Thursday, December 04, 2003

So this is Christmas.

I've been struggling with the idea of Christmas coming. I know how it originated and by whom. Really, I didn't think I would ever have to contemplate Christmas. It is absolutely my most favourite holiday. It has been since I can remember and probably before that. Over the past few years as I have been growing as a Christian, Christmas has meant even more to me. Except now I am not even sure it is a right thing to be celebrating.

I am assuming most of you know the origins of Christmas already. Very quick summary: Ritual celebrated by pagans before Christ was even born. Adopted by the Roman Empire to worship the God they called Saturn to celebrate the shortest day of the year which represented winter being over soon. The Catholic church wanted to detour from pagan traditions and marked the 25th of December Jesus' birthday. Christmas trees and mistletoe were symbols of the pagan traditions.

So, now that I know this and you do too. What do we do? I am thinking that it is not a sin to celebrate Christmas if you are doing it to reflect on God and who He is. I do however think that this should be a daily thing and not a once or twice a year celebration. If you are celebrating Christmas and all you think about is presents and parties and greed and the whole commercial aspect of it then you need to reevaluate your motives and your priorities.

I have celebrated Christmas most of my life but mostly for the idea of family, decorating, Christmas morning traditions, and I would be lying if I didn't say presents. Christmas has always had a special aura about it. I have found that at the beginning of December everyone is preoccupied with the commercial aspects of the season, getting drunk, over spending, over indulging, Santa Claus etc.. And I have seen people on Christmas day be preoccupied with greed and forgetting the whole meaning of giving/receiving. But I have also seen the opposite.

In my family, we don't care what we receive. We all feel the love in the house. We all celebrate together. Christmas should be about love, about hope, about grace. All things which Jesus showed and gave us before and after his death. Its not about commercialism and its not about a baby in a manger its about love, hope, grace, peace and a promise. May all our eyes be opened this holiday season.

Please feel free to comment as this is still something I am struggling with. Should we as Christians give up the Christmas tree, mistletoe, presents, decorations etc?

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