Knights of Columbus Lead Charge to Keep Christ in Christmas
PSAs, billboards and Nativity scenes among elements of nationwide campaign
Millions of people in North America will be reminded to “Keep Christ in Christmas” thanks to the efforts of the Knights of Columbus. The campaign includes public service announcements that will be aired in the United States during the Christmas season, as well as a variety of local programs in support of the campaign that include signs, billboards, Nativity scenes and Christmas cards.
Radio spots encouraging people to “Keep Christ in Christmas” in various ways – including by helping the less fortunate – will be aired in English and Spanish. In addition, a television PSA has been sent to networks and hundreds of local broadcast stations and cable systems.
Originally organized by the Christian Mothers of Milwaukee, later know as Council of Catholic Women, in Milwaukee, Wis., the effort was originally known as “Put Christ Back into Christmas.” Following that effort, the Knights of Columbus adopted the “Keep Christ in Christmas” program in the early 1960s, and have been actively promoting it since.
The Knights has been producing “Keep Christ in Christmas” PSAs since the 1980s.
Last year, the Knights of Columbus Christmas PSAs reached more than 38 million television viewers and 34 million radio listeners. Billboards and signs with the same message have also been put up around the country by local Knights of Columbus councils, and many local councils also sponsor nativity displays or sell religiously themed Christmas cards.
“In a society where Christmas has often become shorthand for shopping, many who celebrate Christmas can lose sight of it true meaning. Those who celebrate Christmas give gifts to each other because it is the day on which we celebrate the greatest gift: God’s gift of his son to the world,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. “Christmas is about ‘peace on earth toward people of good will’ and we think that’s a message worth remembering.”
This month, the Knights kicked off the Christmas season as councils nationwide – including the Supreme Council in New Haven – took part in the organization’s Christmas tree lighting ceremonies. Councils are encouraged to hold a Christmas tree or nativity scene lighting ceremony on the first Tuesday of December to commemorate Christ’s birth. The Supreme Council also erected a nativity scene on the Green in New Haven, Conn., near the organization’s headquarters, and is organizing a “Posada” (Christmas procession) on the Green Tuesday, Dec. 20.
In 1995, the Knights of Columbus secured the right to display a crèche on the town hall green in Trumbull, Conn. after a successful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The organization’s success before the nation’s highest court helped ensure that Nativity scenes would continue to have a place in our public life
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