Skip to comments.To Recover CHRISTmas, Put the in the Cross!
Posted on 12/21/2004 6:47:16 AM PST by LS
I have to admit it snuck up on me. Oh, not the secularization of Christmas itself, but some of the tactics used to effect the de-Christianizing of the birth of the Messiah.
The first trick was, oddly enough, to get rid of Thanksgiving. This was done by pushing the "Christmas sale season" to somewhere around Halloween. By de-emphasizing Thanksgiving, the anti-religious people in our society managed to virtually get rid of a religious and patriotic holiday and replace it with a shopper's rush. Very clever. In the process, of course, this elevated the pagan "holiday" of Halloween to new heights---and no, I'm not a fuddy-duddy who refuses to "trick or treat," but it was brilliant how this celebration of witchcraft has become more important than the religious observance of the Pilgrims.
Next was the obvious one, and even I (duh) did not miss the de-Christianization of Christmas that has taken place. So-called "manger scenes" have been replaced with Santas and reindeer; "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays," blah, blah, blah. You all know the symptoms, and I need not repeat the examples of discrimination against Christians here.
What we need is a solution. This may sound odd to some, perhaps out of place to others, but it's the only way I can see for Christians to CLEARLY take back the birth season of Christ . . .
Start putting the cross in all our displays, messages, and decor, and in every way link the birth of the Savior to His death and resurrection.
People have said for years, "We need to put Christ back in Christmas." Well, somehow that hasn't worked, in part, I think, because it really has lacked a symbol. The manger? A manger is only a tiny part of the story, incomplete without the conclusion. But an empty cross is complete in and of itself---it is a self contained symbol of the birth (because Someone had to be born to die there), death, and resurrection.
Years ago, Far Hills Baptist Church in Dayton used to do a "Singing Christmas Tree." I'm sure many of you have seen these: a giant "tree" is built and people are the ornaments, and they sing Christmas songs. It lights up. Except at the end, one special set of lights appeared on the tree---a giant cross. God's plan of salvation began in a garden and ended in a garden; it began with a tree and ended on the tree, and today, we celebrate it, in part, with a tree.
I'm not sure how, exactly, to do this---whether to start putting a cross out with the reindeer, or in Santa's sleigh, or however (suggestions are welcome), but it seems to me that the most effective way to get CHRIST back into Christmas is to get the CROSS into Christmas.
I realize that there are many people out there trying to change and obfuscate the American history of Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it seems to me that a good many people aren't buying it. As much as we can't sit back and get complacent, we should also recognize that the overly PC movement is turning a lot of people off and going so far as to finally get negative attention in many quarters. We shouldn't feel defeated, we should be encouraged that the PC bandwagon is showing its true colors and losing steam with many "regular folks."
IMO the most effective way to get CHRIST back into CHRISTmas is to stop soliciting stores that use phrases like Happy Holidays, or holiday shopping, or holiday music, etc. etc. etc. if people just stopped buying maybe stores would get the hint but unfortunately most Americans don't care enough to take a stand.
So the way to save Christmas is to turn it into Easter?
The fight is underway and just by writing this, you are part of it. Keep up the good work and Merry Christmas.
My kids were raised on the fact that Jesus is real and the reason we celebrate and Santa is a symbol of the spirit of giving. They are planning to raise their children the same way. My kids had all the thrill of anticipating what they would get without having to learn about the lie later.
Without being told to they even talked about Santa to their friends and cousins as if he was real. Even when they were only 3 years old they both told their versions of the Birth of Christ whenever Santa was discussed. In a way I raised missionaries. Both my daughter and son are adult Christian Conservatives now.
Honestly, I don't think that will work. They ALL are doing it.
Jessie Duplantis always says he gets so frustrated because God says "vengeance is mine," and Jessie says, "Can't you just speed it up a little, Lord?"
Ah, yeah. Actually. In case you haven't noticed, there is a link.
BTW, if you haven't heard the group "Avalon," they have a phenomenal song called "Don't Save It All for Christmas Day," sung by Jody McBrae (sp?). It is awesome.
Merry Christmas to Our Troops
That's a good one!
If one looks it up on-line. It's called the Christmas Nail.
Good post! Earlier in American history, it was understood that celebration of the birth of Jesus could not be separated from His death, resurrection, and return in glory.
Here are verses from a couple of *Christmas* hymns, from the 1854 "Southern Harmony," (available in a nice facsimile edition on Amazon.com :-).
"Who is this that comes from far,
With his garments dipped in blood?
Strong, triumphant traveler -
Is he man or is he God?
I that reign in righteousness,
Son of God and man I am;
Mighty to redeem your race,
Jesus is your Savior's name."
