the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Has Christmas Become An Idol?
December 22, 2009, 8:53 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

62584Ah, Christmas… It’s that time of year again. The time when we sing Christmas… err… to be politically correct… holiday songs (most of which have little or nothing to do with Jesus and more to do with Santa), give gifts to those we care about (because doing it any other time just wouldn’t make sense), and, of course, we put up all kinds of decorations around the house — lights, trees, ornaments, stockings, berries, branches, and ribbons. All this in order to, allegedly, celebrate the birth of Christ.

But wait… did I miss something? What does a Christmas tree, eggnog, mistletoe, stockings, or eight reindeer have to do with the Son of God? Sounds like some kind of bad riddle, doesn’t it?

I’m pretty sure those things — in fact, probably 85 percent of what we do when it comes to Christmas — have absolutely nothing to do with the true reason for the season, which, is the birth of Jesus Christ into the world.

We talk about giving gifts to symbolize the gift that God gave us in His son, Jesus, and that’s great. Wonderful. But what about the other things? What about stockings? What about the Christmas tree? How do those relate to Jesus? (And let’s not even get into the whole Santa thing.)

But maybe it’s just some harmless traditions. Maybe it doesn’t really mean anything. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with gifts, and trees, and non-Jesus Christmas songs. Or maybe there is something wrong with it all. Maybe we become so focused on the “stuff” around the holidays that we forget what it’s really about. And if those things detract from our understanding and celebration of Christ does that mean they’re an idol in our lives? Because what is an idol, but something which we place in higher esteem than God?

Doesn’t Christmas become so all consuming that we schedule our lives around it sometimes? Trying to figure out when and where we can get the best gifts, and thinking about how we want to decorate the house, and what’s for dinner, and who’s coming over, and who’ll sit where, and the list goes on and on, doesn’t it?

Overall, there’s not a doubt in my mind that we have lost focus of what Christmas in about. But I can’t change the way a country celebrates a holiday and neither can you. So what can we do? Focus on the “who” behind the “why” and tell those you love about Christ, and his coming to Earth for the sole purpose of dying for their sins that they might accept His gift, gain eternal life, and have the most memorable Christmas ever.


2 Comments so far
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I think this is one of the things I look forward to incorporating into my own family. Now that I have a different view on Christmas, I am going to ensure that my children understand the real meaning behind it all. Hopefully this will become a family tradition.

One Christmas card I received today said this:

Each part of the Christmas tree celebrates Christ’s birth and tells the story of how God sent His Son on earth.

The wood reminds of of the manger where He lay and the rugged cross where He gave His life one day.

The evergreen shows the eternal life Christ gives – anyone who believes in Him forever lives.

The decorations represent blessings from above and inspire us to thank the Lord for His tender love.

The shining lights show us how we’re to do the same, as we share His grace and seek to glorify His name.

*Insert the thought that the gifts under the tree represent the gifts given in the manger*

Now I don’t know if this was done to justify the commercialization of the Holiday or was this the initial intent of the Holiday. Something to ponder.

Comment by Krystle

What an awesome post! My wife and I have been saying the very same things over the past 133 years we’ve been together and always endeavor to each other the true reason for the season. The media and big business has done a splendid job of getting the public to believe it’s all about the gifts and the tree or anything but Christ.

Comment by My II Sense

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