Let me start by making it perfectly clear...this blog post is based on my personal conviction. It applies to me and is in response to a question that I was recently asked about me. This is not an attack on Christmas or anyone who celebrates Christmas.
I am going to warn all my Christian friends up front. You may want to stop reading after this paragraph because my personal truths will collide with some spiritual truths and it may cost you Christmas. It did me. And. It has for several others that have pushed me for an explanation about why I no longer celebrate Christmas. So. For those of you who love the holiday...STOP READING NOW.
A few years ago I had a discussion with a friend about Christmas. I don't remember what the post was even about. Though I feel certain that it wasn't about Christmas per se but it just sorta went there somehow. I've been searching for it in my "On This Days" but I don't even remember if it was my post...or his post...or even someone else's.
Anyway. He made the point that the Bible said that Christmas trees are wrong. So. I found the scripture that he referenced and I tried to put it in context for him. That Scripture is as follows...
For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple. Jeremiah 10:3-4 NKJV
Mind you...that it doesn't say "Christmas Trees" but...it does sound a lot like our customs and how we decorate these trees. I'm not going to explain that Scripture here. You can read Jeremiah 10 for yourself. All I want to point out is that the chapter...(the whole book of Jeremiah!)...is teaching on idolatrous behavior.
The fact that I could find no reference to Christmas in the Bible...the fact that I had to go to an outside source to find any information at all about the origins of Christmas...bothered me. If it were something that I as a Christian was supposed to do to honor Jesus...wouldn't God have told me so in His written Word? RED FLAG.
A few years ago, one of my children was out of our home when Christmas rolled around. They did "visit" us during the holidays but they weren't really with us much. Anyway. That Christmas was lopsided. The kids who were still in the home full time got way more gifts than the one who was out of the home did. In fact, we owe that child some things now that they have never gotten to this day.
One of my kids who got a lot was upset by the fact that there was one who got so little. Child Alot thought that it was unfair and that their sibling would be hurt. Child Alot didn't want Child Alittle to feel like they were loved less because they weren't in the house with us. Now. There was a lot of other things going on in our lives at this time and Child Alittle's needs were actually greater than the other children's wants. So it was more lopsided than we even knew. Turns out Child Alot was showing wisdom about things that God wouldn't reveal to me until much later.
All of that got me to thinking about the fact that my children thought that love for them was tied to or could be expressed by the gifts bought for them. As if love has a price tag. As if one could place a monetary value on any one of them. Another RED FLAG.
Now. Add all of that to the fact that Christmas was literally making me sick to my stomach. I was faced with spending money I didn't have on things that weren't needed for people who didn't deserve it. RED FLAG. I was faced with trying to blow the Jones out of the water with decorations and lights. RED FLAG. I was faced with playing nice with people I couldn't stand to visit with any other time of the year. RED FLAG. And I was faced with cooking three whole days for a thirty minute meal. RED FLAG.
I had no joy or peace. And I was hard pressed to find any love. Christmas was stressful and frustrating. I was faced with everything for the Christmas Season....but Jesus. And wasn't He supposed to be the whole reason for the season?
It was time for a serious heart check for me. My children were living out what they had learned from me. And if I had been so wrong about so much...could I also be wrong about this too. I had to ask myself what was my motivation behind celebrating Christmas. Was I only celebrating because I always had? Because truthfully, I was NOT celebrating Jesus' birth. I was not overly concerned with good will towards men. I was not thinking about joy in the world. I only wanted it over so I could put my house back in order.
So. I went searching for some answers. There were none to be found in the Bible. In fact...what I did find did not point to Christmas...but away from it. This holiday had become like an idol to me. I was worshipping the tradition. I was serving Santa. And I was not teaching my children to be good stewards of their time, talents, or treasures. I was worse than Scrooge. He didn't believe in the holiday. The holiday was all I believed in. RED FLAG.
None of the information that I found about Christmas...could be supported with any Scripture. And if I can't find it in the Bible...RED FLAG.
Way too many red flags for me.
IN MY OPINION...Christmas is a world tradition that the early Christians started to offset a Pagan religious festival that was occuring around the same time in December. If my goal is to keep myself set apart from the world...if my goal is to not look like it or act like it...why the heck would I engage in a Worldly tradition?
Why is it okay that on manmade holidays...I look just like the World? Trust. If I'm going to do some world mess...it won't be wasted on a holiday!
We get upset when secular artists sing gospel music. Or when people throw the name Jesus into something and try to make an unholy thing holy. That bothers us and we want no parts in it. Well. Christmas has no basis in the Word. And if it has no basis in the Word...that means it has it's basis in the world.
And last I checked...I was called to be in this world...not OF it.
So. I don't celebrate Christmas because IN MY OPINION it is a secular and commercial tradition of men. I don't need to put up a tree or to decorate my house or to sing carols or to exchange gifts to celebrate the birth of my Savior. I celebrate every day by reading His Word, walking in His way, and loving on His children.
That's all I got. And. I am thankful that's all He wants!
Now. If you still have Jesus in your Christmas...do it all the way up. But as for me...I had to start from scratch!