If you haven’t been following this series, here is a quick link list to the previous articles so you can catch up:
- Part 1: The roots
- Part 2: Christmas tree versus Vine
- Part 3: Santa
- Part 4: To Pull your kid from school or not
And that brings us to Part 5.
We’ve established that there are good grounds to abort operation Christmas tradition and run for the hills, but it’s not that simple. As parents who believe that Jesus is Lord and that our God is a Great and mighty God, it may appear as though we are just running away from a big powerful monster. Not so, nor can we risk anyone thinking this. Nor do we want to be mislabelled as a JW (Jehovah’s Witness).
I believe the only solution is to do what was originally done: replace the rituals with righteous ones and celebrate all days equally (or as equally as possible) unto the Lord.
That sounds both spiritual and easy but it’s not.
It will require planning and a resolve to stick to your plan in the face of adversity. You will be most surprised at the amount of opposition will head your way from both within the church and without. Thankfully, in my case it was more from without.
In this part of the series, I sincerely hope that I’ll get some help from other believers out there who can add to this list of suggestions. Just throw your ideas in the comments below and I’ll update the expanding list.
We need ideas of things we can do that will show the world that
- we are all about family
- we are not about pagan rituals
- we are people who don’t compromise
- we are all about fun!
The last part is key – fun.
It’s quite remarkable how a fat man in a red suit has become the highlight of a child’s year. Surely we can compete, I’m thinking. And perhaps we could even teach the Bible and characters of the Bible in the process.
Here are some things I did this year that worked well in no particular order and others that came to mind while I was doing them that I could have done:
- audio streaming of great Holy Spirit filled music to sing to and dance to (yes, I put my groove on)
- movie nights (all the time) with movies that were wholesome, righteous, or, at worst, spiritually neutral
- physical activities: ice skating, walking outside,
- non-physical activities: crafts, arts, gift building, etc
- learning about how Christians celebrates christmas around the world: poverty, suffering, persecution, mockery
- formulate a plan for helping someone celebrate christmas locally (giving, loving, giving, caring, giving)
- figure out a way that shows that giving is better than receiving
- teach them about the destructive power of the commercialism around christmas
- teach the truth about the christmas tree, santa, and the other rituals but not forgetting to also teach not to burst other’s dreams in a mean way….
- and more
A reader from out in Ontario somewhere sent me a note and pointed out that she had gone ice skating and it couldn’t even compare to the 5 minutes of excitement of opening a gift. This made me think of the key point about why this is truly valuable. It’s your number one and never replaceable asset: your time.
While you breath, you have time. When you stop breathing time is taken away from you and you will go into eternity (yes, even you who don’t believe it will experience it so get saved). So if it takes time to make money, and you give someone your time, you are giving them money. I’m not an intelligent man and I figured that out! Time really is money. So, if you want to give your kids a gift that is worth no less than $11, give them an hour. You don’t even have to do it all at once! You can give them $5.5 twice per day. And I’m not talking about sitting beside them while you slap your friend an what’s app. I’m preaching to myself, here, too.
I have a strange feeling if we plan how we are going to *gift our time [that expression just came to me but you can use it royalty free]* for the next ritualistic holiday that you will make it a holiday they won’t forget.
I’m so idealistic. Just writing that made me feel waves of shame. But oh well, we can all start today…
I hope that you will all join me next Christmas, but what’s exciting is that we have Easter (comes from ‘Ishtar’) coming up very soon so we could start bringing glory to God then as well.
The same reader from Ontario pointed out that apparently Easter is now experiencing gift-giving pressure? I didn’t know that. She explained that it has extended past chocolates… anyway if that’s true stay tuned and we’ll review the basics right before you start spending your money.
Oh, and one more thing. Since today is the last day of 2014, I wanted to say that I hope you are all set to have an amazing roller coaster ride of faith for 2015!