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Eric's Sunday Sermon; War On Christmas

Updated on December 18, 2015

Hey don't look here for Christmas photos.

We live in a coastal desert. Does it snow where Jesus Christ was born?
We live in a coastal desert. Does it snow where Jesus Christ was born? | Source

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.

Or maybe it is Love
Or maybe it is Love | Source

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

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. | Source

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.

Merry Christmas

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.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You and I could have a great Christmas together. I like the idea of a special day with gifts and gatherings -- but I do not so much care for the reality. In my home we are Christian - though my wife was a Buddhist as is her family. They all send Christmas gifts to our little one for fun and it is fun. For us it is about the little ones including baby Jesus, but it is a come as you are if you want to, occasion.

      But I must admit I giggle a bit at all the uptightness that happens so frequently during that time.

    • profile image

      Commonsensethink 19 months ago

      As an atheist I am very much "live and let live" when it comes to Christmas, although I do not celebrate it personally. If people want to enjoy it, fine - let them get on with it. This year my wife's shift pattern at the airport (people at airports have to work at Christmas!) meant that she had to be there in the afternoon and the evening. No problem - she's a Buddhist anyway .....

      This may sound a bit of a stretch but anyway, my first dislike of Christmas is the "forced generosity". Oh, you have to give people presents etc. My view is that we should be capable of being generous 365 days a year (366 in a Leap Year). That doesn't mean giving presents every day but I can see no reason for choosing one day above all others to do so. I like to surprise my wife with gifts, and not just on her birthday either. I make my donations to the causes that I support (Doctors Without Borders etc.) at various points throughout the year.

      My second whinge - family gatherings are not always great occasions, and I do not, personally, like excess. I have never spent Christmas in the US, but in England (my native country), the number of instances of excessive drunkenness and abuse, and the loud internal family arguments that follow that I have seen .... enough said. This is people enjoying themselves? Often too much is expected.

      In Germany where I now live you don't notice a lot happening once the shops close on the 24th. In the Netherlands where I used to live, presents are all handed out on the evening on December 5th (St Nicholas's day), so Christmas Day in Amsterdam was like just another Sunday. Great place to walk round when it's quiet incidentally, and don't believe all the bad stories that you may have heard about it.

      It is personally the way I like it. Not too much fuss, let people get on with their lives and show them respect whether you agree with what they believe or not.

    • bat115 profile image

      Tim 19 months ago from Los Angeles, CA

      No problem.!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much bat115 for reading and leaving a note.

    • bat115 profile image

      Tim 19 months ago from Los Angeles, CA

      This is a very good hub! a lot of points that I agree with!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Lawrence, it is fun because so much is different and yet the same. Pretty incredible that the world can get together at one time for good stuff like Christmas.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      Our Christmas would look different to yours (I check our deck and make sure it's clear for the outside flow) and lunch might be a salad (Turkey or Ham? take your pick!) but in many ways its the same.

      Enjoyed reading how you do things

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ms. Ruby Jean Fuller I am feeling the love right now! You bring it. Isn't it fun to feel in sync with another, no matter? My wife and son have left me lonely, they are out buying groceries for a Church supper. Not mine but family ne'r the less. If we just love one another we are blessed ourselves. And damned simple equation -- Love and be loved. Love a neighbor and get it in return, love family and the family loves, love God and,, well without even loving God He loves us anyway and that is a blessing.

      Merry holidays and happy Christmas

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I am so in tune with your thinking and writing. Why some get bent out of shape over nothing is beyond me. Tis the season to be jolly however one desires. God loves us all.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Mel. What up with Sunday deliveries? Wow I was shocked. I invited him in for coffee and such but your buddy the other postman was to hurried but took the time to say Merry Christmas -- I hope that was legal. Thanks for all you hard work this time of year. Santa obviously got the cards we sent because the desired presents are under the tree.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 20 months ago from San Diego California

      Donald Trump should be knocking on your door anytime now, so hide that Happy Holidays Starbucks cup and make sure you greet him with a hearty Merry Christmas, or else. Yeah, I don't get all the hype about how they are trying to destroy Christmas, last time I checked I was buried under a barrage of Christmas packages, so I know the holiday is alive and well. Sorry I haven't been checking in on your wonderful sermons lately - parcels are up 60% this year and I have been working 6AM to 6PM. Bah humbug! Marvelous words! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or take your pick my friend!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John like you with children from San Fran to DC we celebrate a few Christmases. I like it. But I almost feel guilty because we have our little five year old for Christmas. Oh the joy is overwhelming. How about this one: Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Jo, nice uplifting comments like yours are all the presents I need for Christmas. Did I mention that I really like to see people give each other gifts with hugs and kisses. I just get all gooey inside. We are in the season here. Amazing how the common everyday annoyances just do not seem like a big deal this time of year. I shall put a green something outside, thanks for the tip.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 20 months ago from Queensland Australia

