Too many Christians do Christmas wrong

Christmas express

If you’re a Christian who thinks the Christmas season ended on Dec. 25, then you’re already a casualty of the ‘war on Christmas,’ and you don’t even know it.

In the United States, the annual commercial assault on Christmas begins on Thanksgiving, when some Christians line up in the middle of the night for special sales that force others to work on a national holiday.

In the bigger picture, the modern attack on Christmas, and Christianity, has been ongoing in one form or another for more than 100 years.

As too many Christians have grown ignorant of Christian history, they’ve surrendered the faith to the mainstream cultures in which they find themselves. From closing churches across Europe to Americans ignorant of the liturgical calendar, the Christian tradition has slowly given way to Christmas trees, theologically flawed nativity scenes and the drawings of Thomas Nast.

The fact is, for the secular world, the Christmas season ended on Dec. 25. But for Christians, the day marked the beginning of the Christmas season.

We are in the season of Christmastide.

The 12 Days of Christmas aren’t the days before Christmas, they are the days after.

This article explains it well:

“. . . Christmas Day itself ushers in twelve days of celebration, ending only on January 6 with the feast of the Epiphany . . . The “real” twelve days of Christmas are important not just as a way of thumbing our noses at secular ideas of the “Christmas season.” They are important because they give us a way of reflecting on what the Incarnation means in our lives. Christmas commemorates the most momentous event in human history—the entry of God into the world He made, in the form of a baby. The Logos through whom the worlds were made took up His dwelling among us in a tabernacle of flesh. One of the prayers for Christmas Day in the Catholic liturgy encapsulates what Christmas means for all believers: “O God, who marvelously created and yet more marvelously restored the dignity of human nature, grant that we may share the divinity of Him who humbled himself to share our humanity.” In Christ, our human nature was united to God, and when Christ enters our hearts, he brings us into that union.

The Christmas season is more than what most Christians think it is. Just as God is more than what most Christians think God is.

Christianity courses through time like a flooded, raging river.

Too many Christians think they are on the shores of the Christian tradition, when in fact they are standing at the edge of a small, shallow, backwoods stream.

They watch the sun rise with its life-giving energy and limit their attention to a daily devotional reading and Bible verses.

They can’t see the presence of the Creator when the moon rises to reflect the sun and illuminate the darkness with a power that controls the tides of the Earth.

The night sky is filled with millions of stars orbited by thousands of planets and they blot it out with inflatable yard decorations and Christmas lights.

The stardust of creation — the DNA of the Creator — courses through each of us, and they look beyond the plastic Christ child in the nativity manger to see danger in the face of strangers.

God is in humanity. Every day, in every one of us. God works in the messiness of people and in the brokenness of the world. Christ is here, now, in everyone, all the time. You are a child of God, made in the image of God.

This is the message of Christmas.

This is the message of Christmas.

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11 Responses to Too many Christians do Christmas wrong

  1. Julie says:

    We live in Spain & will be celebrating the festival of the Kings on 6th January. The Christmas markets stay on until the 5th. The children get presents on the 6th.

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  2. Roger Wolsey says:

    Amen! Happy 11th Day of Christmas everyone! See also “12 Ways to Take Back Christmas Save Money and Stay Sane” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogerwolsey/2013/11/12-ways-to-take-back-christmas-save-money-stay-sane/

    Roger Wolsey, author, “Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity”

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  3. Vince says:

    … and, as another sign, the three “wise men” don’t arrive at the crib until Epiphany: until then, they journey about the house, through Advent and the Christmas season.

    Though it’s as well not to get too tied up on the traditional calendar as a logical sequence, from beginning to end. It’s a series of days on which we remember key stories about the Incarnation. I suppose the most glaring example is that we remember the Holy Innocents on 28 December, which is well before Epiphany: but they have to be shoehorned in somewhere.

    Thanks for your clearly put reminder.

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  4. Rebecca Lee says:

    We are encouraged to leave our cribs up until Candlemas which is on 2nd February at Leicester Cathedral . This is when Jesus is taken to the temple to be named by Simeon who says the words of what we know as the Nunc Demitus.

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  5. balaam says:

    QUOTE:
    The night sky is filled with millions of stars orbiting thousands of planets and they blot it out with inflatable yard decorations and Christmas lights.
    /QUOTE

    No.
    Stars do not orbit planets, planets orbit stars.

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  6. Pingback: Too many Christians do Christmas wrong | Fr. Dominick Hankle PhD

  7. dhankle says:

    Amen! So many Christians worry about keeping Christ in Christmas but they very quickly remove Christmas from the calendar! I have been reminding so many of my facebook friends and those who attend our house church that Christmas continues. Celebrate it, proclaim it, and allow it to soak into your soul. Thanks for the great article!

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  8. Reblogged this on MMM… Meditation, Mental health, Mindful crochet and commented:
    This post is a timely reminder. My family laugh that I wait till Christmas eve to put up my decorations, and leave them up until 6th of January – or even beyond (my youngest s birthday is on the 7th so I used to keep them up until the 8th.)
    Whatever happened to Advent as a time of preparation and fasting? People have their parties before Christmas, and come Boxing Day are bored.

    Liked by 1 person

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