Sometimes I wonder what the God of the universe thinks about when He sees us celebrating christmas.
I wonder if He gets distressed to see the fighting that happens in the hearts of men over the capitalization of the letter "C".
I think sometimes that He must wish that He had sent a card that said "no gifts please" when He announced the arrival of His beloved Son.
I have read enough to make your head spin about the history of christmas. It can really get sickening. (not as bad as easter tho.) I feel myself get so scrougy that I cannot see straight.
Being raised in the religious culture that I was, christmas did not hold the story of the blessed Son. It was very commercial. Sure you might find a reading of the nativity story but basically I was told that since we do not know the actual day of Jesus' birth we would be wrong to celebrate it on a specific day and hold that day higher than any other.
I was raised with the images of santa. We were never told that he was real. He was just a funny plaything hanging out with easter bunny and tooth fairy. When we received a present from "santa" we knew it was from mom and dad. We played the game cuz it was silly. In my heart, christmas was an imaginary day where we got to play and imagine the same way we did when we watched Bugs Bunny or Tinkerbell. It was just play.
Then I grew up.
I encountered a world of religion that suggested that we were actually sinning if we neglected to make Christmas all about Christ. This theology points fingers at my raising saying that those people are somehow deluded and certainly wrong to remove the deity from the day. There are heated discussions about "those people". They are the ones that have placed the coming of Jesus into a secular cellophane box and tied it with a politically correct bow.
True Christians, it seems, know that this day should be holy and set apart. True Christians want the world to know that their maker has a plan. True Christians may even feel the need to enlighten those people as to the true meaning of the season.
There are many who yell. Some shake their heads. Others point fingers and try to keep their own hearts pure. I even think that there are others that feel a profound sadness and sincerely pray to God above to rectify this travesty and turn the hearts of the lost back to the truth.
Trouble is, the truth can too easily be confused with the words on the flyer that tells you that this store has everything to satisfy all your holiday shopping needs.
I wonder if it makes God sad to think that sending His son would cause people to believe that their righteous indignation could cause the turning of time and nation to the recognition of God's love. Jesus is the reason for the season...dammit.
So what is it all about?
Personally, I don't like santa. That story about saint nick is all fine. If you believe in saints.
I think that you either embrace the fact that santa is a human raised by elves (not to be confused with Elf)...or you canonize him into a holy man that did wonderful deeds and you then have to accept the fact that plastering his face all over your house is right up there with idol worship. What's it gonna be folks?
I choose to banish santa. ehhh..pretty much anyway. We watch the christmas movies. I love the claymation cartoons. We get our share of santa that way. But he is just an imaginary friend. He isn't allowed to take up residence on our gifts.
This is a fine line. I know. But it is my line. I don't have santa candles. I don't sign my gifts from santa. Yet I let my sweet papa play santa dress up if he wants to. I don't think it is warping anybody. It's just a game. We try to downplay it.
We set out a nativity because my kids think it is cute. Usually I forget to put it away with the other decorations so it sits out for many many months. We play with it. We talk. Jesus came to earth. Cool.
Christmas, to me, is a day where we tell one another that we appreciate them. We give them gifts.
I do not choose to associate that gift giving with the greatest gift of all. Some people do that. That is their choice. I can't do it. I don't celebrate the day as Jesus' birthday. If I teach that to my children then I teach them that honoring Jesus means seeing how much you can get and give to show affection and buy gratitude.
Not gonna do it.
I seriously do not want my kids to associate God's gift to us with anything of monetary value. Even tho I try to make it not about the presents at all. But the entire season is about the presents. You would have to live in a yurt to get away from all the commercialism.
I would like to duck my head and refuse to participate... but I don't really want to.
Sometimes I think about creating a gift day that is not associated with these holidays. That would be nice. And I could raise a family of weirdos. They would grow up and get married and go to counseling for a lot of years to get over the fact that their mother went off the deep end at the turn of the century and refused to let them be a part of American society.
Their wives would roll their eyes as they came over for christmas hotdogs and parcheesi. Their children would probably dig it because they would get presents in the middle of July when all their friends would just have to be satisfied with fireworks.
C'mon you know this sounds interesting.
Like I said...I could do that but I don't want to. I just want to light the tree...because it is pretty. It lights the night with sparkles. I like the holiday movies. Even filled with cheese they make me get all misty and I kinda like the sentiment.
(it's the only time I allow it in the house just so ya know)
Other than that...I like the presents. the only problem I have with presents...and lots of them...is that it gets all convoluted and tied up with God and His love for us. I can't take the contradiction.
God sent His son...not a snuggie.
I don't want to participate in a "season" of giving and getting in the name of Jesus. That should be our daily existence. double ugh.
So. I am not going to yell at you for saying "happy holidays". I don't have a problem with Kwanzaa. Hanukkah is a beautiful celebration of one miracle of God. If you want to make it all about being the best Santa you can be today and paying off the mastercard for the next 6 months...Just do it. Enjoy.
I am not even going to yell at you for your infuriating bumper sticker that sticks your idea of Jesus and His season in my face. Obviously I will judge you for it.
But I won't yell.
You can have it. If it makes you feel better, you go ahead.
I am going back to my roots. I don't know what day Jesus was born. I celebrate Him everyday. I don't want my children tying His name to the commercial garbage that is christmas.
So christmas becomes a sweet little day where we love on one another and eat good food. I refuse to go into debt for that.
That is my middle of the line response. I don't believe in any of the ways that it is currently done.
So I choose to let you do it how you see fit. I hope you can let me do the same.