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It’s Christmas again! Seems like it comes around quicker every year!
What exactly are we celebrating? Most likely believe that Jesus is the “reason for the season.” After all, what does the “Christ” in “Christmas” represent? Some, to be sure, realizing that the term Christmas does include the Christ, have opted to replace the Christ of Christmas with an “X.”
However, “Happy Xmas” rings a bit hollow as most find “X” to be rather nebulous and nothing to be happy about or worthy of celebration. Therefore, those who prefer to remove Christ from Christmas find “Happy Holiday” to be a little less absurd than “Happy or Merry Xmas.” Whatever the case, we are still challenged as to what we are celebrating in the first place.
Those who see Christmas as the celebration of Jesus’ birthday are actually historically and scripturally inaccurate. Jesus was not likely born in December. To the best of our knowledge, historical calculations put Jesus’ birth in October… maybe, and there is no biblical directive or mandate to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
As important as God’s incarnation may be, it is not His birth that sets us free. Easter is therefore a more appropriate celebration for Christians, however, I digress from the “reason for the season,” which is what, exactly?
Christmas has mostly been seen as a Christian holiday and celebration. One need only listen to the related music to see this. Most are happy to leave it that way. Some, especially those who piously point out the error involved in this holiday or see no practical need for celebration, simply do not participate in any Christmas activities.
Those who prefer to leave Christ out of Christmas, see the holiday as an opportunity to celebrate family. Actually, I believe it is fair to say that this is probably a universal reason to celebrate Christmas from both Christian and non-Christian perspectives. In other words, those celebrating Christmas, celebrate family and those who don’t, well, they don’t.
Now that I have clarified the purpose for Christmas, obviously from my perspective, let me share why Christmas is loathed by some. Aside from those who share no reason to celebrate at this time of year, the main reason some people hate Christmas is ironically and paradoxically the same as those who do celebrate it, that is, family.
Every celebration provides opportunity to reflect on good things while, unfortunately, highlighting some negatives. Since Christmas is often seen as a time of year for celebrating family, and as there is no such thing as a perfect family, Christmas also provides opportunity to remind us of the dysfunctions within it. For this reason, some people see Christmas as a painful time of year, a time when issues and animosities are brought back to light.
My hope and prayer for you, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, is that you will use this opportunity to reconcile with those with whom reconciliation is due. In addition to celebrating with family “get” togethers, let’s do whatever we can to initiate family “put” togethers, as in putting familial enmity to rest.
Wishing you all the very best, if not a very Merry Christmas.
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