We No Longer Celebrate Christmas

Family at Christmas

Family at Christmas

What is Christmas?


 

In the Western world we recognize December 25th as Jesus Christ’s birthday. It is the day to celebrate His birth. We know that December 25th is not His actual birthday but exact records were not kept in those times. Christianity embraced December 25th as an answer to Pagan’s celebration of Winter solstice. You also know the story of Kris Kringle, aka Santa Claus. He travels the world in a split-second at the stroke of midnight on December 25th. He rides in a sleigh pulled by reindeer to deliver toys (or coal) to all the children of the world. There are several folk-lore stories brought together into the story of Santa. This is Christmas.

 

Commercialization

 

Over the years Christmas became more about giving and getting gifts. And less about remembering Jesus’ birth. How much time do people, especially Christians, spend shopping and buying presents? All the while, celebrating the idea of Santa? What about the time spent acknowledging and celebrating Jesus? I’ll offer an unscientific but educated guess. The time spent on Santa is far greater than the time spent on Jesus. Christmas is now a celebration of office parties and family reunions. It’s about shopping for that right gift for the gift exchange. It’s the time of year where most retailers operate in the black. It’s not so much to cebrate Jesus’s birth anymore.

 

Our Tradition

 

When we got married we adopted and created family traditions. One was from my wife’s family. We would read the story of Jesus’ birth Christmas Eve night. And we created one of our own. Unbeknownst to the children we would get a real tree on Christmas Eve. We would put it up and decorate it at night after the children were asleep. When the children woke up on Christmas morning they would see the tree all decorated. And presents under it. It was truly special hearing them get all excited. Then come running to our room to exclaim Santa had come AND brought a tree.

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 

We love the holiday cheer that comes this time of year. It is nice to see smiles on people’s faces as we go about running errands. We have Christmas music playing in our home through the season. We still engage in festivities surrounding Christmas, such as the parties and reunions. But we no longer celebrate the gift exchange on Christmas morning with our children. We have chosen to celebrate Jesus’ birth only and give Him 100% of our attention on December 25th. We are no longer distracted by the commercialization and “gift getting”. Because, after all, it is the most wonderful time of the year. We recognize that our savior was born.

 

New Tradition

 

It was not an easy decision. I did not want my children to feel left out of the Christmas Santa Claus tradition. I did not want them to be envious of their friends and peers who were getting presents. I do want them to understand that Jesus’ birth is more important than that thing that someone bought them.

 

Yet, I am not a complete grinch. We still put up the tree on Christmas Eve, now involving the older children. After contemplating how to remove commercialization from Jesus’ birthday, I found a solution. New Year’s New Stuff. What that means is instead of opening presents on Christmas, we open them on New Year’s. Right after the countdown. The anticipation of the end of the year and opening presents at 12:01 am is more fun than on Christmas morning. The children appreciate that we focus on Jesus on December 25th. And have embraced the idea of “New Year’s New Stuff”.

 

The Religion of Tolerance

Boz Was Here

The definition of tolerance as by dictionary.com: a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own. By my account this sounds just about right. But you really must read this definition, also given by dictionary.com: interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one’s own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint. Did you catch that? A liberal viewpoint!

If this is true, then why am I constantly surprised by how intolerant the liberals are? Liberals want their opinion heard, but generally refuse to hear the other side. For example: when George W. Bush was President, one was expected to respect the opposing, liberal view, but now that Barack Obama is President, an opposing, conservative view is either racist (simply because Obama is “black”, which is only part true as his mother was white) or the opinion is considered “dangerous” to the health of the Country.

I’m still surprised at how two-faced the liberal “tolerant” are. I’ve had several friends that I reconnected with on FaceBook, “unfriend” me for my political and “religious” beliefs. I can’t quite grasp why I am expected to sit back and accept what they believe, yet they can’t extend the same courtesy.

So what is tolerance; What does it really mean to be tolerant? Simply put: tolerance is the new intolerance. When a company tells its employees they are not allowed to say “Merry Christmas”, they are being intolerant of those who do celebrate Christmas. When the government suggests anyone with an opposing view is a terrorist, it is being intolerant of those who simply disagree with its policy.

Being “tolerant” today is clearly an exercise of religion. Religion as defined by dictionary.com: a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects. Many Liberals are simply practicing the “religion of tolerance” when being intolerant, because it is a set of beliefs agreed upon by a number of persons.

You see the “Religion of Tolerance” is one that is highly intolerant of Christianity. When I hear President Obama mock Christianity and praise Islam, I know he is practicing the Religion of Tolerance. When our tax payer funded public schools ban Christian prayer, but bend over backwards to accommodate Islam Salat (prayer) I know our education “leaders” are practicing the Religion of Tolerance. I know that when gays celebrate Gay Pride Day, but scream “discrimination”, or “bigotry” if those of us that are straight try to celebrate Straight Pride Day, that they are simply practicing their Religion of Tolerance.

And now that it is Christmas time, we are to be tolerant and sensitive to those who do not celebrate Christmas…yet tolerance is not expected of those who do not celebrate Christmas.

There is a saying “Religion is the opiate of the masses”; and indeed the masses have found a new religion: The Religion of Tolerance.