Skip to comments."There is no more dangerous or disgusting habit than celebrating Christmas before it comes.”
Posted on 12/02/2013 3:43:06 PM PST by NYer
Fr. George W. Rutler (The Judge Report, December 1, 2013) writes:
... Without Advent, the only thing to do is to “rush” Christmas, with celebrations without much purpose. That turns Christmas inside out and can even make it depressing. Superficial Christmas is “joy without a cause” as G.K. Chesterton said in 1911 in his epic poem, The Ballad of the White Horse. He also said a couple of years earlier: “There is no more dangerous or disgusting habit than that of celebrating Christmas before it comes.
”Our Lord spoke of people who “loved the dark rather than the light” (John 3:19), and we see that today in those who would ban any mention of Christmas. The tendency to set up Christmas decorations before Christmas is at least a clumsy way of expressing a desire for light rather than dark, but it is futile without a moral awareness of what light and dark are.
Advent is awkward because its mysteries are not the sort of things entertainers dressed as elves sing about. While the Church calls attention to reality, avuncular clergymen often succumb to fantasy themselves, with Christmas parties in Advent and wreaths without reason. Of course, this is illogical, because it contradicts the way the Logos arranged the world. The Logos, or the Word, is Jesus himself, who uttered all things into being by saying, “Fiat” — “Let there be.” And the first thing he let there be was light: “Light from Light” as the Creed chants it. But the only way to recognize the illogic of Christmas without Advent is to “walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).
The choice of darkness rather than light is a preference for the Prince of Darkness rather than Christ the Light. The best way to walk in the Light is to get rid of the darkness in the soul, and so Advent is a prime time for confessing sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Then the penitent is re-united with the Light of the World. Christ sheds light on Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell, giving moral cogency to the mystery of life itself. “He is before all things, and by him all things are held together" (Colossians 1:17). As the highest truths are very simple, the simplest logic is this: Without the Christ of Christmas, all things fall apart.
And then there are the unrelenting commercials ... anyone seen this year’s Joe Boxer commercial? Sigh ...
I have a friend who does store decoration at one of the better department stores, (okay it is Macy’s) and she told me that it takes the entire staff at least a month working late into the evening to prepare the store for the day after Thanksgiving sale. That is considered the first day of Christmas in retail. They actually put the stuff out at night like elves. But, they have to do it in layers. That is why there seems to be Christmas stuff all over the place in early November.
Nobody expressed it better than Stan Freberg:
Christmas dinner and leftovers are going to be big with me.
It seems to me if someone wanted to choose light over darkness, they would study the Scriptures to see the time of year when Christ was actually born. Hint: it could not have been in winter. And I’m pretty sure it would not have coincided with pagan traditions and celebrations.
September was what I thought, but couldn’t remember the day. Thanks!
That dude Jesus was in town early so it seemed like the best time ti throw him a surprise party.
It appears the author believes no decoration, or celebration should occur until after advent. It is wise to consider advent a time for preparation rather than celebration but I believe such a cut and dried, dogmatic approach is not the proper way to judge. In fact it seems the Friar has more trouble with the manner in which people celebrate, by esteeming the festivities themselves higher than the reason to be festive; the rushing of Christmas being only a symptom.
Welcome. Feast of Tabernacles.
I would just like someone to show where God instituted that as one of His feast day celebrations. He did say not to add to or take from them but I cant find that one.
That’s right. He came and “tabernacled” among us. :)
It would be nice.
Is this why my parents would never put up the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve day?
As a family, we would always gather around and decorate the tree on Christmas Eve, before going to church. We were Episcopalian, not Roman Catholic.
And, the tree had to be taken down on New Year’s Day, with all the family helping. It was our tradition, but my parents never explained why they chose to do it this way.
“....On the 29th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.....”
Matthew and Luke both have accounts of the birth of Jesus.
LOL And God commanded it as a feast day when?
It could have very well been in December. The problem is that the Roman and Jewish calendars don’t match up quite right, and they both drift in relation to “our” calendar (leap days and such).
