I love Christmas – for so many reasons – the jolliness, the holiness, the cold weather, the eggnog and rum! It’s the holiness one that always gets me though (well, the rum get’s me too…). I’m conflicted over a few things and would love any thoughts on these:
1. Like others, I’m disgusted by the material focus of the holiday, on the other hand I love shopping for loved ones and feel it’s important to teach my children to GIVE – and yes, that may mean shopping occasionally. Everything in moderation people!
2. The Christmas story (i.e. virgin birth/manger) is very spiritually meaningful to me (part I), but, more frequently, I enjoy the wider reach of the Christmas spirit – that it is really for everyone, including the non-Christian friends I have that celebrate it and anyone else who wants to spread good cheer! Making me wonder how important the “Christian” aspect of Christmas is.
3. The Christmas story is very spiritually meaningful to me (part II), but I don’t believe a word of it. This is the real douser!
But Jesus is the whole reason for Christmas right?
Sure – but the means do not equal the ends.
The birth story is one of the more touching ones in the Bible for me. Despite my love for the story, I push it aside. I don’t want to focus on the story but rather the meaning, the application in life. Help those in need, bring gifts to strangers, open doors rather than shut them.
Whether or not the story itself is based in fact is almost beside the point. The story should represent how we show we believe rather than just what we believe – if that makes sense. Let Christmas become less Christian if it means that more people come together for celebration and sharing. Secularize Christmas for the sake of the true meaning of Christmas! Ok, I know I’m getting carried away, but this topic is hard to articulate for me (I’ve rewritten this more times than I’d like to admit).
The Christmas tree, the stockings, the cookies, the carol, all those lovely traditions – and so many others – all remind us to spread joy, give willingly, and embrace life. I know God’s message is not so easy to boil down, but I don’t think he would object to this version. Let’s just not let an amazing story distract us from the more amazing meaning.
P.S. And the Santa thing, when can we give that up? Pretend jolly fat men don’t spread joy, people do!