It starts every year about Halloween, and it doesn't really go away until Easter. Thankfully, we have a reprieve from spring through summer, but I always dread it when the warm days of summer end and I know it's coming around again. If you don't partake of the madness that is Facebook and Twitter, you still may have to hear about it via forwarded emails and such. And the more Christian friends you have, the greater the probability that your Facebook newsfeed is full of them. The Christian Holiday Complainers.
Halloween is too evil. Or maybe it's spiritual and we can witness to our neighbors and you are evil if you don't participate. And why do we skip Thanksgiving and go right to Christmas... If we do that, we will never be thankful! And why are the Christmas decorations out in July? And those pagan trees... my goodness at the pagan trees. And don't say Happy Holidays or shop anywhere that does say Happy Holidays if you love Jesus. Santa Claus is basically the devil. Red suit? Check. Scads of little helpers that no one ever sees? Check. Home that boasts extreme temperatures? Check. Busiest during nighttime hours? Check. Letters A-A-N-S-T in the name? Check. See? The devil with rosy cheeks. And Valentine's Day is a made up day for stores to make money so we shouldn't buy Valentine's gifts for people we love. Then there's Easter. Don't get me started on Easter. It's the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ mixed with bunnies and duckies and eggs. And chocolate. Don't forget the evil chocolate.
It's the topic of blogs and status updates and the subject of great debate. And the conversation gets old. It makes me want to avoid the newsfeed from October to March, but then I wouldn't know that you finally cut bangs or that you went to Destin on vacation or that your cute baby finally slept through the night, all of which are newsworthy things that I wouldn't want to miss.
You may feel free to disagree with me, but I don't think that a three-year-old dressing up like a princess and collecting candy is a threat to the cause of Christ. Jesus doesn't need us to get mad on his behalf about Christmas trees and overspending. God is still God whether your local discount store chooses to say Merry Christmas or not. Christ's resurrection is not made less powerful because we give Easter baskets and chocolate bunnies to children. (Besides, I like a chocolate bunny every now and then, especially if its dark chocolate. Or peanut butter eggs. As long as they are Reese's and not the waxy Palmer's brand kind. Those are disgusting.)
We all have opinions about holidays and commercialization and how Christ is no longer the focal point of holidays where he should be. But the truth is, we are surrounded by unbelievers. And we expect them to honor Christian holidays with the same kind of Christ-focus that we have. It's unwise to expect Christian behavior from non-Christians. It's probably unwise to expect it from anyone, other than ourselves.
So go ahead, decorate your tree or don't. Do it on November 5th or 25th. I don't care. Buy presents for no one or everyone. Listen to Christmas music in July or only on December 25. Dress up as a scarecrow or a Power Ranger or a sexy teacher (I learned this year that this is a real costume you can buy and I actually don't recommend it because you will look stupid and because there is nothing sexy about grading papers and cleaning boogers off of desks). Give your children Easter baskets, only skip the dumb Easter grass because it just ends up all over your carpet. And keep telling the stories of truth. Read the Christmas story as a family. Read about Christ's resurrection on Easter morning and celebrate that we serve a God that is alive and well. And don't worry that the truth will be lost because of the fiction. We all know that Santa's not real. Unless you are a child and you are reading this. In which case, Santa is very real. And he's not the devil. That was a funny joke. And please stop wiping your boogers on your school desk. The end.
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