      What wise words that we all need to read at this time of year, Eric. You said it all perfectly. We celebrated an early Christmas today at our home with one son and his family because we can't get together on 25th. It was the best day we have had together for a long time and we opened just one gift each. The actual Christmas Day will be at our eldest son's house and we are looking forward to that as well. I don't care what anyone calls it but it brings family together in a joyful spirit and that is what I like. Merry Christmas from the Land Down Under.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 20 months ago

      I haven't put up a Christmas Tree with all the trimmings for about 3 years now. I have placed candles in the windows and decorated outside with white lights and candles. This year, I added green lights for the veterans. It was a thing Walmart was doing. Place a green light bulb in the outside of your home for the troops so they know we are standing with them. Christmas is and should be about giving not just to family but to others as well. Two years ago, I had the blessing to help serve a meal for the homeless with a church group. Yes, this is what Christmas is suppose to be. And a Merry Christmas to you and yours Brother Eric!

      And a 2016, filled with the Spirit of God moving you to share more of your blessings to us in Sunday Sermons! :-) (((((( Brother Eric))))))

      Shalom

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Whonu, There is nothing interfering with our celebration of the birth of our Lord and savior. Full speed ahead happy! Merry Christmas friend.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 20 months ago from United States

      Christmas...a victorious celebration of the Lord Jesus and his birth. Forever to reign without defeat...only victory in Christ...celebrated around the world every year. A joyous seasonal celebration of the Christ child's birth! The Nativity scene represents this wonderful day in all its beauty. The family and its unity is so well representative of this special time of the year. Thank you for your nice and very meaningful work. whonu

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 20 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks for the Christmas wishes! We already have the snow!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Paul. We are both happy and joy filled this time of year. And uplifting comments like yours helps those grow.

    • Paul K Francis profile image

      Paul K Francis 20 months ago from east coast,USA

      A lot of Christmas Spirit here. It looks like, as it says in A CHRISTMAS CAROL , you have a true ' knowledge ' of Christmas. Have a very merry!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Peace be upon you brother Clive. Have a very merry Christmas my friend.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 20 months ago from Nibiru

      Merry Christmas Eric...........................................................Ba Humbug....i mean happy holidays

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      That was our tradition also, later the tree trimming party turned into a massive tamale making party also. We would load up in pickups and get a permit and go cut a big tree out of the woods. Thanksgiving giving way to Christmas -- it just don't get no better than that. Merry Christmas my good friend from North Dakota. May your snow fall and you be safe and comfy in your Christmas home.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 20 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      We decorate for Christmas right after we celebrate Thanksgiving. We put on some carols and pull out the boxes, and have at it until the house sparkles and the tree is lit! To me, Christmas is a feeling more than anything, a feeling that God loves me because He sent His Son.....for me! There is nothing greater in this world! Let the others do what they will, I will celebrate Christmas!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 20 months ago from SW England

      Thank you, kind man! :D

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Ann. I just love getting such a nice blessing, it puts a spunk in my step and a smile on my face. Merry Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 20 months ago from SW England

      It's all about loving and giving. The materialism annoys me but it certainly livens up the shops and the streets!

      A huge Merry Christmas to you, Eric, and a Happy New Year. I hope that 2016 brings to you health and happiness.

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana, if someone tells you they are offended by "Merry Christmas" let me know I would like to discuss it with them. People who would get offended would be like the folks who hate "have a nice day". Wow what a world it would be to be in that kind of head.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Carb Diva, I sure like a hardy Merry Christmas. I just thought of it and I have never heard of an actual person being offended by it, in a real circumstance. Hypotheticals and anecdotes but never for real. Merry Christmas to you also.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 20 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Your childhood Christmas sounds similar to mine, minus the snow. Oh, how I would love to experience a white Christmas before I die.

      Anyway, It took me a few years to notice that some companies encourage their employees to say- Happy Holidays, instead of Merry Christmas, as not to offend non-believers.

      That explains the weird looks I would get when I happily announced to anyone who would give me an ear or a look "Merry Christmas!" Oh, well they have their rights and so do I, and Christmas will always be about Christ for me. The gift of salvation is a gift that can't be bought.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 20 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric - I agree. People can wish me Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Happy Hanukah if they want. What matters is what I know is in my heart and the hearts of my loved ones. And, I wish you a Merry Christmas.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, I like this nice warm and cuddly cocoon I have insulated myself with at this time of year. We also do love around here for Christmas and it works out just fine.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I've stayed out of this silliness. Because I'm old and find it hard to change, I usually say Merry Christmas just out of habit....Happy Holidays if I'm thinking about the issue....but I really don't care. There are really important issues in the world and for me, this isn't one of them. I'll just live a life of love and leave it at that. :)