Chin chin is a Christian stay-at-home mom with five children. She's been a Sunday School teacher for about 30 years now.
Are you celebrating Christmas without Christ? Do you celebrate a birthday without the celebrant? Eat banana split without a banana or hamburger without a burger? Cook fried rice without rice or chicken pastel without chicken? Order pizza from McDonalds? Something is not right, right?
Well, every year, millions of people around the world celebrate Christmas. It is a widely celebrated holiday by Christians and non-Christians alike. Many celebrate it to "remember the birth of Jesus Christ". But the sad truth is that most celebrate it without Christ at all. How is that you might ask?
Strange Christmas Traditions
Do what we do during Christmas match what Jesus would want us do and believe?
Christmas Past. Think about this. The history of the traditions and customs practiced during Christmas time is tainted by various pagan origins like the Winter solstice or "Yule" and Saturnalia, which are characterized by feasting, orgies and revelry. Christmas was established by the Christian Church in the East to revive Catholicism. This they did to sway unbelievers to the faith. In doing so, it was impossible to control the bringing in of the pagan practices into the Church.
They made Christmas day to coincide with the celebration of the birth of the sun-god "Mithra" on December 25. Was Jesus' birth rightly placed on the calendar or what? I don't think so since the Bible is silent as to the date when Jesus was born (Many scholars say it can't be wintertime). But it doesn't really matter whether we remember it on December
25 or on any other day. What matters is the manner we remember it.
Would Jesus allow celebration of his birthday the way we celebrate it now?
It's a Material World
Christmas Present. Do all the modern Christmas practices like gift-giving, exchange of greeting cards, a special meal, and the display of various decorations - including Christmas trees, lights, and garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly make Christmas more meaningful? They do keep people up on their toes in preparing for "Jesus" birthday. However, with all the busyness and stress, do people still have time to focus on Jesus?
And what about the business side of Christmas. Christmas nowadays is so much characterized by commercialism and materialism. Retail advertisements tempt us to buy this and
to buy that making Christmas too extravagant. To make the buying more tempting is the belief in Father Christmas (known as
Santa Claus in North America, Australia and Ireland). He is associated with the bringing of
gifts for children on the night before Christmas when the truth is that the money that bought "Santa's gifts" came from dad and mom's pocket.
With all that is going on around this time of the year, are you having a Christ-less Christmas? Is this your concern? If not, you can stop reading here. But if this is of concern to you, do read on.
I Like Christmas
Honestly, I like Christmas and I am not against its celebration. I came from the Philippines and we have a very rich Christmas tradition. As a child, I did enjoy putting up the Christmas tree and decorating it, arranging the nativity scene, singing carols, watching the colorful lanterns, eating ham during Noche Buena and of course, opening Christmas presents. (Take note, my parents did not really encourage the belief in Santa Claus.) Then, I did not even know about the origins of Christmas, nor how it is impacting our material world.
However, there came a time when I found out that to be able to celebrate Christmas meaningfully, we have to appropriate in our lives what Jesus came here for. As the angel of the Lord said to Joseph in a dream
"Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
Jesus came to save us from our sins, which He did so 30 years later by dying on the cross for our sins. It was us, sinful men who should have suffered all those pain and death. Yet Jesus bore it all in our place so that we might escape the dreadful punishment of eternal life in hell.
What wonderful news! All people on earth have a reason to rejoice when Jesus, the Savior, was born. That's why this carol says
Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room...
Have you prepared a room in your heart for Jesus? Do so and ask Him to be the Savior of your soul.
- GetSavedToday.com Get Saved Today
A site dedicated to spread the word of God and helping people come to Jesus.
- Where is Christ in Christmas?
The angels' joyful announcement was worthy of a Heavenly King. But how do we celebrate His majesty?
- Christmas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
How Can we Have a Christ-filled Christmas?
So, do Christians, like me, still celebrate Christmas? Yes. The way the world does? I say No. What we do is to make sure Jesus is part of the celebration. For us, it is not a lavish celebration and stripped of all the non-essential trappings of the season.
We attend the Christmas church service where we remember the story of Christ's birth together with fellow Christians. Then, it is also a great time to share the love of Christ with other people. I remember having collected toys and shared them with kids who are less fortunate. Another time, the church's music and youth ministry went from house to house singing carols and afterward giving the family a basket of goodies.
As a family, we pass on a meaningful Christian tradition to our children. We try to make certain that our children understand what Christmas is about - Jesus Christ's birth. Christmas story-telling sure is a part of it. We still give gifts to let them know that we love them as Jesus loves them. Every year, I also ask them "Since it is Jesus' birthday, what is your gift to Jesus?
How are you celebrating Christmas? Like to share your thoughts?
Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on December 13, 2011:
Have a Christ-filled Christmas! I hope this is more appropriate to say this season.
Thanks for this hub, Ms. C. It helps clarify some questions in my mind.
Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on September 20, 2011:
Chin chin, GREAT hub. Loved this text and artwork, plus your wonderful presentation. And thank YOU for having the courage to write this hub. I agree with you 100%..there is NO Christmas without Christ, for whom we celebrate. God bless you, dear NEW friend.
Becky from Oklahoma on January 03, 2011:
This is a well written, meaningful Hub and I have enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about the way people all over the world celebrate and in some cases don't celebrate Christmas and the true meaning. God bless you and your family and belated Merry Christmas :)
Ms Re from Memphis, TN on December 21, 2010:
I love your hub. I think you'd find on eof mine of interest as well: IS CHRIST LOSING TO SANTA? Keep teaching the truth.
