I wonder if the people who claim this thought are ones who never let their children talk to Santa Claus, put up lights, or decorate trees. The Puritans tried to abolish “Christmas” centuries ago. It didn’t work then and it looks like it won’t be any time soon that it will work now.
Even the Pope is saying Jesus was not born on December 25.
The observation of the Winter Solstice precedes the celebration of the Birth by centuries. Most people are aware of the Yuletide Pagan roots of the celebration which have been incorporated into the life of the church.
My memory of childhood in my church contains both celebration of the birth of Jesus and celebrations of the secular side of the month. Among my first recollections of early church life is being dressed in pajamas along with two or three other kids and racing onto the platform to get to Christmas Stockings. I remember hearing laughter…something that happened with such scarcity that it was worthy of a memory. It must have been before Kindergarten since I remember the joy of doing this and believing in Santa. It was in Kindergarten on the playground that the first graders mocked us for being babies because we still believed.
I have no problem with celebrating the birth of Jesus. I’ve gone to Christmas Eve services for years. While I have shied away from identifying myself as a card carrying Christian for the past many years, I do firmly believe in following the teachings of the Christ and celebrating the time He spent on Earth. When asked, I would frequently say, “I believe I am spiritual but I’m not religious.”
I do have problem with those who criticize others for incorporating centuries of tradition into their celebrations or refuse to accept that there are people other than Christians who have their own celebrations during this month.
I sometimes question myself about my growing intolerance of what I perceive that American Christians have become. I know it means there is something I must hold within my own thoughts that I can’t accept about myself. I’m working on it. I see people who are leading increasingly more compulsive lives based on what they are being “taught” by their leaders. I see lack of acceptance of the beliefs of others growing by the year. Everything I believe about what being a Christian means is being questioned and set aside by those who are using Christianity as a prop for their own agendas. Just looking at the mega churches with their mega contributions going into the mega salaries of their leaders should be enough of an eyeopener to see that there are perhaps more ulterior motives behind their behaviors. Telling people that Jesus is the ONLY reason for the season eliminates the joy felt by millions of others sharing this space and time.
More peace and understanding is achieved when we open ourselves to the celebrations of others than when we insist on the exclusivity of a few days in December. Joy and good tidings are spread when we share, not when we try to usurp a few days for only ourselves. Namaste. Attic Annie