Don’t put Christ back into Christmas! “It is simply not necessary. Christ has never left Christmas.” says R.C. Sproul
Sounds like a strange declaration. But if you haven’t noticed it has become fashionable for “serious” Christians to denigrate Christmas in all it’s commercialism, pagan origins, Santa Claus-filled trivialness. The drum-beat has become “let’s put Christ back in Christmas”.
I’ve had a few conversations the last several years with friends where they declare, “this year we are not exchanging gifts, Christmas has become one big commercial holiday”, “this year we are not going to have a Christmas tree – it has pagan origins in celebrating the winter solstice”, and then this….
But first a story. One day I picked my son up from the wonderful Christian school he attended, he was 6 years old and in 2nd grade. That day the 2nd grade had a substitute teacher who felt “called” to disabuse the children of certain fanciful notions , “There is NO Santa Claus” she declared. “Believing in Santa Claus is a sin. Your parents are lying to you, and they are sinning even worse then you because of their deliberate deception. Christian children do not believe in Santa Claus.” The 2nd grade sat silently, most of them stunned. My son, being a young man, held back his fears and tears until I came to pick him up.
Getting into the car, we hardly made it a block when I pulled over to comfort a crying little boy. Later when his tears had dried he felt angry at us, his parents, for the lies. Even later – he was deeply sad, and Christmas was not the same that year.
Many years have passed. I now have an older teen who still brings up that story every year. Did this sad incident focus his young heart on Christ? Did he learn that Christmas is not only celebrating the birth of Jesus, but is a foretaste of the lights, food, gifts, music, celebrations, praises, happiness and joy we will have when we are with Jesus? Did he learn that myths and stories often point to a reality too glorious to express? I could go on…. but don’t desire to get into the Santa wars.
I think R.C. Sproul says it so well as he reminds us not to be a scrooges on Christmas, not to be Santa Claus haters, and may I add – this especially applies to Christians.
Sure, Christmas is a time of commerce. The department stores are decorated to the hilt, the ad pages of the newspapers swell in size, and we tick off the number of shopping days left until Christmas. Buy why all the commerce? The high degree of commerce at Christmas is driven by one thing: the buying of gifts for others. To present our friends and families with gifts is not an ugly, ignoble vice. It incarnates the amorphous “spirit of Christmas.” The tradition rests ultimately on the supreme gift God has given the world. God so loved the world, the Bible says, that He gave His only begotten Son. The giving of gifts is a marvelous response to the receiving of such a gift. For one day a year at least, we taste the sweetness inherent in the truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive. [From Marley's Message to Scrooge]
Be sure to read whole article where Dr. Sproul masterfully touches on the sacredness of Christmas and whether it is tarnished by living in this present world.
- Santa Claus link worth reading
- Highly recommended children’s book (great for adults too!)
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