My Christmas is dead, and Jesus is the reason.
Now, you may be thinking, how could Jesus ruin your Christmas? Isn’t he the reason for the season? Well, it turns out he isn’t, but even if he was, I didn’t know it at the time, and so I loved Christmas.
It wasn’t until later when I became interested in the things of Christ and the truth of the Bible that my Christmas was ruined.
Now, there are two kinds of Christmas keepers. The most popular kind tries to keep Christmas well apart from any religious reason. This is the best way, and this is how I tried to keep it.
The other Christmas keeper is religious, and, so, tries to keep Christ and Christmas. This is a struggle since Christ and Christmas are always at odds with each other.
Christmas keepers may have particular beliefs about religious things, but it doesn’t matter to them at this time of year, because Christmas is just a good time…
Christ Ruins the Christmas Carol
If there ever was a savior in the history of Christmas it was Charles Dickens. His classic story is repeated and parodied every year to remind everyone how to keep Christmas well. He doesn’t mention Christ even once, and for good reason. Christ would ruin Christmas.
To Dickens, Christmas is “wonderful party, wonderful games, wonderful unanimity, won-der-ful happiness!” (Dickens, p.71)
Dickens invented the gospel of Christmas which is fun and wonder. Now that is something a lot of people can gather around. On the other hand, Christ came to save guilty sinners. There are not many people lined up to listen to what Christ did for our sins.
Putting Christ into Christmas would ruin the Christmas Carol. In the fiction story, Ebenezer Scrooge was the bad guy, but in the true Bible, Ebenezer is a type of Christ (1 Sam 7:12).
When Dickens described the “good ol’ world”, Christ, the Judge, would be the one saying “humbug” (John 3:19).
So it was, Christ began to ruin my Christmas. When I sang, “tis the season to be jolly”, Christ was not my reason to deck the halls. It was because I liked holly.
Christ Ruins Christmas Songs
Songs are a very important part of spreading Christmas cheer. There is no better place for some people to find Cheers than in a bar singing a good Christmas song.
At least, that’s how it is in the UK where they have stopped trying to put Christ into Christmas, and Christmas is thriving.
Consistently, the favorite songs of the season have nothing to do with Christ. Imagine all the Christmas cheer that would be ruined if Christ was made the subject of all the seasonal songs (Col 3:16).
Even the religious Christmas songs make very little mention of Christ. Instead, they are mostly about Mary, angels, wise men, stars, and mythical drummer boys. When Christ is implied, he is a helpless, nameless, noiseless baby not speaking any truth to us, or doing anything to help us.
There is always peace on earth, because all is calm, and all is bright, but not because the Catholics who wrote that song put their faith in the gospel of Christ without works (Rom 5:1).
Christ Ruins the Christmas Stories
When I learned about Christ, I figured out why Christmas songs only sing about Christ as a baby. If the mature Lord of Glory were a part of Christmas he would most certainly ruin it.
I’m sure he would go around making everyone uneasy saying things like…
“Ye are of your father the devil…” – John 8:44
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:” – Luke 12:51
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” – Rom 1:18
What a Grinch. (By the way, I enjoyed that cartoon, even though there was not a church in Who-ville, none of them were saved, and Christ was not in the Grinch’s heart when it grew three sizes that day.)
The childish songs and cartoons were a big part of why I enjoyed Christmas: it was about children, it was about me.
Then, I learned that Christ wanted me to put away childish things (1 Cor 13:11, 1 Cor 14:20, Eph 4:14), and wanted me dead (Gal 2:20, Col 3:3). He was ruining my Christmas, again.
My father was most like Christ at my Christmas. He used to read Luke 2 to us every year before the gifts, but he always left out the part about sacrificing the two turtledoves (Luke 2:24). I suppose it was against the “spirit” of the 12 days of Christmas.
If Christ were at my Christmas, I would expect he would be right between me and my gifts, probably trying to teach me some spiritual lesson about being patient, content, generous, or walking by faith not by sight. What a party-pooper.
Christ Ruins the Christ-Mass
Christ never told us the exact day he was born, although you can calculate the month pretty well, once again ruining Christmas. Doesn’t that bother you when someone hides their birthday just so you won’t throw them a party? (Hint: It’s not in December.)
The Catholics didn’t let that stop them. They stole the winter solstice and ordained Dec 25th Christ’s birthday, because that’s when everyone else was already having a good time.
Apparently, it was their strategy to get more people together, which would have otherwise been difficult when you bake the guest of honor in a cookie and eat him (the first Christmass cookie?). That is why they call it a Christ-Mass.
Then, I learned from Christ that we didn’t need to eat his actual flesh to be saved, and so Christ was even ruining the Catholic Christ-mass (John 6:63).
It’s not only Christ that ruins Christmas it is also His preachers. Some non-Christmas-keepers, like Charles Spurgeon and Harry Ironside, would preach to remove Mass from Christmass. Don’t they know that Mass is in the name of the holiday, and if we take the mass out, we would only have Christ left? What a bunch of Scrooges.
They taught we should not regard special days, especially days that were not ordained in the Bible (Gal 4:9-10). Their idea was that we are complete in Christ every day (Gal 4:9-10).
Choosing Christ instead of Christmas
Eventually, I had to make a choice about whether I was going to keep Christ or keep Christmas.
Christ can never be in Christmas, he is too different. Christ is the Lord of glory who saved my soul through his shed blood and his subsequent resurrection from the dead. Christmas is about the mythical nativity scene in front of the court house and plays at church.
(At least, that is Christmas to the 25% of Christians who are Catholic, and the evangelicals who act like they’re Catholic.)
Learning the truth about Christ was ruining all that I knew and liked about the songs, memories, and childish naïveté surrounding Christmas, but I could not keep them both.
I decided to trust in the preaching of the cross of Christ, and let God be true. After that, there was nothing else I could glory in (Gal 6:14).
My life was changed in Christ.
Christ ruined Christmas for me, and I am glad he did.