Stuff like this makes dating anything more than a few hundred years ago problematic. Seriously.
I’m not sure I agree with this. We didn’t realize it when we were children, but all the grownups began to become joyful around Christmastime and there were no bad moods or anger at the kids—i.e., they became the people they should have been all year around. It was contagious, so we felt it too. Only later did I realize it was deep in their culture and tradition and was shared by many Christian cultures. It’s called the Christmas spirit.
The silly practice of getting gifts for everyone becomes so much more than shopping, because people are smiling and their eyes are merry for no reason—except that December 25th is coming. It’s a slow buildup, until finally the shyest cousin is wearing foam rubber antlers and holding her hands in front of her like hooves and hopping around.
Early November?! Our local Lowe’s and Walmart had Christmas stuff on sale in September.
The idea that we should only celebrate the Old Testament Feasts is not Biblical. In fact the Bible says not too judge anyone on account of what days they celebrate.
Romans 14:5-6 (NIV2011)
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.
6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
Deuteronomy 12:30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God
The Catholic Church incorporated many pagan practices and feast days to attract them into their church. The admit that themselves.
I know that there have been significant problems with the Catholic Church allowing pagan traditions to be mixed with the church - epecially in the third world. However, Christmas is distinctly Christian holiday celebrating the Birth of Christ. So, I don’t think that God’s warning to the Isrealites to not become ensnared in the baal worship of the Hittites, Jebusites, Caananites, Amalekites, and etc is really is a fair comparison.
Christmas is a man-made holiday not discussed or required in the Bible.
There was a high class private club called, I think, The Jockey Club, something like a Playboy Club, which celebrated Christmas in July.
No... Sukkot is the full moon of the seventh month, as determined by the ripening of the winter barley in the spring. "Leap" could push it forward 29 days, the sighted moon could push it forward one more day (two, some may argue), But not all the way in December, not to mention the end of December... What MAY be considered to correspond to christmas from time to time is Hanukkah (25th of the ninth month).
We have the “charismatic” uncle (actually my father’s cousin) in from FLA for a half year now and he drove my Dad and I absolutely nuts since mid Nov with almost demanding the Hallmark Channel be on, such my Dad had to finally get the expanded channel format put on the tv in the bedroom he’s in on the first floor so he could hole himself up in there. get a load of this:
Half the shows are chick flicks dressed in red & green ribbons.
He also drove us batty trying to get us to shop before T’Giving. Its a very long story but he’s youngest of a family of five and only surviving member. Eldest child, a female, died unmarried at about 40. 2nd eldest was a Dominican priest. 3rd was a Dominican nun who left sisterhood behind to become a phd of psychology and a hypnotist. She passed on a year ago. He lived with her in the family home in FLA. They obviously did ALL the “newchurch” stuff. Our guest speaks so-called tongues and garnered a “dispensation” not to attend Sunday service from the priest brother about 3 years ago, a year before the priest died (apparently not going through local ordinary) and our guest apparently did not make Easter Duty since this. He won’t say if he’s made his ‘duty’ but, despite being with one leg and in a wheelchair, he now has ample opportunity to make his Sunday Obligation. He goes out in the car with my parents practically every other day.
I maintain I have complete right to “test” him because he claims “the gift of tongues”. As he is 82 we’ve had out “words”.
My parents 87 and 90 (thank God doing OK) traditionally put up the tree on Xmas eve and had a regular 12th night party indeed to ‘go the other way’. I am the eldest of 11 children and helping here.
The 4th child suddenly died of a stroke 2 weeks short of ordination into the Dominican priesthood. I think God took him to avoid this madness.
The family produced no children. The family name is given on page 25 of the newest book on Whitey Bulger, that by Kevin Cullen & Shelley Murphy. They lived across ‘the way’ from the Bulgers and are made out to be ‘royalty’ by/to the Bulgers because of the clerical composition.
The fahter was a all too typical Irish drunk but here we go: when they retired to FLA and got “the spirit” he stopped drinking and went around the neighborhood knocking on doors and leafletting that he was “born again”.
