(I am sure I am going to get some degree of hate mail for this, and a fair amount of “you’re wrong Yellow”)
The thoughts of a Christian. . . .
I grew up not celebrating Christmas or Halloween. All other holidays were fair game, and Thanksgiving was my Mothers Favorite, followed closely by Easter (which was a chocolate collection never to be topped). It was not really a religious thing; I grew up going to the Nazarene church or a Baptist Church from time to time. So we were outcasts around Christmas. I didn’t like it and I thought my Parents were just mean for too many years. For that I am sorry, because now as I am older and wiser (or so I like to think) I agree with my parents 100%
So before you call me a mean nasty Grinch who hates happy times let me explain. And as for the “gifts” many years we would a new thing for the New Year, and at some point near High School we started to celebrate Hanukkah in honor of my Mom’s side of the family. Gifts for Hanukkah are little things like Chocolate, and money.
Okay so why do I hate Christmas? So many reasons! Let’s start with the reason my parents gave me as a child, well most of the time they gave me this reason. . .
Jeremiah 10:1-5 "Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: For one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: They must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good."
Okay let’s look at that first. It says not to take a tree from the forest. Lilly tried to tell me that our tree came from the store so it’s not the same thing. I hope most people are smarter than my smart 6 year old and can gather that it is still the same thing. Next it says not to deck it with gold and silver, hum. . . what color are most of your ornaments? What about the fact that we are still decorating it look all nice? (BTW I do love looking at the trees, they are pretty). What about not nailing it down so it cannot move? Yep they even make fancy little stands for the real trees, and all the fake tress I have ever seen come with a fancy little stand thing.
To be fair all of this is talking about not making an idol out of a tree. So many Christians say it is not that big of a deal. But, then why do it? And isn’t putting gifts under something or at the feet of something kind of like worshipping it? If it is not then really forgoing the Christmas tree should not be that big of a deal.
***For some reason it seems to me that versus is kind of like God’s warning to us all, and the writers of the time were all like “What in the world is God talking about, why would anyone do something so silly” so they downplayed it. But God was all like “trust me they will come up with a reason to make this normal and okay, heck they will even do this silly thing in my name, making all the worse.” So the little thing got stuck in the bible and the people back then thought it was crazy, after all only a heathen or loon would go pick a tree to decorate it and put gifts under it. *** (I have a fun imagination)
The next big thing my parents would say to me was ‘If this is to be Jesus birthday then why are YOU getting presents?” Well as a kid I never did have a comeback for that other than, because Jesus wants us to be happy. And I am still sure that God wants us all to be happy and have nice things, but if we are going to really Celebrate this holiday as Jesus birthday then we really should not be worried about getting gifts, I mean it’s like saying to Dino “It is your birthday so we are going to take all your friends out to the pool.”
Now people say it is about Giving, yeah I don’t really get into that. Not at least for the young kids who are only really worried about what they are GETTING. Never have I heard kids around 6 years old tell Santa what they want to give. Rather, we go around and ask for stuff, make lists, and tell some fake dude what we want. It’s wrong.
Which bring me to my two second issues, first it’s about the Greed. I am sure that some adults can forgo the greed of “I WANT” for the holiday, and some really do think about what they are getting other people, but for the most part it is just about greed. I think greedy people are nasty. I don’t care if people say “oh they are only kids” kids cannot learn to not be greedy if we always ask them what they want, let them tell strangers what they want, and then get what they want. Also it is not just the kids! I have seen too many adults who are greedy around this time of year, now sure there is typically some giving going on, almost always someone is shopping for someone else, but there is still a lot of greed and guilt going on there. People shop for others more out of obligation around this time of year than just because; in fact some people never shop for others unless it is a young person’s birthday or Christmas.
Then there is the whole “Santa” Thing. Why is it okay to lie to children for the sake of the “holiday spirit” Which as far as I know the bible only talks about the Holy Spirit, but eh. Year’s later children find out that Santa is not real, and then there is some drama to deal with. Sure most take it easy, but I also hear too many stories of kids getting upset. Well I would be upset if my parents lied to me too. So in that end there is NO Santa in my house, my children 6, 5, 3 all know that there is no real Santa, no magic little people making gifts all night, no flying reindeer. We also have no tooth fairy, no Easter bunny, and so on.
Then there is always the fact that Christmas started out as a way for the church to gain more membership, or at least not upset the status quo by using Pagan holidays. Not that I am saying Pagan holidays are evil (that may be one area I will never be a “good Christian” in; I don’t think different is bad). I am just saying that is what it was. FACT. And the “Good Christians” who say it is about Jesus are misinformed at best, and stubborn or greedy at worst. Saying it’s not like the Pagans because you are trying to Celebrate the birth of Christ is like me saying I am not doing anything wrong just because I am in a crack house, checking out the crack, and hanging out with crack heads an drug dealers. Um, sure. I can call an orange an apple all I want; it will still be an orange.
There is always the argument that people don’t know when Jesus was born, because there is no real date in the bible (Sheppards out with their sheep can happen in the dead of winter?!) It is just natural that the Celebration takes place around the time of other holidays. Um, yeah does not really fit, not if one were to be true to the holiday.
So I don’t get this celebration. The facts of the holiday do not mesh up with what Christians say about the holiday. In many ways it seems to be going against the word of God, at the very least it is currently against the spirit of God.
So as my 3 year old told the girl at McDonalds today “Santa is not real, and I am good all the times”. That is how it should be, or at least I think so. Yet I sit here to type this out next to our tree, with gifts wrapped nicely under, and a stack of Christmas cards to go out as soon as I get to the post office. It just seems to be the most hypocritical holiday ever, and I am not really into the lies or greed. BTW all three of the girls are not getting what they want but something I know they will like and enjoy; something that is fun, something that says it is a party after all!
PS: Oh Dad are you going to get lights up this year? Ha ha ha! Yeah me neither!
*also, don't you ever wonder why suicides are the highest around this time of year? Yes, the lack of light plays a part, but there is also the guilt that seems to come with holidays, and the feeling of being alone.