#9 - Dangers of Christmas
A few years ago the Huffington Post featured an article on the 12 dangers of Christmas. The article focused on fire safety during the holiday season. They covered everything from your Christmas tree drying out and catching the drapes on fire to burning down your home while preparing your roast beast. The article had me thinking, what if there were other dangers during Christmas? What if, aside from falling off your roof while working on your light display and over roasting your chestnuts, there were hidden dangers during the season of advent that most of us overlook. So I decided to write about the dangers of Christmas we often ignore.
Now, a few years later, I want look at a few more dangers of Christmas we might ignore or be unaware of. So here we go, another 12 Dangers of Christmas
There is a hum this time of year that goes something like this:
We need to keep Christ in Christmas!
If I hear some say, 'happy holidays', I always respond with 'MERRY CHRISTMAS!' I mean come on, it's Jesus' birthday for Christ's sake!
I get it.
Christmas is Jesus birthday. (Well, it really isn't but for the sake of another argument it can be.)
“Kids, I want to tell you today that there is no such thing as Santa Claus,” he’s heard hollering while walking alongside the long line of kids and their parents.
“The man you’re going to see today is just a man in a suit, dressed up like Santa, but Santa does not exist,” he continues. “Santa’s not real. And parents you all need to stop lying to your children and telling them that Santa Claus is real when in fact he’s not.”
I understand that David wanted to spread the Gospel and share with the community to real reason for the season but seriously?!
Christianity gets bad wrap without some a-hole pastor ruining Christmas for a few kids. I didn't see anyone in the video asking him about his Christmas Eve services or about his church's Christmas Day services. So if the point of this stunt was evangelism, he failed.
Keeping Christ in Christmas is a weird phrase to me. We discussed this on an episode of Crackers & Grape Juice recently, focusing in on Advent and why we observe this as a church season.
I'm not sure if I have any answers for you on the so-called culture war against Christmas. But I did find some things your family can do together to keep Christ the focus during Advent and through Christmastide from Kristen Welch:
- Set up a Nativity and make it a focus in your home. [We put ours front and center on the entry table in our home].
- Hide baby Jesus and “seek” Him Christmas morning before opening gifts. [I did this first thing last year. Here’s how I found it half an hour later. Turns out Mary had a little Snowman. I love little kids].
- (or) Gift wrap baby Jesus in your nativity and let this be your first unwrapped gift Christmas morning.
- Take a cue from the Magi and limit the gifts and reminding kids it’s not their birthday, it’s His.
- Have a daily family devotion that unwraps Christmas, here’s ours for this year; Advent Tabletop Devotional. [This is perfect for families. It offers a verse for each day and a question or two that will hopefully lead to a meaningful discussion.]
- Participate in Advent. Last year, we did the Jesse Tree Advent. And I love this 25 day free printable Advent idea!
- Light an Advent wreath each day leading up to Christmas.
- Have a birthday cake for Jesus or go all out and make it a birthday party!
- Watch DVDS like Why Do We Call It Christmas? that help you tell the real story of Christmas.
- Give your kids the gift of giving: Have them shop with purpose. This year we are giving our kids money to shop from the Compassion gift catalog.
- Or buy something that blesses twice and changes lives (Mercy Shop).
- Don’t stress about things that really don’t matter this Season. I have been a Christmas hoarder in the past. Last year, I had two newlywed couples come and dig thru my decorations. I saved two boxes of things I value most and gave the rest away. It’s simple this year and I like it.
- Make the Nativity interactive with tools like What God Wants for Christmas. It’s from the creators of Resurrection Eggs.
- Do something for someone else on Christmas Day. This will be our fifth year to visit the NICU (with treats) that saved our daughter’s life five Christmas’ ago.
- Talk with your kids about giving God a gift. What does He want from us?
- Hang a stocking for Christ. Fill it with notes just for Him.
- Invite someone to share Christmas dinner with your family.
- Shop for single mom. This year playing secret santa and dropping off gifts for a single mom!
- Don’t participate in the excessive commercialism. Enough said.
- Watch The Nativity Story together as a family. We started this tradition two years ago. I think this PG movie tells the greatest story ever told very well.
- Help your kids shop for their siblings.
- Talk about the symbols of Christmas.
- Be generous as a family at Christmas-baking, giving, doing.
- Hold a Yule log party: it’s an old European custom to bring in an enormous log on Christmas Eve and it in the fireplace (or fire pit) and say prayers. Today, Yule log cakes and eggnog are served. You can sing carols, read Scripture, tell stories, pray for the new year, and have good fellowship.
- Bake, make or buy a special gift for your Pastor. We did Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls year before last. What a gift!
- Cherish traditions with your family. Start a new one! Like the next one:
- When preparing your Christmas meal, set a literal place for Jesus, your honored guest.
- Attend church on Christmas Eve.
- Read Luke 2 together on Christmas Eve or morning. We’ve been doing this since before we had kids.
- Leave a Nativity out all year long. I did this last year and it was really special.
Whatever you do this Christmas beware of David Grisham and others like him. A-hole pastors and Christians for that matter are my #9 danger of Christmas.