Feeling Christmas Or Not?
Once again we are in the midst of the Christmas season. Decorating, buying gifts, planning parties, and all the customary activities that make the season unique and special.
Some of us are full of the holiday spirit and raring to go.
Then there are others of us who are having a hard time getting in the mood, or even caring.
Maybe you think because you’re not feeling the festivities, why try? Why not just skip Christmas and get on with life? There would be no point in celebrating when you don’t “feel” it, right?
Choosing to skip the season, whether you are dealing with an overabundance of stress, pain, or depression, may seem like the right idea, or at least the only rational one.
This brings me to a question — can a Christian choose not to celebrate Christmas?
Let’s think about what it would mean to skip the holiday.
Consequences of Skipping Christmas
1. Giving Up
Anytime you want to give up and just throw in the towel you should think hard about the consequences. Rarely is giving up a good idea. Examine what it would cost.
2. Letting Others Down
Because of your choice to not “do” Christmas, who is being affected? Could you be ruining the holiday for someone else?
3. Not Standing Up for What You Believe In
In this day and age of negativity against Christmas and Christian holidays in general, we should do all we can to fight by giving our own support. Just like not voting is the same as voting for the opposing side, not supporting what is good is no better than supporting what is bad.
4. A Compromised Witness
Celebrating an important Christian holiday like Christmas may seem purely personal. It’s all about fun and having a good time, right? If you don’t choose to celebrate than it simply means you aren’t into having a good time this year.
Whether people want to admit it or not, it is widely known that Christmas is a Christian holiday. By observing it you are not only supporting it, you are giving a testimony, telling people that is it important to you. Many celebrate it who ignore it’s Christian origin, so you might think “Who is going to notice that you are celebrating it for Christian reasons?” To tell the truth, they may not notice unless you are verbally and actively involved in promoting it’s Christian purpose, but they will notice when you don’t celebrate it, and that speaks volumes.
5. Overlooking the True Meaning of Christmas
It is easy to say you aren’t into the fun of Christmas, but who can deny the truth that the birth of Jesus was the start of an amazing plan without which we would all be doomed. If the God who sent Jesus to this piddly earth as a baby, to grow in the home of simple Jewish people, so that He could revolutionize the world and save our souls, is not worthy of our praise and adoration at this time of year in the least, then we really don’t have a reason to celebrate because we still don’t understand.
Conversely, there are benefits to going through with it.
Benefits of Celebrating Christmas
1. It’s distracting
To say the least, when times are tough, painful, difficult in any way, turning your thoughts toward something else is a good idea.
2. Changes Your Focus
Take a moment and think about the things that are on your mind right now. Are they mostly negative? When you choose to celebrate Christmas even though you don’t feel like it, you are in a position to turn your thoughts from the difficulty toward praise. Your focus predicts your thoughts. When your focusing on good, holy things, there is less room for focusing on negative things.
3. Can Change Your Attitude
Happiness is a state of mind and should not depend upon circumstances. That’s why a Christian can have peace in the most difficult times. It’s getting your heart in the right place so that God can speak deeper things to you and give you a joy beyond your situation.
4. Encourages Others
I’ve said this before, people watch what you do. If they see you struggling but still committing to praising God in this season, what a witness that will be! You can give others hope to continue and stand strong.
5. Witnesses To Others
Just like not celebrating harms your witness, choosing to celebrate tells others God is bigger than your problems, and that His promises are worth trusting.
6. Glorifies God
In the end, giving God the glory is all that matters. As the God of the universe and master of our lives, He deserves our praise whether we feel like it or not. If you only praise Him on the basis of your feelings, you are forgetting all that He has already done. Celebrating Christmas tells God that you love Him and appreciate the reason for the season.
I hope this look at the meaning of celebrating Christmas has helped you view it in a different light. I don’t propose to know your pain or difficulty — maybe this will be the first Christmas without a loved one, or maybe you have sickness in the family, or something entirely different. I don’t know, but God knows, and His truths are for us all.
Merry Christmas, everyone! May God give us the grace needed to appreciate it as He intended.
*Picture graphic courtesy of Alissa Yarbrough.