On top of all this, the family moved into the modest enough FLA home coming out of South Boston mid 1960’s. It had a pool but its no great shakes, the neighborhood close to the city center and now almost all black. Bank has started foreclosure proceedings a year ago. I have a sister who is into yoga taichi etc coming out of 2nd divorce a couple years ago who moved in there from TX to help out and saw out the ex-nun in her last days. She’s pushing to get a couple MORE years out of foreclosure by I THINK (nobody’s talking to me) paying off an equity loan. There was an aggregate $75K / yr coming into that house via pensions between this one uncle here and his beloved ex-nun sister (she was c counselor into the state prison system- had $60K pension we only found after she died).
They went to Disneyland a lot and my uncle built a very large toy village taking up a full bedroom.
Your ‘Concilliar Church’ in action.
The uncle is actually very charming with the toys and all- in one of our arguments he said he was raised to treat every day as Christmas. He actually pled with one of my sisters on the phone to accept a gift he shouldn’t be buying because, among other things, of his weird finances...he asserted she should accept it because “its from Jesus” (your personal “Jesus” of the “charismatics”, you know). I lit into him after the call that he gives as any in commemoration and he answers he is expressing thanks for his health holding on etc. I said he should express as everyone in such position has done before in giving from ONESELF in spirit of Xmas.
I answered too a day later by passing a simple paper on thanking God in Holy Mass.
He is an unabashed hyper-isolated MSNBC-watching Obamaton (actually the Hallmark Channel is a relief).
He nearly ruined our watching our dear Red Sox winning the World Series etc by cheering more than a couple times that his praying for a home run at a particular time was ...well...I asked him why the Bruins lost so often to the dreadful Canadians and he said : “I wasn’t here”. I asked him why the stinkin’ money-loaded Yankees won so under Torre and he said Torre’s sister was a nun.
When Whitey was on the false-prompt run 1995, he saw the priest in New Orleans on the sidewalk, told him to wait 15 minutes, ran out of the car to give him $20K in a paper bag and ran back to the car. I ran up to Billy Bulger the following St. Patrick’s day parade and told him and I’ll never forget to look on his face.
The ex-nun told me of the gift summer 1995 and every bit of her tone was that of the ‘Whitey is Robin Hood’ vein.
The visiting uncle read a short article I gave to him on Billy’s complicity and he wroye quietly “BS” on it next to a cross he nearly always puts on notes he writes or articles he’s read.
here is the article:
CARR: RECALLING THOSE BRAVE FEW WHO STOOD UP TO WHITEY BULGER
Thursday, August 8, 2013 http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/columnists/howie_carr/2013/08/carr_recalling_those_brave_few_who_stood_up_to_whitey
By: Howie Carr
Oh, I’m getting the long story out. Must Stop.
Guess I picked on this thread.
Thanks for prayers.
Pray the Rosary daily.
Thanks for that, roamer!
Chesterton may have expressed it better—but I enjoyed the Freberg piece—thanks.
MAN, you got ISSUES...And I thought MY FAMILY was a reality side show!
I’m not sure he wanted us to enjoy it. He made his living in advertising and he trashed it in this piece. He was a very brave man.
LOL And God commanded it as a feast day when?Hard to believe but truly there are a few fringe types claiming to be "christian" who denigrate celebrating Christmas at all! Here is an example.
Well hello narses!! Ive been expecting you. Lets see if you get any response from your list this time. You gotta get a hit one of these days.
Sure it is. Everybody knows that.
Unbelievable, huh? Amazed out could type that out in one go.
And I’ve only touched on the one sister. My siblings like this (near) uncle a lot!
You might know the nieces and nephews (only 9 of them and none within 60 miles) probably see ME as “the weird uncle”.
Christ Have Mercy.
I’m not laughing at the situation, but...FOTFLOL!! You’ve just GOTTA laugh to keep from crying! Sweet face of Moses, man, you’ve made my day with this story!! Thanks!
