Evangelizing Christmas

WARNING:  This article is meant as satire.  While I am partially serious, please take no offense.

Team, this is it.  We’ve been waiting all year, and we only get one chance at Evangelizing Christmas!  We’ll get another shot at Easter, but let’s make the most of this opportunity.

Christmas is that special time of year when that seldom-seen breed of Catholics come out: ChrEasters.  They’ve come to fulfill their twice-yearly, personal obligation for Mass.  It is a golden opportunity for evangelists, like us.

Evangelizing Christmas should be easy.  All year, we do our best to convince people to come to Mass.  Well, here they are!  Now, what do we to convince them to come back?

First, we must learn to recognize the ChrEaster in its natural habitat: the back half of the Church.  They’re not looking to sit up front with the regular Mass-attenders.  They want to sit quietly unnoticed at the back of the Church.

Next, we need to recognize the tell-tale signs of their behavior.  The new Mass translation offers us whole new ways to recognize it.  Listen for these signs:

  • “And also with you.”
  • “We believe…”
  • “One in Being with the Father…”
  • “It is right to give Him thanks and praise.”
  • “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you…”
  • “What new Mass translation?”

Now, we must be careful to distinguish between the ChrEaster and the regular Mass-attender who simply made a mistake.  Who doesn’t throw in an “and also with you” from time to time?

Other signs include a lack of genuflecting, constantly checking their watch, gum chewing, playing with their cell phone during the homily, and saying “Thanks” when receiving the Eucharist.

If we fail to identify them during Mass, we still have a chance.  Just wait for the large herd heading for the door immediately after receiving the Eucharist.

Now that we’ve had a little fun, let’s be serious.

Christmas is the perfect time and opportunity to evangelize.  We have a captive audience – at least for one hour.  What can we do to make them want to come back?

First of all, we should not judge.  Many of us have been in the same situation.  Few people, unfortunately, grow up going to Mass and continue that faithfully as adults.  At one time or another in our lives, we were probably ChrEasters.

We need to be more welcoming to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Introduce yourself.  Start a conversation.  Invite them to sit with you next week.  It’s a lot easier to go to Mass when you have a friendly face sitting next to you.

After Mass, stand around and be social.  It would actually be a good idea for parishes to offer donuts, coffee, and refreshments that day.  The audience is there – convince them to stay awhile.

Promote events at the church.  Do you have a winter formal coming up?  Activities for the kids?  St. Patrick’s Day celebration?  Now is a good time to promote anything in the near future.

Most of all, smile.

Nothing is more inviting and welcoming than a friendly smile.  After numerous family and company parties, an early morning with the kids, and a long day of cooking ahead, I know that you’re tired.  Smile anyway!  We are celebrating the birth of our Savior!

Evangelizing Christmas is the perfect way to spend the holiday.  What better birthday present could you offer Jesus than a few returning faces the Sunday after Christmas?

With this post, I hope that you had a little fun, but I also hope that you took it as a call to action.  This is one of the few times each year when our Christian faith takes center stage in mainstream society.  Let’s make the most of the opportunity!

Copyright © 2012, Chad R. Torgerson


Chad R. Torgerson

Chad R. Torgerson

Chad R. Torgerson works as an IT Analyst for a Catholic publishing group. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and sharing his faith on his website, Waking Up Catholic, a guide to the Catholic RCIA process. and is also the Co-Founder of Assisi Media, a new Catholic publishing company focused on using new media to reach everyday Catholics. His new book, Waking Up Catholic, is available in eBook and paperback formats.

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