Year after year, family and friends struggle with our decision that we do not celebrate this Christmas nor do we give or receive presents. A few relatives have accepted our decision and send their gifts at Hanukkah. Others insist that everyone NEEDS Christmas presents and they show up in the mail. Well, we don’t NEED presents!
Christmas is not our holiday. It just isn’t. It hasn’t been for over 30 years. It’s just that simple. Every year when one of my adult children tells someone who celebrates Christmas that they don’t, they are invariably asked, “How has that affected you?” making them feel like they have been deprived of something grandiose or that their parents are mean green ogres.
Now that they are adults, it has been interesting to listen to their responses to those who wonder about their Christmas-less-ness. One said they ‘love’ this time of year because they aren’t stressed out like everyone they know trying to buy gifts, getting them wrapped and attending parties. Another said she has enjoyed wrapping gifts at her job knowing she’s helping relieve some of the stress of those who do celebrate!? Another one said, they’ve never really thought about what they missed because there’s nothing to miss. The discussion segued into conversations they have had with different individuals and not one ever mentioned a spiritual connection to the holiday – not one.
Now that there are significant others in the family, it has been interesting to watch their responses as well. When they learned about the ties of Christmas to Saturnalia, they are initially shocked. Because they have hearts to serve God, they are relieved they no longer have to take part in a pagan holiday. Though their families continue to celebrate the mass of Christ, they understand the roots of the holiday from cutting down trees to embracing a catholic mass and have chosen to ‘come out from among them and be separate.’ Unfortunately, there is still one whose soul is still tied to the ‘warm fuzzies’ which allows for the holy and profane to be in the home.
Though I know everyone who wishes me “A Merry Christmas,” means well, I wonder what they think when I say, “YOU have a Merry Christmas, our family does not celebrate.” Generally from their silence, they appear dumbfounded. They probably think, ‘Who would be so humbug as to not celebrate this holiday of cheer?’ But then, I wonder how has not celebrating Christmas and all its trimmings affected the Jews? How has not celebrating Feast of Tabernacles, Hanukkah or Passover affected their children?
We have never felt comfortable about lying to our children about a hopping rabbit that lays chocolate eggs (?), a little lady with fluttering wings who steals teeth from them while they sleep or the jolly man from the north pole who flies a sleigh through the sky led by eight wingless mammals with antlers. Really? He comes down the chimney?
With the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, we realized that we would begin a subtle cycle of teaching our children lies. When they grew up and realized that each of these entities had been a make-believe sham, they would begin to question our authority in speaking the truth. As parents, we wanted to set an example – a lifetime example.
The most important Truth to us is our faith in the God of Israel and the birth, life, death, resurrection and soon return of Messiah Yeshua. To think that someday our children would doubt Yeshua as the Savior of the world and his Lordship in their lives because we fabricated cutesy games about other beings they couldn’t see, feel, touch, or hear was just not worth the price of their eternal life. Lies are lies. Not bearing false witness is a commandment. There is someone other than mommy and daddy who can claim to be the ‘father of lies,’ but not us.
Some may choose not include the Christmas clown and his reindeer in their holiday festivities because they honestly want to honor the time as Jesus’ birthday. But was Jesus really born at Christmas? At one time we believed he was, but then we learned that is another lie based on the misconception that ‘we don’t know when he was born.’ When we were made aware of the timing of the Messiah’s birth through Scripture, we were honest with our older two children (4 and 2 at the time) about our own fall into deception. We repented and removed that lie from our lives and began remember the birth of our Savior at the proper time on God’s calendar.
For over 30 years, Christmas has not been our holiday and our children are just fine. In fact, they are better than fine. They are free from the bondages attached to a holiday that consumes time and money. More importantly, they are free from the ‘father of lies.’
©2013 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved. No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.