Five Bad Christmas Ideas

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©Heidi Bratton Photography

Banning Christmas Trees  The public display of Christmas trees might hurt someone? The only people who ever claim that a Christmas tree inflicts emotional damage are the Christian haters. They would have been the ones that showed up at the Roman coliseums to watch Christians get eaten by lions. If these people are disturbed by displays of Christmas, then they should know, it’s not the trees, wreaths or nativities that are to blame. No, the affliction is in them.

Happy Holidays! This is a double crazy. 1) People are afraid saying “Merry Christmas” might upset some of the “Christmas” shoppers. Really?  Are they going to throw their purchases in the cashier’s face and demand their money back?  I think not.  2) The joke is on them. The word “holiday” comes from “holy day.”  So, maybe someone will come up with some other word unrelated to Christmas. How about Happy Winter Shopping? Or perhaps Merry-whatever-you-want-this-to-be? 

Turning Christmas school plays into Santa Toyland plays Jesus Christ is an historical figure. He was born in a manger, lived for 33 years and died on a Cross to save us from our sins. The Christmas story has been handed down as part of history. People get riled up about Columbus these days, but no one pretends there was no Columbus. He’s historical and no one tries to ban teaching about him from schools.  So, please, educators, let Jesus have his rightful place in history.

The Christmas story is a beautiful one for kids to act out.  Even A Charlie Brown Christmas — secular though it is — put in Scripture about the Christmas story from the book of Luke. 

Christmas plays are great for school children because there are so many roles and no one is left out.  Once Mary and Joseph are cast, you’ve got a whole list of supporting actors — wise men, King Herod, the innkeeper, etc. Then, there’s always a part for everyone: shepherds, fellow travelers and animals in the manger.

 Santa Calm down and let me explain. Santa is great, or at least he can be. But beware, there’s that old pull towards secular materialism. Having children list everything they want for Christmas is not as good as making a list of all the things they can do to bring Christmas cheer to others. Teaching kids to be good just so they get presents as opposed to be good to prepare their hearts to welcome the Baby Jesus at Christmas, well, there’s some problems there. I’m not saying to remove Santa from Christmas. After all, he is a jolly old soul. But if Santa is going to be a part of all this, play him down in comparison to the birth of Baby Jesus. Throw most of the energy into the beauty of the Son of God becoming one of us and choosing to be born in a manger. Then, go ahead and include Santa if you are attached to him. Be sure, however, your kids know about St. Nicholas — the spirit behind Santa. Then, I guess if Santa is going to be up all night delivering toys in the neighborhood anyways, no reason not to stop at your house too.  And it is an act of mercy to leave some cookies for the old guy and carrots for his reindeer. Just be prepared to keep the true meaning of Christmas alive at your house so when one day Santa is unmasked as a fairy tale, the real meaning of Christmas will stand strong.

Fruitcakes Sorry for offending fruitcake lovers, but I happen to think fruit is best when it’s fresh — tastier and healthier. Smashing fruit into a brick-like rectangle or cylinder, and packing enough calories into one slice to last the entire day, just doesn’t seem right. Now if you were looking for carbs to fuel a backpacking trip, or something that would have helped the Arctic explorers reach their destination, I could see it.

 That’s my list.  What’s on yours?


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