I’ve had a novel (or maybe not) revelation this year.
For years, Christians have debated Christmas. “Do we celebrate at all, or do we not?” ”The origin of Christmas is pagan.” “The origin of Christmas is St. Nicolas.” ” ‘Xmas’ is an attempt to remove Christ from Christmas.” ”No, ‘Xmas’ actually uses the Greek letter ‘Chi’ which means Christ.” “Jesus wouldn’t want to have anything to do with a commercialized holiday.” “Jesus wants us to celebrate his birth, no matter what it looks like or when it is.”
I’ve read them all, extensively.
For years our family has tried to find a balance by forsaking the Santa/commercialized angle but still enjoying the season and insisting that the holiday really is/should be centered around the Christ child. No harm done.
But if we were all brutally honest, no matter how hard we try, Christmas still ends up being largely about food, squeezing in all the family gatherings and exchanging gifts. We try to focus our minds on Christ but end up feeling guilty because we’re distracted by all the celebrating.
So that’s why I’ve asked the question: “What if that’s OK?”
Can’t we simply have a holiday of fun, food, family and gifts?
Because here’s the thing: Christians neither need a holiday to celebrate the birth of their Savior (we live daily in celebration of Him, don’t we?) nor are they forbidden to celebrate, to have fun and to gift gifts, just because.
I’m having a guilt-free Christmas this year! Not a gluttonous, go-into-debt-to-buy-things-no-one-needs, lie-to-your-children kind (Christians are bound to live righteously), but a joyful celebration of life, of sharing good things with my family and friends, of beautiful lights and music and candles and decorations because we were created to love beauty and beauty inspires.
Can we just enjoy the winter season and all its beauty without feeling guilty for “doing it wrong” or conscience-bound for doing it at all?
I’m not saying you can’t celebrate Jesus during this season too, setting aside a special time of remembrance. But I am suggesting you don’t have to, and that often our attempts to are a facade.
And despite the alleged pagan roots of the Christmas tradition (even our days of the week have pagan roots), our Lord has redeemed every day (Romans 14:5) and He has come that we may have abundant life, including fun times of guilt-free merriment for the pure enjoyment.
I am a child of God, celebrating the birth, death and life of my Savior every day, and throwing some parties and giving gifts to those I love in December.