As we move forward into our modern times we find ourselves struggling more and more with christmas. Our generation grew up knowing for a fact December 25 was Jesus’s birthday. Yet now we find ourselves with the dilemma that is likely not so. Santa Claus for Christians is a figure I think Christians have always wrestled with. He’s not Jesus, he’s not real, yet were supposed to lie to our kids and make a big deal about him. The fact chrisrmas is a made up tradition by man also sets an uneasy feeling in our stomachs. As the Internet enlightens us on so many lies about this particular day we find Christians everywhere scrambling on what to do about the holidays.
I have read through some of my fellow bloggers and what they have to say about christmas. Some Christians refuse to tell their kids about santa cutting him completely out of the picture only to say he’s nothing but a lie. Some Christians refuse to even decorate a tree because one verse in the bible. Many however still go along with tradition and the status quo. This division has sparked many arguments within the church and to be honest, I think it’s a far greater sin to yell at each other then it is to put up a Christmas tree.
I propose a humble solution to our troubles. One that doesn’t involve lieing or taking away the joy of the holidays, and propurts the importance of Jesus. All of these traditions have a Christian foundation, we simply need to rediscover them.
1. Change the way we look at Santa Claus, he was not a magical man from the north pole. He was a very important early church father who did a great many works in Christ’s name and died a martyr for his faith. He was a incredibly important figure head that advanced Gods kingdom during the persecuted church period of the 4th century. By giving presents to our children and each other we remember him as an example and honor his charity and contribution to the body of christ. In this light Santa is not a magical fanciful thing, instead he’s a positive role model to learn Christ’s message of doing our good works in secret and doing them freely and liberally. His story also reminds us that community is important and ways in which we can help our local community. We remeber him as he was, because he teaches us ways to walk with christ. There is a dark side however. Somehow somewhere in history saint Nicholas became the victim of satanic idolatry. Ancient parents for some reason felt the true Santa wasn’t good enough, so they made stories about raindeer and elves and now we have a satanic imposter.
This is after all how Santa made it into the Christmas tradition anyway. There’s a far more important meaning to him I think we as modern Christians should respect, frankly I’m glad he made it into our tradition. If you have 15 mins I can make it worth your while to learn something about this good man. But I think it’s no good to just give him the boot so easily from christmas- after all your kids are going to hear about “Santa Claus” anyway and it will only result in kids arguing, why not tell them the full truth about him? Even better Saint Nicholas provides the chance for us to learn about our persecuted history. The church history is one of many trials and many saints who sacrificed so much for christ. You could even turn this into a learning experience so many Christian children lack. You don’t have to be catholic to see the saints as people and historical figures played powerful role in church history.
Saint Nicholas of Myra
2. Jesus birthday being in the spring time and not December 25. Well so what? We remember Jesus everyday of the year, so we picked a seemingly random day to celebrate his birth and go all out with it. Is that really a bad thing? It started as a competition against the pagan sun god worship of ancient rome. They chose the 25th so the pagans would look at what Christians are doing for their holiday the winter solstice. The idea here was to get the Christian faith noticed by those who did not believe. Again, is that really a bad thing? The plan worked, we showed up those wicked pagans didn’t we. Truely the date set is proof of Jesus’s promise to give us victory over satan, why should we not celebrate that? Sure it was a bit of a political move, but it was a move that advanced Jesus into Europe as our savior and Flung Jesus into a mainstream religion. You would have to be a fool to think this was in someway evil.
3. Decorations, egg nog, presents, evil materialism, etc… Some of these little extras are traditions that came over many thousands of years- mostly just as things to keep the family together. Through out the entire bible God tells us to be merry with each other. There’s times we worry about satanic forces of darkness, and there’s times we simply rejoice in each others company. No one gets the whole family together very often, this is an invaluable reason to do so. God is not a God of being boring or a prood don’t make him into one. The bible tells us when we celebrate with each other we celebrate God. Why ruin it? Truly you side with atheists in making Christmas sterilized much more then Jesus. Don’t give up the best part there’s no need.
Yes it’s true presents are usually junk, however I myself can recall Christmas seasons past when family really needed things, as in life or death situations. Christmas was a time for them when they got taken care of by the family (myself included). So remember your own family members in need, what good is it to worry about the homeless when your tossing your own family under the bus? The bible says that makes you worse then a heathen. (1 Timothy 5:8) I can guarantee you most of the time when a family member is in need they won’t tell you. It’s better to give them a gift regardless, and better it be something well thought out. Then there’s the toys as presents to the kids. Young parents in particular don’t have much money, consider them by considering their children. I know there’s some spoiled brats out there, never mind them much, but every family has a family member that’s broke. When you give to their children it’s the greatest gift you could give to them in a way that doesn’t ‘feel’ like charity.
4. Christmas is a man made holiday it’s not in the bible. Guess what else isn’t in the bible, going to church. Some of you are going Swallow that pill hard. Church on Sundays is completely a made up, man made tradition- no where in the bible does it even mention it. Why do we go to church?
Consider Mary of Bethany, the whore who stormed into the pharisee house in a awkward scene to anoint Jesus’s feet with expensive oil. The gift was pretty inappropriate of her, and so was her manners for the host of the house. However Jesus was so happy she thought of him and put in the effort just to give a gift. Christmas and church are man made traditions, but it is a tradition we made to give to Jesus. We are all sinners just like that whore who are coming to christ to be saved by grace. We do it because we love him and he’s done so much for us. I’m certain Jesus doesn’t really care about our trees and cookies and what ever else just as much as he didn’t really care about the oil. but I know he’s glad to see the family together in the spirit of him. This is our gift to him, our expensive oil to show we keep his teachings and honor it in a long held tradition. The short story here is, not everything has to be in the bible to be of the spirit.
5. We don’t need one day of the year to celebrate jesus when there’s 365 days. That’s true and for me this entire blog is an example of that. You could think instead theres 364 days to think about Jesus and 1 BIG BLOWOUT DAY to think about Jesus.
6. Holiday cheer and goodwill to men is cheesy and a cliche not to mention stressful. Yeah well so is reality television but no one’s getting rid of that either. Let me tell you how many times I’ve waisted an hour of my life watching TV thinking the following:
So you tell me you know the script and can’t choke up holiday cheer for one day of the year, but in the same stance some how choke up love for Jesus everyday – Im curious how that’s possible. I’m not saying your lieing about love for Jesus, I’m just saying some of you have plenty of other pretty scripted things to say or do.
So this Christmas I will give to charity like I do all year. This Christmas I will remember what the church father’s did to advance Jesus’s teachings and kingdom. I will teach my children History of the church and the sacrifices made to preserve the word of god. I will decorate my house as if preparing for the arrival of a king, because Jesus did arrive and he is a king – More importantly he’s my king. (Yet he’s still coming again someday) I’ll eat and drink with my friends and family, and give my artisan gifts I give every year, and visa gift cards to family in need. Not just because gifts are tradition, but because gifts are a symbol of the royal law “love thy neighbor”, this includes the family. In fact everything I do for Christmas will be in remembrance of Jesus, because everything in it is done in remembrance to him, and his teachings. Truely only few things could or should be different- mainly just changing the way we think about it. These traditions are long lived traditions not because they were pulled out of a hat. Your job as a Christian is to simply recognize where they come from and know how to apply them.