Category Archives: The Real Reason for Christmas

Christmas Without Christ Is Just mas: A Reprise

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I originally published a post with this title on December 25 of last year, but it’s important that people know the real meaning of Christmas, so I decided to reprise the title but rewrite most of the body. I don’t know if this time around is any better, but I said what needed to be said.

What that means is, if you remove the word Christ from the word Christmas, all you have left is mas, which isn’t even a word.

In other word, Christmas without Christ is just another day.

That is to say, Christmas without Christ is meaningless, and yet more and more, people as well as businesses and institutions are attempting to do that very thing: remove Christ from Christmas and turn it into something it was never intended to be. It makes me feel very sad that it’s happening, because, in doing that, people are missing out on the greatest blessing they could possibly imagine, if they would only receive it.

And all they have to do is acknowledge that Jesus, God’s amazing gift, is the real reason we celebrate Christmas. All you have to do is look at the word “Christmas” to see the truth of that. The word has nine letters, and “Christ” comprises two-thirds of them.

For all the joy that Christmas is supposed to bring when its true meaning and purpose are understood, and when Jesus is placed at the center of the celebration, every year at Christmas I go through hell, because I feel disjointed and fragmented and out of sorts ~ anything and everything but joyful.

And why, if Christmas is supposed to be so joyful and happy, is it so difficult for so many people, and for so many families? Because the holidays are characteristically the hardest time of year for many people. When people have to gather with their families, typically they experience more depression, especially if they were already struggling with it.

I don’t think there’s a family in existence that doesn’t have problems, so any family member with issues who comes to a Christmas celebration with their problem-laden family will be disappointed if they expect a time free of conflict.

I have some idea of why I have so many problems with the holidays, but I’m not sure if what I know is everything about why, and even if it is, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be able to deal with them better. The way I’ve dealt with it in the past is to do a whole lot of avoiding and escaping, but it never really worked very well.

Why can’t I just enjoy Christmas for what it is without all the turmoil and confusion? And “for what it is” means celebrating it as Jesus’ birthday as God incarnate, and God’s Gift of salvation to humanity. I’m beyond exhausted with all the confusion and inner tumult and chaos I go through every year. I just want it to be OVER WITH!!

Thankfully, gratefully, God has been healing me in the last couple of years so that the tortuous, tormenting depression I used to struggle with is no longer such a huge problem for me. 

I don’t want to do what other people do around the holidays. You know, race around like a maniac, trying to find the most expensive gifts for all my friends, because the best way to celebrate Christmas is to spend as much money on each person as possible.

Nope! Not going to happen!

Jesus will always be the reason for Christmas for me, because Christmas is still meaningless without Christ. It’s still just another day as far as I’m concerned, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. ~ Isaiah 7:14, KJV.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6, NKJV.

THIS is what Christmas is all about, and I’m so grateful to God for His amazing Gift, and for His Word with the prophesies that foretold of the coming of Jesus Christ, His one and only Son.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. ~ Luke 2:14, KJV.

A Shiny New Lexus or Jesus. Which to Pick?

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The answer is Jesus, of course. For me, there was never any question.

The holidays are approaching, always the most difficult time of year for me, though thankfully, they’ve gotten a whole lot easier in the last couple of years since God has been working in me.

It used to be that from the beginning of October through the middle of January I would fall into a deep depression that was so bad that it was hard for me to get out of bed, and it was difficult for me to blink and breathe. I’m so grateful to God that He’s healed me enough that I don’t go through that anymore. Now the worst it gets is a mild sadness, and sometimes a feeling of anger at people in general for the fact that they’re missing out on the real meaning of Christmas by focusing so much on the material aspects of it.

Of course it’s not hard to understand why people are so focused on spending money to buy the most expensive gifts possible. Seems to me there are a number of possible reasons.

The biggest reason, in my opinion, is that focusing on surface issues like how much to spend on gifts distracts people from looking at the deeper issue of the true meaning of Christmas, which is that God sent Jesus Christ as His Gift to mankind to set us free from our sins, and bring us back into relationship with Him. Most people don’t want to be reminded that they’re sinners. They prefer to deny that fact by spending lots of money on all their friends. If they buy expensive gifts for everyone they know then they can say, “Look what a good person I am. I just bought you this snow white Lexus for $30,000 and parked it in front of your house with a giant, ostentatious red bow on top. Aren’t I wonderful? I spent more on you than I did on my children!”