"Come away to the skies, my beloved arise,
And rejoice in the day thou wast born;
On this festival day, come exulting away,
And with singing to Zion return."
I have two full CD's of traditional Thanksgiving music, too. Remember "Come, ye thankful people, come!" and "We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing!"? Christians need to reclaim religious observances from the shopping morass.
And dang it, I want Veterans' Day back!
The place I work has a Christmas tree in the lobby with an Angel on top, last week the Angel came down, with some discreet inquiries I found out "someone was offended and complained" a Santa now sits on top of the tree. There are over 50 employees here, one complains the rest suffer, what happened to majority rules??? HR will not move on this - they don't want a law suit.
Saint Nicholas was replaced by Fatso in the red jump suit. Saint who was bringing gifts to poor children was transformed to mascot of shopping in the malls.
Merry Christmas and peace on Earth to all people of good will.
Absolutely, and as you may know, the "candy cane" was originally symbolic of Jesus' purity and blood.
Okay. So do we turn Easter into Christmas?
I agree. I think much of the public is sick of the far-left in all its incarnations (George Soros, Michael Moore, ACLU, MSM, etc.) and the tide is turning, slightly. Even small victories are victories. and of course the election results reveal a lot . . .
Perhaps the best way to desecularize Christmas is to walk away from all of the stores. De-commercialize Christmas. Make a holiday of spirit not material goods.
Yes, we get flyers about that in Sunday School every year :-). None of our kids likes peppermint very much, so we hang the candy canes on the Christmas tree for as long as they last. One year we put lights in the shrubbery outside and hung the candy canes there, and the neighbors ate them!
Good topic. Here are my thoughts:
I think change has to come in small, family-sized increments. Personally, here in Wisconsin (with the exception of Madison and Milwaukee) Christmas is still very Christ-oriented, but of course we have our malls all decked out and all that. I work part time in retail, so I play a small part in it as well. I doubt very much that we'll ever stem the tide of commercialism as related to Christmas. And being the good Capitalist I am, I hope not!
But...the Socialists didn't all wake up one morning, en mass and decide, "Hey! Let's ruin Christmas for the Christians!" They've been doing it in a thousand small ways for decades, chip-chip-chipping away at the foundation of the celebration and the Christian religion trough protests, pc-ness, petitions, Letters to the Editor, and suing and taking issues to court.
The only way to beat them is at their own game. Until Christians start handing over the dough, making websites, doing all the "grassroots" things that the socialists have done to undermine Christmas, we'll never get anywhere.
And personally? It may be just where I live, but so far the cops haven't shown up with a warrant for my arrest because I've refused to take down my Creche. Some of this is emotionalism due to the time of year, and articles on this subject in the newspapers and on TV sell advertising dollars...
Maybe we need to start the grassroots efforts in ernest in July when we're all rested after this hectic time of year? LOL!
I'd be much more worried if the latest polls were telling me that suddenly Christians were in the minority. Of course I don't want to be idle and watch the numbers plummet, but if 80-90% of us in the USA celebrate Christmas in a traditional manner, then all is not Doom and Gloom from my perspective. :)
Adding a cross to Christmas doesn't turn Christmas into Easter, unless you are really narrow-minded.
Come on. Even if you wanted to do that, you have to buy the normal stuff of life---food, some clothes, batteries, whatever. I think that "boycott" solutions won't work. I think the response has to be adoption of a symbol no one can miss.
Yah, I agree it has to come slow and incrementally, and the good news is that this year, Christians are finally saying, "enough!"
Once there were three trees on a hill. the tree on the left said: "I want to become a treasure chest and hold beautiful objects of great value". The tree on the right said: "I want to become a great sailing ship that will conquor oceans and carry great kings". The tree in the middle said: "I never want to be cut down. I want to keep growing so that when people look at me they will keep looking up and think of God".
One day three woodsman came. "I shall cut down this tree. Its wood will make for a fine treasue chest." Hooray, said the tree on the left. My dream has come true. "The wood of this tree is very hard, said the second woodsman. It will stand the waves of the ocean sea". My dream has also come true said the tree on the right. The tree in the middle was greatly saddend. It did not want to be cut down. "I do not have a use for this tree, but I will cut it down for stock. said the third woodsman.
When the tree on the left was taken to the carpenter's shop he was horrified when the carpenter made him into a feed box for animals in a barn. The tree on the right was also dismayed when he was made into a row boat. The middle tree was cut into planks and piled up. One night as the tree on the left was pondering his fate, a light shone from on high and a woman laid a baby in him that Three Kings came to worship. "I hold great treasure that even Kings kneel to and the world is brought great joy at the birth of this child" said the tree on the left. Some years later after being miserable at the daily task of being filled with smelly dead fish, the tree on the right was terrified by the storm that was tossing it. One of the men in the boat stood and said "peace". The storm stopped and the sea was made calm. "I carry a man who can still the ocean. He is greater than any king". Not long after that, the tree in the middle was startled when soldiers grabbed him and crossing his boards nailed a man to him with a sign above his head that read; "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews".