I am always ready to celebrate the birth of Christ. It is never to early and never too late. There are several songs we only see around Christmas time that would be great to sing all year long. The world doesn’t need any joy in July. On the commercial side I like peppermint ice cream and would love to eat it on a hot august afternoon. Don’t think that single guys would like mistletoe year round? I think that jolly oldish guys with whitish beards should be honored year round.
Now your back to form!!! Thanks for the well researched and documented theological input.
glad you got a laugh, smvoice.
I’ve got a sister who has a (drum roll please) radio show and knows Shelley Murphy and may try to get the $20 in the bag story into any next edition. I already told Howie Carr about it. he said he’s got enough to do a second book but isn’t going to do one.
Wanna real laugh? I’ve got 4 evanglical pentecostal siblings (yes we were raised Catholic) who are getting into Kim Walker-Smith / Bethel Church replete with laughing thing.
JESUS CULTURES KIM WALKER-SMITHS ALLEGED ENCOUNTER WITH GOD THE FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST
By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Jan 24, 2013 in AM Missives, Current Issues, Features
Got a place for me to stay this Christmas?
I think I’m going to try to make the Three Masses like I did a couple years ago. Takes some driving as I only go to the Tridentine Rite.
You are KILLING ME here!!! If you have a “BonRad Family Ping List” PLEASE put me on it! I feel like I know them, and it’s only been 15 minutes..
Ah—but I am a cynic and find pleasure when individuals see through the vanities of this world and seek to allow others to see through them.
The only other Freberg song that I was familiar with is:
Ha...Was thinking the same thing...
as per post 30, it was $20K in the bag. The Priest should have paid taxes on it as a gift I’m told (unless he put it into the poorbox? need help on this).
He could have thought it legit as Whitey had the winnings from the controversial lottery winnings by then and again, he wasn’t even under indictment at that point.
That priest was also my Godfather. I wasn’t told of his Silver Jubilee to keep me from there but Whitey showed (it was at St. Monica’s SB around 1986) and was heard to be bragging at his table about having a girlfriend under 20 years old (maybe younger- he was having his way with the girls of Cathedral High at the time) while he ate.
The answer [which you] provided makes little to no sense to the question it pretends to answer, unless Judas Maccabees is mistaken for being Jesus Christ.
Note the difference between an altar being re-established to again offer sacrifice to God according to Mosaic Law, and that particular Judas taking it upon himself to order that the re-establishment itself of that altar be "observed". Those two separate aspects, are not one-and-the-same.
Notice also, that although Christ was present in Jerusalem during later observances of that festival (John 10:22-42)--- He spoke not of that festival directly, either for or against it. Promoting some sense that Christ allegedly observed that particular festival as being shall we say "kosher" (you did say he "observed anyway") is just that --- an allegation, an assertion, a reading in-between-the-lines that which has no other support save for powers of assumption applied right precisely there...other than reliance upon the Jews, during that Intertestamental period, having adopted this festival of lights even as during that period there was no recognized, true prophet, among them.
Rather, what Christ spoke of was fully beyond the model which the Maccabees demonstrated, for His kingdom is not of this world (though I expect that aspect to fly right over many people's heads).
To further assume that Jesus being present at that festival --- in some way asserted also that celebrations of His own earthly birth be a "feast day", is a yet further leap. Though if one wishes to commemorate, celebrate, invite the relatives and neighbors for a feast-day in His honor --- then go ahead, I won't stop anyone. (In fact --- what time should I be expected, and is there any possible way I could talk the cooks into baking an "extra" pumpkin or sweet potato pie?)
As one additional note: Josephus made mention (Ant. 12.7.7; "the feast of lights.") that same writer disavowed that what is known as the OT Apocrypha, or what has been termed [since the Council of Trent] the Deuterocanonical was accepted by the Jews as being included in their own Holy Writ...
So if you will excuse me for saying so, on the basis of that which I now bring, I must say; that in your own attempt at response to the previous question posed, regarding the day of His own earthly birth
you have either a hand full of nothing, or not very much, not much at all...
So to keep me quiet about it...there is a plan...being that is difficult to talk and eat at the same time...
Wow, I swear I will never complain about my not nearly as crazy family again. Keep laughing. It helps.