That thought process reminds me of the passage in Matthew 6 where it talks about doing good deeds,

Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. ~ Matthew 6:1-4, NLT.

I could be wrong about that. I’m wrong about a lot of things, but if advertising trends are any indication, then I’m not far off the mark. Every year Lexus trots out the same ad with the same ostentatious red bow on top of a shiny new Lexus, with someone handing over the keys to an ecstatic soul, who now loves their new best friend, whether that friend is the new car or the person who bought it for them.

And then there’s the Great Christmas Light Fight put on by ABC. Season 7 begins on December 2, and ABC is so sure of its success that they’ve already scheduled Season 8 for December of 2020. Basically it’s a competition to see who can come up with the most outlandish Christmas light display, and entries are accepted from all across the country. My problem with it is that, as with the Lexus ads, they’re missing the whole point of Christmas.

As far as I’m concerned, the whole thing is utter madness.

The purpose of Christmas is to celebrate and honor, and express our gratitude to God for His one-of-a-kind and precious gift of Jesus Christ to mankind for the remission of our sins.

There has never been a gift like this, and never will be again. I mean, Who gives His own and only Son, who allows Himself to be murdered in the most vile, shameful, and painful death ever known, even though he’s a completely innocent and perfect human being, because He’s taking the punishment for the rest of humanity for our sins.

Who does that? Only God, Who did it because He loved us SOOO incredibly much.

And in the process of dying, the Son has to experience the abandonment of His Father because He has to take on Himself the sin of the whole world, and His Father can’t look at Him at that point because the Father is too holy and pure to be able to look at sin, so He has to turn His back on His Son.

I think that was the most painful part of the crucifixion for Jesus, and why He cried out from the cross,

Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” ~ Mark 15:34, NLT.

This post started out being about Christmas, and it’s ended up being about Easter, and while that wasn’t necessarily a conscious thing on my part, I think it was on God’s, because Jesus came to earth so He could die on a cross for our redemption, and three days later He was resurrected from the dead, once again for us, so He could return to Heaven and sit at the right hand of the Father, where He intercedes for us always,

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. ~ Hebrews 7:25, NKJV.

Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. ~ Romans 8:34, NLT.

We celebrate Christmas and Easter as separate holidays, but I think they could easily be celebrated as one huge observance commemorating the Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. It could done over a two week period, with a few days devoted to each period, and then a final huge bang-up party at the end.

I know this will never happen, because people are way too entrenched in their traditions. Plus, in reality, the Life of Christ should be lived out and celebrated in our everyday existence all the time.

I know this is kinda long. Sorry…

I think I’m done with this rant for the time being, but I’m sure I’ll have more to say at a later time.

Christmas Without Christ Is Just mas…

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What that means is if you remove the word “Christ” from the word “Christmas”, all you have left is “mas”, which isn’t even a word.

In other words, Christmas without Christ is just another day.

That is to say, Christmas without Christ is meaningless, and yet, more and more, people as well as businesses and institutions, are attempting to do that very thing: remove Christ from Christmas and turn it into something it was never intended to be. It makes me feel very sad that it’s happening, because, in doing that, people are missing out on the greatest blessing they could possibly imagine, if they would only receive it.

And all they have to do is acknowledge that Jesus, God’s amazing gift, is the real reason we celebrate Christmas. All you have to do is look at the word Christmas to see the truth of that. The word has nine letters, and “Christ” comprises two-thirds of them.

And for all the joy that Christmas is supposed to bring when its true meaning and purpose are understood, and when Jesus is brought in and involved as an integral part of its celebration (which I desire to do with my whole heart), every year at Christmastime I go through hell, because I feel all disjointed and fragmented and out of sorts ~ anything and everything but joyful.

I have some idea of why, but I’m not sure if what I know is everything about why, and even if it is, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be able to deal with the holiday better. The way I’m dealing with it now is to do a whole lot of avoidance and escapist behaviors, and I don’t think it’s working.

