About Christmas and a Bunch of Malarkey :: By Candy Austin

Just for the record, I am in no way against the celebrating of Christmas. What I have decided to go against in recent years is in the participation in the ‘commercialism side’ of this holiday. The way my husband and I see it, we get ‘gifts’ all year round, monthly, and weekly even. Why then should we mount needless pressure onto ourselves and strain our budget by going into debt to buy a bunch of unnecessary stuff just to fill in the gap under the tree? When what we really want to do is to make this holiday more about Jesus and less about our materialistic greed.

Excerpt from Family Life.com: “5 Radical Ways to Purge Commercialism from Christmas”

After a few very disappointing and stressful Christmases, we realized that we had a problem. We had managed to create an unholy mess filled with endless shopping and very little joy.

We knew we needed to make some changes, so we decided to engage in a radical experiment to reboot Christmas in our family and cut back on the influence of commercialism. Some of our solutions were pretty counter-cultural; but in the end, they proved to be worth it—especially as we began raising our children.

If you find yourself longing for a purer, less commercialized version of Christmas, then you might want to try our experiment yourself. Be warned, however; purging commercialism from your Christmas might be harder than you think.

[I suggest reading full article]

  1. Stop asking your kids what they want for Christmas.
  2. Ditch the Christmas list.
  3. Forget Santa… or at least downplay his role.
  4. Focus on the real gift.
  5. Invite Jesus to the party.

It wasn’t easy for us at first, but we’re glad we did something to prevent commercialism from overtaking our Christmas celebration. We’ve followed these guidelines in our home for the past 20 years, and I’m glad we have. Christmas today looks much different than it did when we first started. It is simpler, calmer, and more joyful.

In this environment, it has also been much easier to keep the focus on Christ. He is no longer simply an afterthought but the very heart of our celebration. Source

Of course, when we decided to let certain family members know about our change in conviction concerning Christmas, some of them got really upset about it. It has been about 4 years since we made the decision to forgo the commercialism part of this holiday; and, apparently, one particular family member still cannot get over it. As a matter of fact, just recently, they had the ‘gall’ to call and leave a voicemail accusing us of ‘not being real Christians.’ Reason being, and I quote… “If y’all are Christians, then it is a bunch of malarkey that y’all don’t believe in Christmas!” Needless to say, my husband called said family member back and had to reexplain our decision and convictions once again.

Definitions of Malarkey: meaningless talk; nonsense. Insincere or foolish talk. Empty rhetoric or exaggerated talk.

The truth is, believing in Christmas and choosing to celebrate or not to celebrate has nothing to do with being a ‘real Christian.’ Now, believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has everything to do with being a ‘true Christian.’ The deciding factor is not in whether we choose to participate in certain holidays (most of which come from pagan origins) or in one’s support or not of commercialism that proves one’s Faith and Christianity. So, upon hearing said family member’s statement recently, we pretty much came to the conclusion that it was a rather misguided, misunderstood, or a “bunch of malarkey” thing to say.

Excerpt from GotQuestions.org: “Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?”

As we have seen, there is no legitimate scriptural reason not to celebrate Christmas. At the same time, there is no biblical mandate to celebrate it either. In the end, of course, whether or not to celebrate Christmas is a personal decision. Whatever Christians decide to do regarding Christmas, their views should not be used as a club with which to beat down or denigrate those with opposing views, nor should either view be used as a badge of honor inducing pride over celebrating or not celebrating. As in all things, we seek wisdom from Him who gives it liberally to all who ask (James 1:5) and accept one another in Christian love and grace, regardless of our views on Christmas. Source

There are many ways to make Christmas more focused on Christ. For example, we choose to decorate our tree with Nativity- and Christ-centered ornaments. My husband still likes to put lights on the house, but he makes the lighted Nativity scene the main focus of our yard. Although, it is getting harder to find these days, the cards we choose to send out are Nativity-, Christ-, and Scripture-centered too. On Christmas morning, instead of the focus being on opening gifts, my husband and I take turns saying a prayer, and we read passages to each other from the book of Luke. This day also includes listening to Christmas music and making a ham dinner along with some Keto Pecan Pie.

Excerpt from ComeuntoChrist.org: “How to Make Jesus Christ the Focus of Christmas”

[I suggest reading full article]

Read about the Birth of Jesus Christ.

Serve Those around You.

Focus on Gratitude.

Listen to Christmas Songs.

Jesus has done more for you than anyone ever will. He gave His life for you so you can repent, be happy despite your challenges, and ultimately receive eternal life. Taking time to read about and remember all Jesus has done for you is one way to show your gratitude for Him. Source

So, if you have decided to divert from the ‘traditions of men’ and what the world tells you that you are ‘supposed to do’ concerning this holiday, just know that you are not alone. As Christians, we are to be in the world but not of it. We march to the beat of a different drum, which tends to invite criticism and/or accusations. Stand firm in your convictions and in the Faith, and do not waver. Ultimately, it makes no sense to get a negative reaction in wanting to make Christmas more about Christ. After all the hustle, bustle, and commercialism dies down, the one thing that should matter, the one person we should remember, and the one thought that should reign supreme in our minds and hearts is that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

Joshua 24:15, KJV “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Until next time… Maranatha!

Jesus = Way, Truth, Life

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