Every family has their own traditions when it comes to Christmas and each one is special for one reason or another. When it comes to how Christians celebrate the upcoming holiday there tends to be a lot of discussion on what is acceptable and what is not. There have been times that I have looked at what another Christian family does and I have judged them on their choices.
In my family, we do our best to start each day with our Christmas Nativity Countdown which consists of reading a small part of the scriptures leading up to Jesus’ birth and then going out to do an act of service within the community. Now it is day 6 and we have only completed 4 acts of service so we are obviously not perfect at this but it sounds great right? It sounds so… Christian… but then you look at our other traditions and you find we have put up hundreds of lights and an inflatable snowman, there are two decorated trees and we watch a dozen or more movies about a grinch, reindeers and santa. There will also be way more presents than my children need under the tree and although we do try to buy things that are practical and not wasteful, they definitely do not lack for anything.
I know others who include Santa and an Elf on the Shelf in their celebrations. They set out milk, cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer and some even go so far as to play jingle bells and hoof print sounds before the kids jump into bed. With the wonder of today’s technology you can actually Facetime and email Santa.
So what is right? Or maybe the question some of us focus on is what is wrong?
I don’t know the answer to that but I did find Romans 14 interesting.
Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord;[a] and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose[b] and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.[c] 11 For it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”[d]
12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
So, instead of watching how someone else has chosen to celebrate this holiday, let’s just focus on how we celebrate. Lets be sure that our thoughts and minds are pure and that we stand for Jesus in everything we do. Let us not judge another’s choices and let us make sure that we do not cause them to stumble in any way.
Enjoy your time celebrating life with loved ones and remember that Jesus is the reason for every season not just this one.