Why can’t I just enjoy Christmas for what it is without all the turmoil and confusion? And “for what it is” means celebrating it as Jesus’ birthday as a human baby, as God incarnate, and God’s Gift of salvation to humanity. I’m beyond exhausted with all the confusion and inner tumult and chaos I go through every year. I just want it to be OVER WITH!!

I don’t know that I want to do what other people do around the holidays. You know, race around like a mad chicken trying to find the most expensive gifts for all my friends because the best way to celebrate Christmas is to spend as much money on each person as possible.

I don’t think so! Not going to happen!

Jesus will still be the reason for Christmas for me, because Christmas is still meaningless without Christ. It’s still just another day as far as I’m concerned, and I wouldn’t want it to be any other way.

Christmas, In All Its Wonderfulness, Which Is Why I Hate It.

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I hate Christmas. There, I said it. Sacrilege I know, but that’s how I feel.

There are reasons for the way I feel, mostly having to do with Harry and stuff he did to me when I was little.

For instance, when I was about five, I made an ashtray for him for Christmas. You know, one of those ashtrays made out of clay that little kids make in nursery school or kindergarten for their dads? Well, the one I made for Harry was rather large as ashtrays go, more like a bowl you put fruit in, and I painted it yellow with green spots. I was rather proud of that ashtray because I’d worked very hard on it, and all I wanted was for Harry to like it.

To my great misfortune, not only did he not like it, but he hated it. In fact he hated it so much that he smashed it, and then he raped me. In front of the family he gave marginal approval, but once everyone else was gone from the room, he told me it was the ugliest thing he’d ever seen, and he threw it on the floor so it broke into a thousand pieces. Then he dragged me into his and Mom’s bedroom and raped me.

It just occurred to me that his reaction was way over the top, and even my statement of it ~ that it was way over the top ~ is grossly understated. I mean, if you don’t like someone’s gift, you don’t have to react by breaking it and then beating up the person who gave it to you. If you don’t like it, just don’t use it.

I’m extremely grateful for God’s gift of Jesus Christ, for the fact that Jesus was willing, even glad, to divest Himself of His majesty and power as the Creator of the universe so He could assume human flesh as a baby in a manger, and live a sinless life so He could go to the Cross and save us from our sins.

What I hate is all the hypocrisy and folderol that goes with the holiday. People seem to have forgotten why we celebrate Christmas. All they care about anymore is seeing how much money they can spend on their spouse, or their brother, or their boss, or their dad, or their aunt, or their dog.

Their DOG, for goodness’ sake!

Or their cat. Same difference.

And then there’s those ridiculous ads for Lexus that they only show before Christmas. You know, the ones where they show someone getting a new Lexus for Christmas, with a huge, gigantic bow on the roof of the car. There are so many absurdities in those ads, the most apparent, of course, being the ginormous bow on top of the car. Another absurdity is the whole idea of just any ole schmo being able to purchase an expensive car like a Lexus, when most people are lucky to be able to buy a small economy car.

What CAN the Lexus people be THINKING!?! 

Oh, and don’t forget all the humungous light displays that are so popular now. ABC even has a show every year called The Great Christmas Light Fight that’s basically a contest throughout the country to see who can come up with the best Christmas light display, that has NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to do with Jesus Christ. And tonight is this season’s first episode.

Oh joy!!

I don’t know but what there might be other issues I’m not aware of that also influence my feelings about the holidays. I wish I knew what they were. It feels like it would be easier to deal with present day realities if I knew what was in the past ~ kind of like the foundation of the past would make the present house easier to build.

Thankfully, I’m no longer experiencing the soul-killing depression I used to go through every holiday season, from the beginning of October through the middle of January. God seems to have healed me of that.

I can only hope that the issues continuing to hinder me from being able to enjoy Christmas for what it’s really about will be healed by the Lord. Then I’ll be able to accept those who celebrate it for other things, as well as commemorate it for the birth of Christ, which is the real reason we’re supposed to celebrate the holiday.

I can only hope.

Right!