The lights, ornaments and nativity sets are packed snugly in the attic until next year, the radio is no longer playing “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” and shoppers are no longer serenaded by tinkling bells as they go in and out of stores. Fresh, sparkling 2013 is already threatening to dim my memory of December 2012 so before Christmas slightly past becomes Christmas totally past I’m going to squeeze this blog post in!
A conversation with good friends last month on the whys and wherefores of Christmas
got me to thinking: why is it that the shunning of Christmas seems to be a common denominator among aberrant religious groups? My neighbors, who are Two-by-Twos, don’t celebrate it. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate it.
I began to wonder whether or not patriocentrists celebrate Christmas so, to satisfy my curiosity, I googled a few prominent names. I discovered Michael Pearl’s motto is “Keep Christ out of Christmas and it’s OK.” His family does not decorate for Christmas, exchange gifts, put up a Christmas tree or have any church celebrations. Doug Phillips does not celebrate Christmas. Voddie Baucham and his family also opt out of Christmas, having decided several years ago to no longer exchange gifts or put up a tree.
Thankfully, until this year, I had no idea the celebrity families of patriarchy abstain from Christmas. So, in my blissful ignorance, I felt no peer pressure to align with their ideology.
Christmas in our home, for the most part, looks the same as it always has. We’ve relaxed our standards in a few areas; for example, we now watch a wider variety of Christmas movies such as White Christmas and Elf (these movies both used to be on our naughty list!) Santa is mentioned much more than he used to be. We used to have “off limit” children’s gifts such as gaming systems (too addictive and creativity-stifling), barbie dolls and noisy battery-operated toys. We’ve dropped these restrictions. As a matter of fact, last year we bought our family an Xbox for Christmas!
I love Christmas. I love spending time with family and friends. I love hearing Joy to the world, the Lord has come! while I’m browsing the aisles in Walmart. I even love the more superficial aspects of Christmas–Santa Claus, eggnog, the grinch, holly and mistletoe, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”–but most of all I love the freedom I have in Christ to celebrate both the sacredness and silliness of Christmas!
So here’s to the very best Christmas gift ever–Christ entering our world, putting on humanness and offering Himself so that we can be free indeed!
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. (Gal 5:1)