense commercialism has helped bury the true meaning of an extremely significant event.

The Holy Bible tells us that more than 2,000 years ago, a very special child was born in Bethlehem. The good news spread quickly that a savior was born in the city of David. It was the Christ Child, the Prince of Peace, the Son of God. Why should people be offended? This is the Christmas story.

No event in the history of the world has been more celebrated or more well-documented. Christ went on to teach the world about peace and goodwill toward all humans. His disciples carried his message to the corners of the Earth, as they still do today, baptizing those who believe.

Certainly the spirit of Christmas is a miracle all its own, a time when people help others more than any other time. We tip our hats to those who have given of themselves and their possessions during this remarkable season, making the world a better place for everyone. 

Generous donations to our Warm The Children program this year are just one example. How great the North Woods is that we can still enjoy some real Christmas programs in our schools.

We are reminded by Christian pastors that even more significant than the spirit of giving is understanding the most treasured gift that could ever be given — Jesus Christ on Earth. We are told that how we receive that gift and what we do with that knowledge and grace, the year around, is central to Christmas.

It is our hope that people realize Christmas isn’t about the celebration itself, but the reason behind such joyous and generous activities. People can deny most anything and they can certainly believe in what they choose, but there is no doubt that Jesus Christ is the reason for the season.

Behind the editorial ‘we’

    Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and reporters Doug Etten and Michelle Drew.