There is nearly nowhere you can go at this time of year that does not display some type of reference to Christmas. In fact, displays of this holiday begin to appear in different places in early October.
For some, Christmas represents a spiritual event(s). For others, it’s shopping and gift-giving or exchange. Some view it as a gathering of family, friends, parties, or a combination of any of these. Television and radio commercials target consumers with the words, “In the spirit of Christmas,” as they urge you to shop and buy. Far too often, this spirit wreaks of commercialism and triggers stress, overspending, and debt.
Discussing the origins of Christmas to some might be a real downer. But I would fall far short of my website name and mission if I did not at least mention that December 25th began as a holiday in cultures where pagan festivals took center stage. Saturnalia (god of Saturn) and Juvenalia (children of Rome) were celebrated in Rome as the forerunners of the Christmas holiday. In fact, during the American Revolution era, Christmas celebrations faded from existence for almost an entire century.
Despite it’s less than bright beginnings, Christmas has the potential to bring good tidings. Our Christmas gift bags would carry better if they were not filled with tissue paper of debt and disappointments over unimportant things like the cheap gift set, an ugly tie, over-baked cookies, whether you hang the Christmas tree upside down, or uninspiring disagreements over the use of “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
In the midst of every shopping spree and every home which celebrates this holiday, there should be included the gift addressed as love. (I Corinthians 13:4)
If we would all tie a red ribbon around our finger when we shop or celebrate, it might help to remind us that we become part of the true reason for the season when we demonstrate love.