Christmas Goes Overboard

Years ago, at Christmas you were fortunate to get an extra lump of coal in your stocking to warm yourself by the pot belly stove. Times were very hard and many didn’t have much. Occasionally, your mother was able to surprise the whole family with an extra piece of meat and, perhaps, bake some plum pudding or sugar cookies. How lucky the family would feel at Christmas with these little extra blessings. I’m sure a discussion with your parents or grandparents about how they celebrated Christmas in the pre and post depression eras would be quite an eye-opening conversation. Most were truly thankful, considering how little many people had.
When the credit card bill comes in the mail, it's 'OH NO!' not 'HO-HO!'
Surely, many were thankful to their employers for the few extra dollars coming their way in bonuses at that time of year. Others may have thanked their parents for putting money aside so that Christmas would be special for the family. Without a doubt, many gave thanks to our Father in Heaven for all their extra blessings, even though our Heavenly Father and Saviour had no part in these Christmas season celebrations. In fact, they have never been a part of this ancient pagan festival. Christ is not the reason for the season.

You may be surprised to learn that the Holy Bible states in several verses not to take part in this pagan commemoration. “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it or take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:32). Also,

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 decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers that it move not.” (Jeremiah 10:2-4)

It is true that Christ was born in the flesh, but the Bible does not mention the day or month in which He was born. If our Heavenly Father really wanted us to celebrate Christ’s human birth, wouldn’t you think that He would have given us the date in the Holy Scriptures? Yet, the fact is, you can search from Genesis to Revelation and find no statement concerning the date when Christ was born, and definitely no instruction to observe, commemorate, or celebrate His birth.

To further illustrate this non-biblical connection, have you ever wondered if it was really Christ’s birthday, why do people buy gifts for themselves and others as opposed to buying gifts or giving more to the church? Have you ever wondered how the big guy with the beard and the red suit, you know Santa Claus, got into the picture regarding Christ’s birth? He doesn’t even exist, yet he purportedly flies around the world in one night giving presents, made by elves, to every good boy and girl; assuming, of course you made his list. Children write long lists and send them to Santa at the North Pole and expect results; they are subconsciously being taught greed and excess at a very young age during this confusing, charade of a holiday. When Christmas comes, consider for a moment and observe your children and other children when they are opening their gifts. Carefully observe their reactions as they tear into one present after another. And then, bear in mind their attitudes toward each other. Admittedly, it’s quite an education in human nature.

In addition, sooner or later some time after the holidays have come and gone, you might find yourself saying, “What’s that gift doing in the basement collecting dust? I paid good money for that!”

It’s also not uncommon for friends or family to ask, “How come you never wear the clothes or jewellery I bought you for Christmas?” And many will honestly admit when the credit card bill comes in the mail, it’s “OH NO!” not “HO-HO!”

Today, the world’s message is this: the more you spend (and go into debt for your family and friends on this so called “holy” holiday,) the more you care for them. Unfortunately, the opposite may occur if you don’t meet their expectations. Not surprisingly, many friendships, marriages, and other relationships become strained and even result in violence at this time of the year. Sadly, statistics confirm that the Christmas holiday season is the most volatile time for violence compared to any other period during the year.

The children of God however, should be filled through Christ, not the carnal things of this world. In John 10:10, Christ says, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

The movie studios show the reality of this Christmas season. They portray parents doing whatever it takes to purchase that hot new video game, or fashion fad for their children. If it doesn’t show up under the tree come Christmas morning, the parents are in big trouble! Studios call them Christmas comedies: art imitating life. It’s a fairly true reflection of the season, but it’s no joke. The excess is out of control!

When the credit card bill comes in the mail, it's 'OH NO!' not 'HO-HO!'

This is my fifth year since giving up the Christmas holidays. I’m thankful to God that I’ve been blessed to understand the truth concerning this holiday and consequently am free from all the pressure and high expectations of this “stressmas” time of year.

As an example of what I’m talking about, last December, my daughters and I went to see a movie. It was still early when the movie ended, so I asked, “What would you like to do for the rest of the day?” They answered, “the Mall.” Without thinking about the time of year I said, “Okay.” We spent longer looking for a parking space than we stayed in the mall. However, when we finally entered, it was a full blown shopping frenzy! People, with their boxes and bags were banging into us, and one another! I turned to my daughters and screamed in horror, “What was I thinking, let’s make a run for our lives!” Out to safety we went, into the parking lot maze. “Oh no! Where’s the car?” Again, there was difficulty locating it because of the mass of parked vehicles. It was quite an experience and quickly reminded me of why I don’t regret, nor miss observing this holiday.

If you choose to change your ways and, like me, stop observing Christmas and instead follow God’s way, you can be assured God will bless you for it. Remember, “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). In the end, we know what’s popular is not always right, and what’s right is not always popular. And though we know God’s way is always right, it’s not always the easiest road to follow (2 Timothy 3:12). May God give you the courage to stand up and make the right choices for His Truth, because if you do, He will bless you for it!


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