Yesterday the weekly Happy Monday post invited everyone to begin celebrating Christmas. Just a couple of thoughts, I will try not to labor the issue.
1) Happy Monday is meant to be encouraging, uplifting and often times funny. Sometimes funny that teaches a lesson in the subtext, sometimes funny because smiling and laughing are good for us. Take everything with a grain of salt.
2) We suggested that it is now acceptable to begin celebrating Christmas. I have actually given up on expecting people to wait until after Thanksgiving; that ship has sailed, the bell cannot be unrung. So anything I say about celebrating early is tongue in cheek.
3) “Tree up, lights on, this is Happy Monday…” Here’s what I really want to get at. Not everyone celebrates Christmas even in the month of December. For some Christians December 25th is just another day. Among Christian believers the ways of worshipping and celebrating Christmas run the gamut from all out to nothing at all.
Some Christians put up trees, lights, wreaths, hang stockings, play Santa, do the whole bit. Others light the candles of the Advent wreath and keep the weeks but have nothing to do with the commercialized, societal Christmas celebrations. In our home we decorate a tree and hang stockings on the fireplace mantle but we also read the scriptures together, keep the weeks of Advent and recognize that Jesus comes into the world. Our daughter has always enjoyed a big Easter basket with chocolate bunnies and colored eggs but while those things are fun to do we also celebrate the resurrection. Jesus was dead, buried, raised on the third day and lives forever more. The two things are not mutually exclusive. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It’s hard to “keep Christ in Christmas” because for many he was never there to begin with. Christian believers need to focus on keeping Christ in our worship services, in our homes, in our hearts. Let the world have Rudolph, Elf on the Shelf, Coca-Cola drinking, red BMW driving Santa Claus. You can’t control what the Hallmark Movie Channel does from Oct 1 to Dec 31. You can totally control what verses you read, hymns you sing and prayers you say in your family devotions.
Christmas at my house may not look like Christmas at yours. And it doesn’t have to. Any celebration of the Christmas holiday is extra-biblical. It is permitted, perhaps even useful, but not necessary. Recognizing our need for Christ, that is most important.