What do I think about Christmas ... on a philosophical level ....?
I think it’s a pagan holiday that has used idols like Santa and gifts and a naughty/nice list to distort the true meaning of Christ’s birthday.
Jesus does bring gifts to his children, Jesus does have names written in the Book of Life, Jesus can hear your prayers and knows what you need before you even ask for it ...
however, I know Jesus was not born on Dec 25th and to be honest, his name is not Jesus, but Yahshua. I know Satan likes to spread lies by mimicking Truth and that’s exactly what Christmas is. I think the idea of bringing in and decorating a tree is pagan and if I lived alone, I would prefer not to participate in that. I think it’s one of the most selfish days of the year, for most children, when it should be the most selfless day of the year.
However ......I live in a culture that celebrates Christmas, the pagan materialistic and idol holiday... and I grew up celebrating it and waiting for Satan to bring me gifts. I have spent my entire adult life pushing back, as much as I could, and trying to bring the real meaning of Christ’s birthday to those around me ... my husband has also grown tired of the rat race of Christmas, but with a larger family who all celebrates it the traditional way, it’s been difficult to change. Sometimes We succeed in bringing some change and often times we get mixed up on the gifts and materialism and we fail to do what we know we ought to do.....
This year, I presented some of the same ideas to my family, I have presented every year, regarding alternative ways to celebrate ... but this time, it was received with open hearts ... we opted out of the larger gift exchange with extended family and agreed we’d get our kids just a couple gifts, focusing on need vs want... we also started discussion about spending Christmas at a nursing home, loving those who have been forgotten and abandoned ... My heart is to serve the homeless and always has been, as I’ve been on all sides of charity in my lifetime, but having children makes some environments less safe for youngens...
However, with the kids getting older, this year we’re all agreement that the best way to celebrate Jesus’ birthday is to do what Jesus would do.....go to the harshest streets of Portland and bring gifts and food to the homeless. We will leave wrapped gifts at the feet of those sleeping, to awaken on Christmas morning to a surprise, and share a warm drink and some food with those awake and willing to accept our gifts..
Many will find their way into shelters or Salvation Army type kitchens, but some will not leave their sleeping bag on Christmas due to depression or hopelessness. Those are the ones I want to go to. Not because I believe in the materialistic pagan system of Christmas, but because it’s what Jesus would do if he were on this earth today. He washed his disciples feet and he reached for the most despised of society. (I know I can be idealistic and I’m okay with that.) I believe Jesus would leave the 99 to go and find the 1. And if dressing up as Santa and elves makes it fun for my family, and maybe even fun and less threatening for those we are looking to find, then so be it. We will be reminding each person we meet, that Jesus is the reason for the season and that He is the real gift we all can receive, regardless of how lost we feel.
We can’t do everything but we can do something. We can’t buy them all homes and solve their problems, but we can bring them something warm for their belly and maybe give them the only gift they’ll receive this holiday. It won’t be full of magic and expensive items but it will have something that may bring a smile to their face, if only for a moment. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll look up and realize, that the God who created the universe, sought them out, knows their name and hears their prayers for help. And maybe, just maybe they’ll have enough hope and faith to make it through another day. And if that is accomplished, through a pagan holiday like Christmas, then I’ll dance with the angels in Heaven and sleep just a little better on Christmas night.
If you want to join us or contribute items to hand out, please PM me for more details.