Christmas is that time of the year that always confronts me with conflicting emotions. There is of course the secular joy of the season, the excitement of the children and I might add that at this time of year there is always a little child in all of us. Bright lights, decorations of red and green…you know the song. I do, for what reason I am not sure, look at Christmas from both secular and Christian Views. The very fact that this phenomenon incorporates both a strong religious history as well as having become a commercial success gives it two very different areas of influence. Over the years I have become less focused on the secular aspects and customs of Christmas. I have also developed an awareness of some of those things that the brightly wrapped  presents and a tree along with the extensive amount of decorating we do to visually create that Christmas Joy… a special feeling that we attribute to that special time of the year. They also have awoken other feelings that come with a new awareness. There are so many people that are left behind in the joy of the family gatherings, the bright lights, the rush to find just the right gift for someone special, the preparation of that Christmas dinner…then the inevitable…that little twinge of disappointment when Christmas Day comes to an end.

Some thoughts from the believers side of Christmas. You might be surprised to know that this War on Christmas is not a new thing. There is a lot of history involved here and would make for a long read…but for time and space just a couple of facts from . 

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated.” 

What followed I don’t think they anticipated. Well, Christmas did gain a lot more attention, Christians believers started to attend church on Christmas Day…that’s a good thing. It is what follows that which is unusual. They then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras. There is more to that after church celebration that is best left unsaid. It wasn’t the Grinch who cancelled Christmas. Let’s go back to  for the answer to that and it wasn’t any of the Woke group, it was Oliver Cromwell, and his Puritan forces who took over England in 1645. They vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. When the Pilgrims, who were even more orthodox than Cromwell came to early America they did the same thing. Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681 Christmas was outlawed in Boston! It is interesting to note that according to Captain John Smith, Christmas was enjoyed by all without incident. Today the Christmas story has in many ways been marginalized by cultural and societal  customs and traditions. So long ago the Birth of our savior Jesus Christ was tied to church, cultural and societal traditions that in my opinion made it a part of, as we have become to say…The Reason For The Season. The birth of the Christ Child is not a seasonal thing. It has transcended time from that night in Bethlehem to this very day and will continue on as a sign of God’s love of his people and Creation…John 3:16…

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

I have in these older years of my life come to detach the birth of God’s Son from “Tis the reason for the season” …The birth God  incarnate, God among us, well that stands alone. Enjoy Christmas but know this…all the bright lights, presents, and brightly decorated trees…They can never shine as bright as that Star in that Bethlehem Sky on that night so long ago.

Merry Christmas!

Life is Good