Christ and Pop Culture’s Guide to Christmas
We thought we’d document all of the Christmas-related stuff we’ve posted in since Christ and Pop Culture’s founding in a way that is helpful to you. Each post is labeled in terms of questions you may have that the posts answer. We hope you find them helpful.
In the meantime, we want to know how you celebrate Christmas (or don’t). Comment and share your favorite Christmas traditions, or non-traditions.
Is Christmas about more than celebrating Jesus’ birthday?
What do we do with Santa Claus?
What does Mark Driscoll say we should do with Santa Claus?
What do we think when we’re feeling all Grinchy?
What’s wrong with How the Grinch Stole Christmas?
Is there anything wrong with “secular” Christmas traditions?
How can we avoid Christmas disappointment?
Bonus, Travel Listening:
Podcast #32: Tis The Season to Argue!
In short, we don’t celebrate Christmas, although we have adopted some other great God-honoring (and fun!) traditions along the way.
Growing up Catholic, my family did the usual Santa Claus/Christmas tree/gifts/Christmas concerts/Midnight Mass tradition. After becoming a believer in college, getting involved in charismatic/nondenom churches, and getting married, my wife and I decided to just ignore the Santa Claus issue with our kids (we had a hard time with portraying a myth as real to our kids, even if “just for fun”), but we continued with the usual Christmas tree/gifts tradition for most of our marriage, although I increasingly became disillusioned with the whole “gift-obligation” mentality my wife had. During discussions over the years about the whole gift-giving/”we spent too much on Christmas” issue, my wife said she felt that it was important for our kids to have good traditions/memories associated with the holidays (something she didn’t have much of growing up in an abusive situation). So for several years I started praying “Lord, we need some other kind of tradition– I’m getting sick of this.”
About 4 years ago, we started exploring the roots of traditional holidays and studying the scriptural basis (or lack thereof) for them, particularly Christmas. We ended up deciding to adopt some new holiday traditions connected with biblical holidays (Feast of Tabernacles, Days of Unleavened Bread, etc. found in the Leviticus and elsewhere– yes, there are other Christians besides Messianic/Jewish believers who find a lot of meaning in these– a whole other story too long to go into here).
Anyway, along with finding fellowship with like-minded believers in the process, we started attending a “Winter Family Tournament” as an “alternative to Christmas” kind of event for the last 3 years (http://www.cogcincinnati.org/pages/tournament.html). It’s 4 days of a combination of sports (volleyball, basketball, roller-skating, indoor soccer, ping pong, etc.), crafts for kids, board games/fellowship for the less athletically-inclined, worship, seminars, a family dance/fun nights, great food, and great fellowship with friends from all over the country. We told our kids (5 of them, ages 8 to 16 at the time) that we were changing our holiday traditions and celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, etc. and then going to the Winter Family Tournament instead of our usual Christmas tradition. After spending a lot of time learning together during family devotion/bible study times and making a lot of new friends at the Feast day celebrations and the Winter Family Tournament, our kids are very enthusiastic about our new holiday traditions (“way better than Christmas”, quoting our 14-yr old daughter). We don’t condemn others for celebrating Christmas, but our family has really found fulfillment in doing something different.
Even though we come from different theological backgrounds and still don’t necessarily share all the same beliefs, we feel very blessed to be part of such a loving, accepting group of believers (who also know how to have a lot of fun!). Our whole family is very excited to be headed to Lexington tomorrow for our 4th Winter Family Tournament.
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