NFL running back asks fans: 'What does Christmas mean to you?'

by Lee Warren, Newswriter |
New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings (23) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (24) and linebacker Anthony Barr (55) during the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. | Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK, N.Y. (CHRISTIAN EXAMINER) — New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings asked a simple, gospel-laced question on Twitter last week, prompting many different responses.

"What does Christmas mean to you?" he asked, just before the big day.

Jennings, a seventh-round draft pick from Liberty University, is in his seventh season in the NFL. He played his first four seasons with Jacksonville, made a one-year stop in Oakland and is finishing his second season with the Giants. He's coming off a season-high 107-yard performance on Sunday against Carolina — the most by a Giants running back this season.

He is seeing increased playing time in recent weeks. The Giants have been using four running backs throughout the season, and have been near the bottom of the league in rushing. But Jennings picked up 81 yards on the ground at Miami on December 14 before setting his season high last Sunday.

The 3o-year-old is a thoughtful, curious believer who taught himself how to write with his left hand (even though he is right-handed) and play the guitar. In fact, he recently posted a video on Twitter of himself playing the guitar and asking fans to help him come up with a title or lyrics.

He also offers thoughtful responses when thinking about his Savior.

"I see a Man who was perfect," he told The 700 Club. "I see a Man who knew where He was going. (He) wasn't ashamed to live for something bigger than Himself, who wasn't fixated on deteriorating anybody's faith to bolster His. But He was so convicted in His faith that He made everybody else question theirs. He's a Man of love. He exemplifies it. And He's somebody that I want to follow."

So it's no wonder that he asks thought-provoking questions on Twitter. He received numerous responses to his Christmas question, some of which were introspective, while others were fun, and others were revealing.

@awolfnamedpanda: "Christmas for me is another day to celebrate and be thankful for God giving us his son so that we may live!"

@fdny12700: "it means giving to others"

?@CookiFIT: "It changes every year. This year it means a chance to rest & pray about this latest medical journey & finding peace in it."

?@shanebrightBHS: "More than time and fellowship with family and friends, it means acknowledging the birth of a Savior for all humanity, Jesus."

@lucillecig: "Christmas means being together with my family- with much appreciation and thankfulness that I have them in my life."

@MaryAmalfitano: "Celebration of birth of Christ with family"

@knicksnow20_c: "Watching the Redskins lose out and the Giants win out + having a good time with family"

@BrnxBmbr17: "it means Odell [Beckham, Jr.] wins his appeal, Rashad has a 2nd straight 100 yard game and the G-Men beat Minnesota on Sunday night"

@JGM3_moschella6: "means the Giants breaking my heart week after week as I drown my sorrows in chocolate cake and cry"

Another person simply said, "nothing."

As of this writing, Jennings hasn't weighed in on the topic. He seems to be willing to let the question do all of the heavy lifting as people contemplated the meaning of the holiday.

The Rashad Jennings Foundation recently gave away gift certificates to students at its holiday party. The foundation has been promoting a reading challenge since 2010. More than 176,000 books have been read since the challenge began, according to its website.