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Eric's Sunday Sermon; War On Christmas
Hey don't look here for Christmas photos.
All kinds of people love Christmas
Let us start right out and say that there is nothing wrong with saying happy holidays to someone. It seems that it is like saying merry Christmas and happy New Year. What could possibly be wrong with that? Nothing and good Christians should not shy away from saying it. I have an old (sorry to 73 year olds but 73 just seems like an old person) named Henry. Henry loves Christmas. He just gets all excited and tells stories about wonderful Christmases. Henry is quite Jewish. He just thinks that a holiday all gussied up and a celebration of love and giving is really cool. He is quite right you know. Henry never says happy holidays he always and I mean always says merry Christmas. Of course if you know Henry you say happy Hanukah and all is well in the world.
I know an atheist. OK I know him very well, he is my elder brother. At least I think he is an atheist, last time I asked he was an atheist. He is the best gift giver in the whole world and does a great job of celebrating Christmas. He likes to say Merry Christmas bah humbug. He gives to family and friends alike and to charity during this season. He is kind of a grumpy guy but he comes out all happy, feigning grumpiness this time of year. He is like my atheist hero. I am a Christian but I would like to be more like Dan at Christmas.
A friend name Bill reminded me of this song. I like it.
The gift of nature is perhaps the finest gift of all.
Do you really want others suggesting how to celebrate Christmas?
No Christmas in public schools. You could look at this as a war on Christmas thing. As for my family we really would not like a school teacher teaching our son about Christmas. Mrs. Ryan is a wonderful school teacher but I have not vetted her to see if she has similar beliefs about Christ as we do. Thank you very much but I will see to my son’s spiritualism and faith and then he will see to it himself as he believes. I don’t want a school that we trust breaking that trust and teaching him incorrectly. And assuming that they just celebrate the secular version of Christmas – no thank you again, we can get that at a mall. So as a Christian I say keep Christmas out of the hands of our schools.
That of course brings us to our malls. I don’t dig it at all. Malls are made to sell you stuff, get over it, that is what they do. To them Christmas is marketing and sales. Good for them and the people who find work there. I really do not want their version of Christmas rammed down my throat. “Happy Holidays” from them is about all I can take of their materialistic bent. If they were saying merry Christmas it would bother me because they would not mean it, it would just be another sales technique. I don’t want my Christmas associated with the buying frenzy, things and debt that happen in malls. Please do not commercialize my Christmas. Just be caring and call it a holiday.
Government? Really? You want those folks dictating how we view Christmas? Sorry but I just do not see the restriction on church and state getting together as a bad thing. Stay out of my spiritual head you bureaucrats. Do I really want some politico capturing votes by appeasing and appealing to those who love Christ? No no no! I want my government to put up festive lighting. I want them to give people time off to celebrate as they see fit. I do not want some die hard Democrat or Republican to determine just how a Nativity scene should look. Next year one would decide that it is cruel to depict the Ox and Lamb as is traditional and take them out and then what do you have? Drummer boy would be banned as the rest of the shepherds because it was slave and child labor. Keep my government out of my religion completely.
Maybe Hollywood has a war on Christmas -- but that ain't Country!
My home on Christmas 1960
Your Christmas begins and ends with Christ.
Now where does that leave us? Well it leaves us in our homes, churches and neighborhoods. How cool is that? The homes are decorated as the homeowner or renter sees fit. Celebrating in a way that is somewhat personal to them. I love my neighborhood. I love the lighting and nativity scenes out front and the lit crosses in windows. I even love the blow up snowmen and sleighs. Hallelujah and Amen I shout.
Oh boy churches come alive during this season. Whahoo! Scenes and lights and Christmas trees and songs and plays and joy and warmth. Wow does this season let the churches shine in all their own glory and that Glory which is God’s. I just love it. I am so goofy I drop in on churches just to see the gayety and festive decorations. And services this time of year are epic. Everybody gets in on the act and the celebration is near worthy of our new born King.
Don’t you just love going to someone else’s home this time of year? What a blessing. Halloween we drop by but are relegated to the front door. This chilly and cold time of year you are invited in. I even like homes that are not decorated this time of year because the reason is always interesting. We have some kind of serious health issues around here so we did not go all out on the decorating. Oh now don’t you cry for me Argentina, we got the tree and some lights and a wreath and some bells. We had a tree trimming party and we got carols decorating the sounds. But our focus this year is more about prayer and strengthening our faith but hey now we got some presents under the tree and Santa has got some emails about special gifts that are surely needed. (fun huh! Emailing Santa instead of letters by snail mail)
So take a breath and really look at the “war on Christmas”. It really is not that big of deal. It is hard to explain to someone what my Christmases were like growing up. Just try to imagine real sleigh rides through snow covered trees out where one tree is decorated and lit up in a forest clearing a mile from any home. Warm eggnog and blankets cover those of us in the sleigh behind two great big draft horses with bells. Imagine a 12 foot tall Christmas tree with so many decorations that some ornaments get left out as there is no more room on the tree. Imagine a new Flexible Flyer sled and new ice skates that are used on the days and evenings on the pond and hill in the days leading up to Christmas. The weather outside is frightening and the fire inside so delighting. Candle light on the table and a turkey so big it can feed the twenty of us including a weary traveler stuck in the train station and a couple of old folks away from family. And that is just the tip of the iceberg that was my Christmas growing up. I just got into the things and activity, the love and lovely giving could take up a whole 3 more pages.
How about Santa Claus? The modern day version was made up for an advertising campaign – I believe for Coca Cola. But he morphed into the gift giving wizard. I have never ever heard of someone injured in any psychological way by Santa Claus. Except for jokes and funny songs I have never heard of anyone hurt in anyway by Santa Claus. He is in the good sense about giving. How cool is that? Yes he and his stories kind of cut into the real meaning of Christmas but I think we have room in our hearts for that.
So let the war continue. Let the factions keep Christmas real and where it belongs. In our hearts and souls and mind. Let it be a little more cozy and personal. “They” don’t make Christmas real, you do. Hug somebody please. Instead of hollering Merry Christmas whisper it in their ear with an embrace. And by golly jingles sing those Christmas songs with all your heart and soul, and cry tears of joy and good will.