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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Can a holiday get a do over from its origins?

It is no secret I struggle with the Christmas season.  I hate the maddening rush, the hundreds of parties and commitments and the obligation and pressure to buy gifts.  I hate the commercialization of it all.  So once upon a time I thought maybe I could let go of all of that and just focus on the the birth of Christ.  But then I found out that this was not Jesus’ birthday, and to make it worse perhaps God was not pleased we chose to taint our Messiah’s birth remembrance by mixing it with pagan traditions and activities.  So what I am to do with this mixed up time of year?

Tonight the question came to mind, could a holiday season get a do over?  Could the slate be wiped clean and something new be created?  Does this season need to be anchored to its pagan and so called Christian origins forever?

If I could have my way, I would wipe the slate clean and enjoy a holiday celebrating winter.  Because after a few months of snow and cold we need a little something to make it through the season.  So I would keep the lights on houses and fences.  They are so bright and cheery.  I would have upbeat songs about enjoying winter to lift our spirits. Even the tree in the house with ornaments of memories of days gone by would be a great family bonding time.  Take a day where the world can pause and come together as family and community, and enjoy a leisurely meal together, because there is nothing like food to bring people together and relax.

What I would leave out…

gift exchanges and obligations,


Jesus birth celebration,

stress and busyness.


I would love to be able to implement this world wide or at the very least in my own life.  But it would be so much easier if everyone was on board.  Because the reality is right now it is a season of a confused holiday – some do Christ but not Santa, some do both, some do Santa but not Christ, some love all the gifts and obligations and baking, some say no to the whole thing, some are exploring the idea of Hanukkah.  So it is impossible to know how to celebrate with with friends and family when no one is on the same page.  Sigh.  :(

As for celebrating the birth of Christ, I am all for that.  Just not at Christmas/December.  There are many incidents in Scripture where God tells us to set something up to remember Him.  So I would love to set aside a special time to focus on the miracle and gift of God coming down to dwell with us.  But not when it is in competition with the commercial holiday of Christmas.  He deserves better than that.

So back to the idea of wiping the slate clean for this time of year (season).  I read this article tonight – “The Origin Of Christmas” (  In the article it talks about how the pagans took items from nature and gave them meaning.  For example: “Both holly and mistletoe were hung in doorways of temples and homes to invoke powers of fertility in those who stood beneath and kissed, causing the spirits of the god and goddess to enter them.”  So does this mean that forever holly and mistletoe have to live with this identity given to them?   Weren’t holly and mistletoe first created by the Creator of all?  Don’t they belong to Him? Why do they have to carry some pagan religions meaning forever?

And the article also said this – “In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god.”  What I see here is things of God’s creation being tied to make believe things.  There is no such thing as a yule or sun god, just like there is no fairies or elves.  So why are we worried about something pretend and fake?  If I choose to have an evergreen tree, does it automatically mean I believe in yule and sun gods?  Absolutely not!  What one person or religion does with something (nature, food, etc) does not mean that I am tied to that meaning or religion.

So I am not any closer as to what to do with Christmas, but I hope one day I will find a path that works for me and leaves me with peace and love this time of year.

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