Chickpastor’s Advent Calendar, Day 23 (OH MY!)

ONLY ONE MORE DAY! If we hadn’t been fighting a cold in our house, the excitement would be insane! As it is, we’re resting up and hoping for the best for tomorrow, Christmas Eve!

I will be taking a hiatus from blogging for a week or so after Christmas Day, but then will return, because this has been so much fun. I wanted to thank you all so much for reading, sharing, and commenting!

For today, I want to leave you with a little essay on why, even though I’m a pastor, I say, “Happy Holidays!”

It’s been blogged about ad nauseum, but my opinion is that there is NO “war on Christmas.” As I said yesterday, when Christmas began to be celebrated it took many of its traditions from the pagan/Roman solstice celebration, and so what we consider to be Christmas-y actually has nothing to do with the birth of Christ. To call a decorated, lit tree a “holiday tree” in a public space is historically more accurate, because evergreen trees were originally used as a pagan fertility symbol for solstice, as well as holly bushes. If you celebrate Christmas and have a Christmas tree, that’s awesome; my family does too. But please don’t think that Christians invented putting lights on a tree….we co-opted it and adopted it as a symbol of God’s eternal love and light in the darkness, which is lovely, but not original. You can look it up…people in every society have been celebrating the return of the light since recorded history began.

On another note, the card that we sent out this year says, “Happy Holidays.” This is because when I wish someone a happy holiday, I mean exactly that. If I were to be accurate, I would get a different card for people who I know to celebrate Christmas, our Jewish friends, our Muslim friends, our “spiritual but not religious” friends, and our agnostic/atheist or pagan friends. Instead, I chose “Happy Holidays,” because everyone I know gets a little break this time of year, a holiday, to use as they please. We want to wish them well, but we don’t want to assume that they will also celebrate Christmas when we know that some of them will not. So, since it’s not about me, I generally wish everyone a good holiday unless I am at my church on Christmas Eve or at a Christmas event. I do this genuinely with love in my heart, not out of political correctness, but out of a sincere wish that they have a good break from work, school, and a nice family celebration, if that applies.

So today, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas if you celebrate, and I’d like to wish everyone a blessed holiday, however you choose to celebrate the return of the Light.

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