Feel like banning Christmas? - Hope 103.2

Feel like banning Christmas?

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsMonday 23 Dec 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsChristmasReading Time: 0 minutes


A Hillsong report I read showed that more than half of us are worried about how we will pay for Christmas gifts and presents this year. Financial pressure on families means that many of us are cutting back on our Christmas spending. EBay  research has revealed that in 2009,Australians received $1 billion in unwanted  Christmas gifts. More than half of us unwrapped at least one unwanted present.

Do you sometimes feel like banning Christmas altogether ? If you work in  retail,your tolerance for the festive season could well be at breaking point .. or those stressed at the thought of cooking Christmas dinner for all the family,may be looking forward to 26 December,and for those whose budgets are already stretched,those extra expenses can be overwhelming. It’s quite interesting to look at history and note Christmas celebrations caused anger  centuries ago.

For example,in the mid 1600’s,Lord Protector of England,Oliver Cromwell,and his puritan forces,took extreme measures to stamp out festivities  they considered wasteful and undermining of Christian beliefs. Christmas Day was the start of an extended period of feasting & merriment. .. the 12 days of Christmas. There was dancing,singing,drinking,exchanging of presents and stage plays. Cromwell passed an act of Parliament in 1644 to ban Christmas celebrations .. imposing fines and punishments on anyone who continued to make merry. In London,soldiers were even ordered to patrol the streets and seize any food being prepared for the yuletide celebration. Violent encounters took place between supporters and opponents of Christmas in many towns. When Oliver Cromwell died,the act was repealed,and Christmas could be celebrated once again.

Today there are groups who say Christmas should go. But for a different reason. What is being questioned now is the relevance of Christ’s coming into the world,in a society made up of many faiths and cultures. Political correctness arises each December as schools,kindergartens & community groups prepare for end of year concerts,worried about offending others’ beliefs. Do we
sing or not sing Christmas carols? Do we tell or not tell the Christmas story? Is it offensive to dress up children as Mary and Joseph cuddling a plastic baby Jesus,with angels,shepherd and wise men? It’s still about the celebration of the birth of God’s son,Jesus Christ.

This week’s Christmas message is one of peace and goodwill. It is more than 2,000 years old. This is for everyone,and it’s not just contained to December. It is really up to us how we display it in
our everyday lives,once we take down the Christmas tree.

Source: Faye Michelson,War Cry Magazine*