This has been rattling around in my head for a few days, I’ve just been unable to verbalize it. I’m still not sure this will make any sense, but here it goes anyway.
I don’t think Christmas is a Christian holiday anymore. More than that, I think I’m okay with that idea.
You have NO idea how hard it is for me to accept and say that! You see, I LOVE Christmas. I love the songs (hubby will tell you, I sing them randomly all year…he hates that.) I love the Bible passage in Luke 2:1-20 (I basically have it memorized, and read it occasionally through out the year.) I love shopping for others. I love packing Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. I love dressing up for a Christmas party or two. I love the big family get-togethers. I love to set out my Nativity scenes. I love our little table top tree. I love wrapping gifts. I love outdoor lights. I love the Salvation Army Bell ringers. I love it all. But — I don’t think it’s so much a Christian holiday anymore.
Before some of you readers block this blog for “inappropriate content” let me explain what I think Christmas is now, and then I’ll move on to Christian holidays.
First, I think Christmas is a time for childhood wonder. It’s a time for the young and old to look deep in their memory banks and smile at the good times in the past. And for those who have experienced past Christmases that brought pain and sadness; it’s a time to create new, wonderful memories that will hopefully begin to heal those old wounds. I think Christmas is a time for us to stop thinking about ourselves and think about others (after-all, isn’t that exactly what Christ did?) It’s a time for family and friends to hug one another and say “I love you.” It’s a time to celebrate, give, bless, sing… be children again, for a short season.
Instead of Christians getting all up in arms about something silly (like…I don’t know… a coffee cup), we should remember that the rest of America has the same freedom of religion that we claim they want to take from us. I’m not saying we should roll over on Christian issues of importance. Heaven forbid we cow down to abortion. And, yes, we should work to protect America’s morals, starting in our own homes. But we can’t force a love for Christ on others. And even if we were capable of doing so, that was never His plan. From the very beginning God gave humans the ability to CHOOSE to obey him. And yet, here we are trying to take that ability away from our fellow man, and expecting them to “love” Christ because “we’re a Christian nation.”
I absolutely wish every one in America was a Christian, but we aren’t winning souls by whining about things. We aren’t letting Christ’s light shine in us by complaining that “Christmas is so commercialized.” I doubt a single soul has ever been won through an argument over saying “Merry Christmas.”
So, let’s let non-Christians join us in celebrating childhood wonder! Let’s sing Jingle Bells, and go shopping before Thanksgiving. Let’s put up trees, deck our halls, and have fun. We can read the story of Christ’s birth any day of the year. We can keep Nativities up year around. And we can certainly celebrate our Lord’s ultimate gift. Seems to me we can influence a lot more souls for the kingdom by spreading JOY instead of begrudging others some Christmas fun!
Anyway, we don’t even know when Jesus was born. December 25th is just a day we chose. Want to protect a holiday? Protect Easter. We know that date is right.