As many of you know Christmas first started out as a pagan holiday. However the church decided to try and redeem it, so they took it over as the celebration of Jesus’s birth. Although most people agree that He wasn’t born on December 25. There have been times in Church history where Christmas was banned because people got too carried away in their celebration.
Christmas now is both a celebration of Jesus’s birth (to Christians) and a time to give presents and decorate, and buy lots of stuff (for everyone including most Christians). For the most part i would argue that Christmas is leaning more towards consumerism, than Christ.
Now Christmas is not a feast or holiday talked about in the Bible. So as a Christian you can choose to celebrate or not, either way is ok. The Christmas tree, and stuff used to have pagan meanings, but Christians have tried to change their meanings. Found on About.com
The Star: A heavenly signs of prophecy fulfilled long, long ago- The shining hope of mankind.
The Color Red: The first color of Christmas, symbolizing that Savior’s sacrifice for all.
The Fir Tree: Evergreen- the second color of Christmas shows everlasting light and life. The needles point up to heaven.
The Bell: Rings out to guide lost sheep back to the fold, signifying that all are precious in His eyes.
The Candle: A mirror of starlight, reflecting our thanks for the star of Bethlehem.
The Gift Bow: Tied as we should all be tied together in bonds of goodwill forever.
The Candy Cane: Represents the shape of the shepherd’s crook, used to bring lost lambs back to the fold.
The Wreath: A symbol of the never ending eternal value of love…having no end.
There are a lot of good things about Christmas, and it should be about giving and celebrating our Savior’s birth, life, and sacrifice for us. Because God gave us the gift of Salvation, we should celebrate by giving gifts to our friends and family. It makes sense.
But like anything in this world, there is a chance for idolatry. I think Christians should celebrate Christmas, have a tree, decorate (moderately), and give gifts.
However, I do have a list of worries / concerns.
1. We are very prone to idolatry, be wary of this, and do not get caught up in all the stuff, and consumerism. Be careful to continue to find your hope and joy in Christ, not in gifts, decorations, and family.
2. Make sure Christ is the center of the celebration. Be wary of getting caught up in all the decorations (like Santa) which really have nothing to do with Christ.
3. Santa. Teaching that he is a real living person is problematic for me, here are some of my reasons.
First you are teaching your children that a fake person is a real person, yes you are lying to them. You are teaching them a false reality. You are encouraging legalism and performance based living, as children if we grow up thinking that Santa gives us gifts based on our performance, what is to stop us from thinking that about God?
Look people, as humans we are bent towards legalism, we think that we can find favor with God through our works (or Santa). Naturally we think that we should bring something to the table in our salvation. But this isn’t how God’s grace works. God doesn’t give us more grace when we are good, and less when we are bad. Santa is one more thing in this world that reinforces our natural inclinations.We must be wary of these inclinations and strive against them. You can enjoy many aspects of Santa, but I recommend staying away from the naughty or nice part.
Second you are lying to your children. A few things happen from this: they might not trust you in other matters like Jesus, they may be devastated, they may not care. But I say why take the risk?
Why as a loving Christian parent do you want to teach your children a lie at risk of them not believing you in other things, or at least getting a false sense of works righteousness apart from the Gospel?
If your job as a Christian parent is to raise your children up in the Faith and to teach them God’s law day and night, how does teaching them about Santa (as if he was real) help you accomplish that?
Do not be so caught up in this tradition of teaching that Santa is real, that you think you have to do it, or else your a bad parent. Santa is where people are caught up in secular traditions, not Christian traditions, just be aware of that.
Do not worry your child will not be disappointed that they didnt believe in Santa, you know why? Because Santa is nothing, he does not save, he is not God, do does not love you, he does not care for you, you get nothing from Santa. However, there is a God who does love His children, who does save them, who gives them every heavenly blessing (apart from their deserving it), has taken them from death to life, will never leave nor forsake them, has seated them in Heaven next to His Son. Teach your children such a God, and such a Gospel, and they will be so exicited about the truth, that they won’t care they didn’t believe in a lie.
So Christians enjoy Christmas, celebrate according to your conscience before Christ, but remember that your job is to teach your children and friends / family, about the real reason for the season.
At least thats how I see it.