Monday, November 8, 2010

Why We Don't....

Note: This is an attempt to let you in on our beliefs regarding the celebration of Christmas and why they are.  My hope is only to explain myself in a way that would be fully informative and respectful.  It is not, in any way a judgment on your traditions, beliefs, or practices. 

Biblically: I'm unaware of any instance in the Bible were Jesus's Birth was celebrated on a specific day. There is little doubt that December 25th has nothing to do with the timeline of Jesus's actual birth.  It would seem from the bible that during the time of Jesus's birth the weather was warm and dry because the shepherds were still out in the field with their sheep (probably sometime in September).  So why is December 25th so special?

Traditionally: There are many pagan holidays that were/are celebrated during this time of year.  Most of them having to do with the sun starting to come back to life after the solstice (the days beginning to get longer).  In fact many of the traditions that Christian families practice during their celebrations came from these earlier pagan celebrations.  Including:
  • Gifting of presents
  • Gluttonous eating and drinking
  • Lighting candles
  • Kissing under mistletoe
  • Bringing cut trees indoors
  • Caroling -though at the time they were obviously different tunes having nothing to do with the Christ child.
Socially: This holiday seems to put exclamation marks between the "haves" and the "have-nots".  While the children in Africa get a little shoebox of trinkets our children are opening hundreds of dollars worth of stuff that will probably break in a few hours/weeks/months.  Not to mention those kids working 12-18 hours a day for next to nothing (and often times in abuse-full situations) to make all of the stuff that is bought.

Environmentally: Every year I see hundreds of beautiful trees leave our area to live in somebody's house for a month and then get taken to a landfill.  Houses are lit up as much as possible skyrocketing energy consumption.  Tons of new toys, clothes, and shoes are made causing more environmental pollution and waste. And anyone can see the overflowing trash bins the week following a Christmas celebration.

So what do we celebrate? We celebrate Jesus's birth, life, and sacrificial death.  We celebrate the anticipation of his return. We celebrate the changing seasons of the year and of our lives. We celebrate growing older and the love that Jesus has brought to us through friends, family, and community.

Mostly we celebrate with our everyday lives.  When we do celebrate with food and gifts (or treats and one of my good friends calls them) we try our best to make sure they are environmentally friendly, socially conscious, and typically home made.


Michelle in Mx said...

Amos 5 21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
. . .
26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king,
the pedestal of your idols,
the star of your god-
which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,”
says the LORD, whose name is God Almighty

Kimberlee said...

Love you :) Thanks for speaking up!

Hippie Housewife said...

This is something that has been on my mind a lot leading up to this holiday season. Every year I find more and more dissonance between the celebration I want and the celebration that is widely regarded to be the "norm" for Christmas. I feel, quite honestly, disgusted by Christmas celebrations. I am almost more okay celebrating Christmas as a secular holiday (a chance to get together with family and all the fun that goes along with that) than I am with trying to fit Jesus into a celebration that neither began with Him nor seems to have very much to do with Him. I feel increasingly drawn to the idea of celebrating the Biblical feasts and festivals instead, as together they beautifully tell the whole story of redemption.

Loved the closing paragraphs.

Brittney Harmon said...

HHW- I've felt that very same way about celebrating Biblical feasts. Basically I've just been to busy to actually study the celebrations.

Brittney Harmon said...

and by busy I mean lazy...

Jessica said...

Once we're totally away from extended family again, it will be easier for us to take back our December. :)

Michelle in Mx said...

you had me until you wanted to save the environment . . . (j/k)