This year, Mandy and I are doing an Advent devotional from Naptime Diaries and our first few days have been really good. It seems as if – at least in this early stage of the Christmas season – I have heard a lot of debate this year about how Christians “should” celebrate the season. A couple of weeks ago we saw the new Kirk Cameron movie, Saving Christmas, about this very topic. Also, I’ve seen multiple blog posts shared on Facebook about how to handle Santa with kids and how to reduce consumerism in the household. It seems as if everyone has a different way of doing things and that’s awesome! But it doesn’t give me the answer I’m looking for. If anyone has the definitive way of doing things, let me know because I have no idea.
Luckily we don’t have human kids yet and some of those decisions will get to wait a while longer, but questions still remain. I have always been one who fully embraces the Elf-watching, decoration-collection-expanding, hot-chocolate-filled version of Christmas. I still love all those things and I think that they have their place this time of year. In fact, my hope is that the material trimmings of Christmas will help to illuminate our house with the spirit of Christ at the heart of our celebration. That’s my central frustration with the “anti-Christmas” attitude with which a lot of today’s Christians approach the season.
Why do Jesus and today’s version of Christmas have to be mutually exclusive?
Regardless of the way that your family deals with navigating the waters this time of year, I believe that the story of Jesus’ birth highlights the benefits of the holiday season. We don’t need to focus on the fact that some people only care about Jesus during the holidays, but rather celebrate the fact that the season has caused them to care at all. Why is it ever bad for people to be reminded of the hope in Christ? Why do we need to complain about how materialism and Santa detracts from Jesus rather than focusing on the fact that they serve as reminders of Him to folks who might not have been reminded otherwise?
Christ’s sacrifice is the same year-round but the hope that it provides is somehow more apparent around the holidays. As for our family, we will enjoy the fireside hot chocolate and be happy that we can celebrate our Savior while enjoying the things that come with our favorite time of year.