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All Across Long Island, Movement Is On To ‘Keep Christ In Christmas’

Religious Groups Say True Message Of The Holiday Has Been Lost On Public

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ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There is more to Christmas than gifts and jingle bells, so say a growing number of people with lawn signs and bumper stickers.

As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Monday, there’s a growing “Keep Christ in Christmas” phenomenon.

Linda Doupe was recently found doing her Christmas shopping in a Christian store.

“Keeping Christ in Christmas is important. It’s his birthday,” said Doupe of Lynbrook.

The Advent Shop in Rockville Centre was packed with holiday shoppers who said they are tired of the commercialization of Christmas.

“Let’s make the season what it’s really about – it’s Christ’s birth. When you see Snoopy on a lawn and Santa on a motorcycle you say where is Christ in this, it’s Christmas?” shop owner Sarah Ryan said.

Ryan said she’s sold out of “Keep Christ in Christmas” bumper stickers and more shoppers than ever are looking for gifts for children with religious meaning.

“They’re saying I want this to reflect what’s important in life and not just a throw away scarf or a 100 sweaters that you don’t need,” store employee Linda Suppa said.

It’s a movement fueled by social media and a national Knights of Columbus campaign. Bumper stickers and lawn signs have popped up everywhere. The message: Christmas is not a secular holiday.

In Rockville Centre, Sean Dolan, the spokesman for the diocese, said parishioners are refocusing on Jesus as the reason for the season.

It’s a reaction, church officials said, to the shopping frenzy — the sales, the parties, the decorations often having little having to with the meaning of Christmas.

“I think people feel Christ has been pushed out of the season. Christmas is not about the solstice and winter and snowmen,” Dolan said.

“When we get into a frenzy that is only about the gifts, we forget THE gift, and that is Christ,” added Patricia Moran, of the Congregation of the Infant Jesus.

Sister Moran said there’s nothing wrong with wishing people happy holidays, but she just says “Merry Christmas.”

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