Now that I have your attention, let me explain. Christmas is the celebration of the incarnation and birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to this earth to live and die for us so that our sin debt would be paid for. Without Jesus’ birth, He would not have been here to die for our sin and without His death, there would be no resurrection from the dead and there would be no salvation from our sin. As the Apostle Paul wrote: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”1 So I love the celebration of Christ’s incarnation and birth that we celebrate at Christmas.
Okay. Then why did I say I hate Christmas time? Well, because it’s exhausting, for one. Take last week for an example. I had an event on Friday evening, a concert on Sunday evening, a concert on Monday evening and another event on Tuesday. That’s on top of my schedule that includes buying or making and wrapping gifts for family and friends, mailing some of those gifts at the post office or another sending company, writing out and mailing Christmas cards (something I never seem to have enough time to do), decorating the house and trimming the tree, baking cookies and fruit cake and other goodies and getting ready for Christmas dinner. There are probably a few more ‘requirements to celebrate the holiday’ which I’ve missed mentioning here. With all of this activity, I have no energy left. I’m tired and feel behind in accomplishing my ‘to do’ list every day. Can I get an amen or am I the only one who feels this way? With all this frenetic activity, where is the time for quiet contemplation on the miracle of Jesus Christ taking on human flesh and being born of a virgin and growing up to die for our sin? The usual Christmas time events leave very little time or energy for thinking about the real meaning of Christmas.
The Santa part of ‘Christmas time’ also upsets me. No other character in the secular Christmas celebrations steals God’s glory more than Santa. If I hear that Santa Claus is coming to town and that he knows when I’m sleeping and when I’m awake, one more time today on TV or in a store, I’m going to scream ‘NO!’ right out loud. Only Christ is coming and only Christ knows all about me all the time. I’ve heard it said that ‘Santa’ is just an anagram for ‘Satan’ and that certainly describes this Christmas character to a ‘T’. Besides being the biggest counterfeit of Christ at Christmas, Santa is also the biggest thief of God’s glory. Satan has been out to be greater than God from the very beginning in heaven.
How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.[b] 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” 15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.2 If I had my way, he would be banished from all celebrations of Christmas from this day forward.
So now you know why I said that I love Christmas and hate Christmas time. Many Christmas traditions are fine but let’s not lose the true meaning of Christmas in the midst of all the hoopla and activity. Let’s all concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas this year and not get lost in all the trappings that have been added to the celebration through the years.
________ 1 I Cor. 15:17 NIV 2 Isaiah 14: 12-15 NIV