Billy Graham reminds Christians to keep Christ at the center of Christmas season

The most important thing that Christians can do during the Christmas season is to keep Jesus Christ at the center of all their activities while avoiding getting caught up in shopping and presents, according to renowned evangelist Billy Graham.

(REUTERS / Mark Blinch)A woman carries shopping bags during the Christmas shopping season in Toronto, December 7, 2012.

In a question-and-answer column on the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger News on Nov. 23, a woman asked Rev. Graham how she could avoid getting caught up in the frenzy of Christmas shopping and be more self-controlled in her spending habits. The evangelist opened his response by quoting Luke 12:34 in which Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Rev. Graham explained that the way a person uses money reflects what he or she considers important in life. He said that while it was not wrong to take advantage of bargains during the Christmas shopping season, the Bible encouraged people to spend their resources wisely and avoid buying more than what they need or intend to buy.

To avoid getting swept away in the Christmas shopping rush, Rev. Graham advised the reader to create lists, stick to a pre-planned budget, and allot a time for rest. He also reminded shoppers not to spend more than what they can afford on presents that only aimed to impress the receiver. He also said they should carve out time for Christmas concerts and other special events.

Graham closed his reply by quoting John 1:4, which said "In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind." Therefore, he said, it was important that Christ remains the center of all Christmas celebrations and activities.

In line with the topic of holiday shopping, Liberty Counsel has just released its Naughty and Nice List of stores that either publicly embrace or censor Christmas. The list was part of the organization's annual Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign, in which it promised to be a "friend" to companies that celebrate the birth of Jesus and a "foe" to those that censor the occasion, Charisma News reported.

The stores that made it to the top places in the Nice List include Belk, Staples, Kohl's, JCPenney, and Walmart. Those that were under the Naughty List for offering generic holiday gifts and decors include Old Navy, RadioShack, Gap, and TJ Maxx.