I don't have any problem if someone says Happy Holiday instead of Merry Christmas. Someone saying Happy Solstice Day is another story though
You seemed to be advocating more than just "adding a cross", and agreed that the way to "save Christmas" was to "turn it into Easter". It seemed like a rather odd solution to me. If you're determined that it's a good idea, then carry on.
I think linking the two conceptually is critical, yes.
The Gospels do that for us, when they describe the wise men giving Jesus gold for royalty, frankincense for divinity, and myrrh for suffering.
I started this about five years ago.
See, you're ahead of me already.
My children are young yet, but we have always emphasized to them that Christmas is about Jesus Christ, first and foremost. Like your children, they too will quickly remind anyone in their earshot who seems to have gone far afield, what Christmas is all about. They know "Jesus is the reason for the Season", and each year we do Advent candles, and Advent calendars with manger scenes on them, and we always have a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Eve, and we sing Happy Birthday to Him before we cut the cake. I hope they grow up with as deep a faith as your children have! Good job!
I like to be out front. :^}
I thought that was Dolly Parton's line. (Bad boy. Bad, bad boy).
The incarnation (birth) foreshadows the resurrection (rebirth), does it not?
You're on the right track and you'll have some good kids. I was picked on by my siblings, (I'm one of six), when my kids were young because they thought I was too serious, (I am not a serious guy).
Now that all our children are grown and mine were the least trouble, the best adjusted, and the most successful of the whole gang, they concede that I was right. Start them out on Jesus and when they get old enough let them decide.
I advise anyone who will listen, "Don't start your relationship with your kids on some fantasy or lie. Jesus is real Santa is a symbol." It is surprising how well even very young children understand the difference.
What I can't figure out is what sort of electrical sockets could I get for all of the light bulbs? I would have to wire all, or half say, and then the other half, of the sockets together to plug into an outside outlet.
I would really like to do this with or without Mr. Adler, but I am stuck on the electrical hookup part of it.
I have also considered making one more like the one you describe that you have created and using Christmas lights on it as you have. Or, outlining a shape on plywood using
Christmas Lights. I am still considering the best (and prettiest) way to go. I am glad to hear someone else has done this so that it is doable.
And everything in between, just as our own births forshadow our own lives and ultimately our deaths.
I took two scrap fence slats, nailed them together (you can use any scrap 2x4s or similar) and slapped a little leftover stain (the same as used on my cedar siding) from my garage on it to make it similar in color to my house, and then took a string of white Christmas lights and stapled them back and forth on the slats until when lit, they outlined the shape. Then just run an extension cord and plug it in.
Fast and simple project.
Seeing Halloween as "pagan" but not Christmas and Easter especially.. is quite selective.. Actually the days of the week even are named after "pagan" "gods".. Thanksgiving is only as "pagan" as you are, or not.. same with the other holidays..
Christ came to make ALL religion obsolete AND DID...
Religion is only needed by psuedo-Gods.. What would a REAL God even need with a religion.?... Yes, even YOURS.. God knows who "it"(no gender)IS.. its the human RACE that don't..
The American Constitution celebrates a generic God, because if God is not generic, then God is the President of a Club.. which defeats the concept of a "real" god completely.. There are many "gods" in the world and in the United States too, but hopefully only one "real one".. Humans putting God in a box like a chimp fishing termites from a HOLE.. Looks, CUTE and interesting but it gets boreing after awhile..
Merry CHRISTmas, to ALL!
Given all the misery, hunger, and desperation that the guilt-ridden news media empties in our laps each Christmas, it would seem that it is by the grace of Almighty God alone that we survive until New Year's Eve. It might seem that way for good reason: It is that way!
10-4 on simple. Your approach works fine. I have a five foot tall wood, lighted Cross in my yard, comes on automatically with the outdoor lighted Christmas trees. My neighbors comment on the Cross often. I also put the Cross up at Easter.
I haven't done that yet, but I've been thinking about it.
The ACLU needs to be destroyed. First thing is to contact your congress-critters and tell them to support legislation that will deny the ACLU (et.al.) our taxes to support their anti-christian lawsuits. Next thing is to donate to ACLJ, ADF, and/or other organisations that are counter-suing the ACLU.
A neighbor has constructed letters outlined in lights that says "Happy Birthday Jesus", no other ornaments, decorations, etc. just that sign which hangs in their picture window, big and bright for all to see!