“To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.”
As God has me taking a look at what He put inside of me to believe about holidays, a few thoughts have come to mind:
1.) There is a difference between something being pagan or having pagan roots and something being a response to paganism.
2.) How do people who talk about the meaning of the evergreen at Christmas know what the tree means to everyone who has one? How do they know if that Christmas tree in another person’s house is not a reminder to that person about Christ- the Tree of Life- instead of an ode to tree worshippers?
3.) You should not decide not to whether or not celebrate because your pastor says so, because you want to fit in with your family (including in-laws) or because you have something to prove. You do what He has led you to do.
Next month, I will be posting My Christmas story and I cannot wait to share what He is having me do this year. It is so different than anything I have ever done- even before I stopped celebrating over 10 years ago. During the time that I have been researching the history of holidays and not celebrating, it has been an off-and-on struggle when it came to Christmas. I wanted to participate in the family gatherings, however, I did not want to get caught up in the unfortunate tradition of greed and competition that has found its way into the Christmas celebration.
When my son came along 9 years ago, many thought I would abandon my Christmas ban because he “had” to learn about Santa Claus and gifts. Nevertheless, I persisted in not participating in the gift-giving and that included my son. He has not received a Christmas gift from me to this day. There was not just my son, however, I also constantly battled to give or not to give when my family would give me gifts after being told not to do so. This was especially difficult when it came to my nieces, because they were kids and they simply wanted to give something to their aunt. It was harder with them than my son not to give them anything, and on two occasions, I was able to convince myself that giving is always right. Nonetheless, I was never at ease to give in to the hype- even when I caved and purchased something for them in return for their generosity. I still had a back-and-forth, tug-of-war going on in my spirit because the matter had not been settled. A couple of months ago, however, God flipped on the switch and started talking to me about this matter.
He made me realize that everything I do should be for Him and it had to be done on my terms as led by Him. I could not do it to appease my family, a pastor, my nieces, my son, my in-laws, or anyone else. The same thing I was teaching my son about holidays- follow your own convictions- He has used it to teach me. I had to be determined either way in my mind. Now that my mind has been freed from the outside influence of others, I have been led to celebrate in a way that is authentic to who I am. A celebration that will not be about me, or gifts, or eating with family, it will be about Christ. Whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or any other day, every day should be a “holy-day” and there is never anything wrong with celebrating Christ on it.