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Just Let "Christmas" Die

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by GratiaCorpusChristi, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. Just a thought:

    For the better part of forty-some-odd years, devout Christians have been concerned about the marginalization of Christmas in American culture. People say "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas" in stores, public schools have to put up either both Nativity Sets and Menorahs or neither, etc.

    Now I love Christmas. But quite frankly, since when has the American Christmas really been Christian Christmas, anyway? I mean, first of all, the tradition of playing Christmas carols before Christmas (stretching all the way back to Thanksgiving, and even now to Halloween) is not only incredibly annoying, but is liturgically improper.

    The current season is Advent, a season of repentance and expectation, not the Twelve days of Christmastide that follow Christmas Eve. And in any case, those carols are more likely to be about Santa and Rudolf (if you're lucky) or having sex with Santa Baby or date rape facilitated by it being Cold Outside (if you're not) than about the Nativity of Our Lord.

    So I say let this faux-Christmas of American culture die so that we don't have to listen to ridiculous songs and look at blinding, tacky lights every time we go out in public after Labor Day (you know it's getting pushed back that far within just a few years). Then maybe we can reclaim the purity of Advent, St. Nicholas' Day (December 6), the Eve of the Nativity of Our Lord and the Twelve Days of Christmas, and the following Epiphany Season.
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  2. drjean

    drjean Senior Veteran Supporter

    United States

    I learned long ago to never let drop anything that you already have. While other faiths/religions are on the rise with getting what they want, to give up what we have already would be a mistake, imo. Just as we could counter it, why don't we counter the errors...I wonder how many times those reading this thread have voiced outrage or opposition when their local town rules against the nativity, etc., how many petitions have been signed by them to counter the atheistic arguments of no crosses, no nativities, no Merry Christmas as schools etc. (While foot washing and 3x a day prayers are allowed in our schools for muslims)? It's always easier to let something go than to fight to keep it.

    Let's fix what we have, with the same spirit you speak of, that of the advent season. Sounds good to me.

    PS I don't know what radio stations you're listening to, but I vote with my wallet with those who don't pollute Christmas. As for television stations, writing the management, and the advertisers with any disgust and refusal to buy products WILL change the programming. That it continues means not enough of us are complaining, but wanting to just let it die, perhaps?

    Be well.
  3. Thanks for your response. I suppose my concern is whether fighting for the place of Christmas in the public sphere is really all that productive. I'd rather Christians went to private Christian schools were we had fully Christian nativity plays than attend a public school were we had mediocre ones. And why should a store employee say Merry Christmas to me anyway? I'm much more concerned that my fellow Christians in my church community should do so.

    When the the public sphere is given a religious coat of paint, then the church doesn't really stand out as a witness, does it? In fact, as the culture gets watered down with religion, the church is just as likely to get watered down with commercialism. My concern is that the church stands out as a distinctive witness in the world.
  4. princess_ballet

    princess_ballet Senior Veteran

    Bah hum bug to you too.
  5. New_Wineskin

    New_Wineskin Contributor

    Well , no matter how you got there , I am very glad to see another join the club . X-mas can't die fast enough .
  6. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican

    I don't see how we cannot have both. The secular Christmas, whether people realize or like it or not, is based on the religious primarily.

    It really boils down to how well we are teaching people the importance of Advent and Christmas.

    Honestly, if it were up to me, I'd offer more than just regular Sunday liturgies for Advent: I think in the Sundays previous, the Sunday School children should make Advent Wreaths to take home with them to have for Advent. I think Advent Lessons and Carols should perhaps not be on a Sunday but some other day of the week. The Churches should be open for especially Evensong/Vespers during Advent and have various events (a book study on the history of Advent or a book about the two Advents, etc).

    St. Nicholas' Feast Day should definitely be celebrated more thoroughly and I'd do that too.

    The Vigil of the Nativity would be a glorious high and solemn liturgy (as would the Nativity the next day) with heavy youth participation. Perhaps the children have a Christmas Pageant a few days earlier. I'd even consider a full Christmas procession, complete with vested choir and acolytes holding processional crosses/crucifixes, torches, banners and flags, the Evangeliary, and clergy fully vested with aspergellums and thuribles, sometime during the Twelve Days. There's be a Christmas Lessons and Carols too during the Twelve Days as well. Liturgies each day.

    I'd also do a festive Twelfth Night liturgy, complete with a pot luck.
  7. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran

    For me, it's the one time of the year when people can see something going on in our society and some of them will hear the Christmas story or something will cause them to know why Christmas is celebrated. It's an opportunity to tell of Yeshua - directly and indirectly.

    What about the lyrics of other religious songs that are usually about us compared to religious Christmas songs that are about Him? Usually we can get our minds off ourselves long enough to sing or listen to these type of songs to hallow Him.

    The effects of folks celebrating Christmas can be positive such as what happened between some British and German troops during WWI on Christmas Eve.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  8. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

    Oriental Orthodox

    For something you may find interesting, Remembering St. Nicholas, Recovering a Christian Heritage | Orthodox-Reformed Bridge and Life of St. Nicholas :: St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

    Also, for others to investigate, there's one that may intrigue you called History of Santa: Did Coco Cola invent Santa Claus ( ).

    Although I was made aware back in highschool how the basis of Santa Claus came from a Christian, was never aware of the extent. Studying the man, I've literally been blown away at how righteous the brother was. It's cool to see how the original "Old St.Nick" was Nicholas of Myra in fourth-century Turkey. And although little is know about his life, what's wild is that what was well-known about him was that he entrusted himself to Jesus at an early age and, when his parents died, gave all of their possessions to the poor.

    Reading his story challenged me greatly, concerning his learning of three girls destined for being sold into slavery by their father.....and his choosing to use the churche's wealth to ransom the lives of those little girls when he was serving as a Bishop. When I learned of how he chose to toss three bags of gold through the family's window and give of himself to save others, it floored me. For it makes you see what a Christmas gift was meant to be about---and it makes the holidy have an ENTIRELY different spin when remembering that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year in the global sex trade today. The numbers are probably more that.....but if others kept this image in mind when the holidays came around, how different would gift-giving be.

    So glad I was able to come across this recently in regards to stores you can buy gifts from which would help Human Traffic victims--if going here to "Where to Find Holiday Gifts that Help Human Trafficking Victims" ...and if there could be a redefinition of what Christmas is about and Christians remembered/advocated for people to actually study the Historical character of St.Nicolas in his love for Christ, who knows how things may turn out. It would be amazing to see the emphasis of gifts shift to seeking how we can give to others..