Ask a majority of adults what Christmas means to them, and they will most certainly say the birth of Jesus Christ. But did you know that Jesus Christ wasnít even born on December 25? No one knows for sure when Jesus was really born, not even Biblical Scholars.
Did you know that the first three centuries of the Christian era Christianís did not celebrate Christmas because they felt that celebrating birthdays was a pagan custom? Many people will tell you today that Christmas is still a pagan custom simply because the idea of spending thousands of dollars and going into debt isnít something to celebrate. How about decorating a pine tree with stuff, stringing popcorn on strings, receiving gifts from a bearded fat old man who comes strolling down the chimney? Where does Jesus fit into these customs?
Ask any child under the age of six and they will tell you that Christmas is about getting presents and Santa Claus coming down the chimney to deliver them toys, but only if they have been good. Parents have used this Santa fib for many years to get their children to behave while shopping and to get them to go to bed when they are told. If they have been naughty they can forget about getting any toys.
So why was December 25th chosen as the date to celebrate Christmas? According to the Collierís Encyclopedia 1966 the choice of December 25th was influenced by the fact that on this day the Romanís celebrated the feast of the Sun-god, and that the Saturnalia came at that time. Sun-god and Saturnalia?
Because of this pagan observance of the Sun-god by the Roman community, the Church took advantage of this December 25th ritual and turned the people away from their Sun-god and made it a day to adore Christ the Lord.
My question is, do the children adore Christ the Lord, or Santa? Jesus doesnít bring them any presents and he doesnít come flying down the chimney every year either. In fact, they canít even see Jesus except as a ceramic statue in a manger surrounded by some sheep. I donít think they adore that too much, what do you think?
Letís suppose December 25th is the Birth of Jesus, where do all the presents, santa claus, reindeer, elfís, and putting stuff on a tree fit into the Birth of our Lord and Savior? Through the years European customs and rituals have slowly wormed their way into the celebration of what is now called Christmas.
Christmas is celebrated around the globe a little different everywhere depending on where you live. But they all are based upon the same idea of gift giving and getting, putting stuff on a tree to make it look pretty, and santa coming down the chimney.
From what I have gathered in just the past several years, the biggest fans of Christmas are the retailers and the children, and in that order.
What do you think about this? If the "true" meaning of Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus then we should do something for Jesus, I mean itís his birthday right? You wouldnít give your Aunt Florence a bunch of presents if it were your husbandís birthday, would you?
Maybe we should try and be more like Jesus by helping a friend who is really in need, and giving up our presents, time and money and giving them to someone who is really in need of these things. I know this is what Jesus would want you to do and itís his birthday.
Angie Lewis offers spiritual enlightenment tips for couples in marriage, and is the author of book, JOURNEY ON THE ROADS LESS TRAVELED.
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