Chin chin (author) from Philippines on January 29, 2010:
James, that's the best way to celebrate Christmas - never ever forget the Jesus. Thanks for the compliments.
Lovelypaper and prettydarkhorse, thanks for reading this hub, too.
prettydarkhorse from US on January 28, 2010:
good job, never Christmas without Christ, He is the reason, Maita
Renee S from Virginia on January 25, 2010:
Insightful and interesting hub.
James A Watkins from Chicago on January 09, 2010:
While I do celebrate Christmas with the modern trappings, I never forget what it is really about: the birth of Jesus Christ. And I am also quick to remind others. Thank you for a fine Hub.
Chin chin (author) from Philippines on December 28, 2009:
Heart4theword, knowing Christmas for what it really is will demand changes on how we celebrate the season. It is a bit hard since the world has practices which deviate from the truth. But as the Word says "The truth will set you free." As you come to know His truth, I believe that you will be able to celebrate Christmas more meaningfully. God bless you and thanks for taking time to read this hub.
Chin chin (author) from Philippines on December 28, 2009:
Thank you DeBorrah for reading this hub. God bless you, too.
heart4theword from hub on December 27, 2009:
The origin of Christmas....has been a thing that has really popped up, as a hot topic. To find out things you've been doing all your life, has a totally different meaning than what you believed? Wow, this has been heartwrenching for me, just not knowing what to do, or how to change traditions in our family. How to celebrate with other family members this Christmas Season, knowing what I know now. I am sad, to be so ignorant, of how things really are in this spiritual world. So...been taking a step back, praying about this. Learning more than I ever knew, and trying to keep balance, and things in perspective. Thinking about trying to unlearn what has been embedded in me since childhood. This year, really has been different for us! Not really sure how it will all turn out for me, in this area for future Christmas'...:) Yet I still, will wish you a Merry Christmas! I've always felt before, Christmas time was about sharing the Love of Christ-mas:)
Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on December 27, 2009:
Chin chin, Wonderfful! I enjoyed this hub! "JOY to the world! The LORD has come! Let earth receive her KING...!" Thank you for sharing, Blessings!
Chin chin (author) from Philippines on December 22, 2009:
Beth, I know that one can only find the 'lost' true meaning of Christmas by knowing Jesus. Without Jesus there won't be any reason at all to celebrate Christmas. Hope you can have a meaningful Christmas this year. God bless!
Beth Arch from Pearl of the Orient Seas on December 21, 2009:
Many confusing things came up to my mind about Christmas, Chin. First, "Christ" in "Christmas is replaced with "X." Imagine that! Do you think Jesus would be happy with that? Second, as what you've said Christmas celebration coincided with the pagan celebration in welcoming solstice. Third, Christmas is much commercialized. Fourth, the true meaning of Christmas is lost to some people. There are other questions in my mind, Chin. So much for that.
Thank you for sharing. Kmsta na? Keep on hubbing, Chin.
Chin chin (author) from Philippines on December 18, 2009:
Thank you Browneyes41 for sharing that interesting comment. It's a very keen observation by John & Laureen Gunter. As a Christian, I would really appreciate it more if people say to me "Merry Christmas" rather than just Happy Holidays. Though, in the Philippines, people usually greet "Merry Christmas", whether they say it meaningfully, that I cannot fully say that all people do.
Merry Christmas to you, too!
Browneyes41 from New Brunswick, Canada on December 17, 2009:
Great Hub--- I have seen interesting answers from people on the question of saying "Merry Christmas" versus "Merry XMas" and one of my readers just sent me the following message and I included it in my hub. I thought you may enjoy this opinion.
With permission, I copied the following and totally agree with it so I am passing it on...
Enough already. This time of year, under the guise of 'political correctness' more and more people are wishing others 'happy holidays.' The thinking being that the recipient of the well wishes might not be Christian and therefore might somehow be offended or feel alienated by hearing, "Merry Christmas." Consider these three factors when choosing your greeting:
Christmas is a religious event. Were it not for the Christian faith there simply wouldn't be a Christmas. We have other days of the year devoted to celebrating the birth of our nation and to honor our mothers and fathers. Christmas however, was not created as merely a day-off (that's called Labour Day).
How do you suppose a Jewish person would feel if rather than saying, "Happy Hanukkah", a non Jewish person just said "Happy Holiday"? Do you suppose a Muslim fasting during the period of Ramadan would appreciate a non Muslim calling it a 'holiday'? The word holiday in the English language no longer conveys the original meaning of holy-day. Instead it's become a colloquialism for a vacation (British vacationers are commonly referred to as 'holiday-makers').
For those people who do practice Christianity, simply wishing them a "Happy Holiday" is to avoid calling the event by its proper name and to demonstrate our intentional or inadvertent disregard for one of their most sacred religious events of the year. To me this is the height of political incorrectness.
If our purpose is to send a non religious greeting to our clients then perhaps we'd be better off sending cards on Groundhog Day. In the meantime, here's wishing you a Merry Christmas!
John & Laureen Gunter
Chin chin (author) from Philippines on December 15, 2009:
I believe we should take every opportunity (including during Christmas time) to plant the seed of God's Word in the lives of our children. It would have an influence over their lives when they grow up just as it did in mine. God bless you, Rose West.
Rose West from Michigan on December 14, 2009:
Thank you for sharing this! That's wonderful that you teach your children the true meaning of Christmas!
Chin chin (author) from Philippines on December 12, 2009:
Thanks itakins and Keira7. Have a Blessed Christmas!
Keira7 on December 12, 2009:
I like you hub very much. Thanks for sharing. God Bless you my dear.:)
itakins from Irl on December 12, 2009: