The Evolution of Christmas
For many of us - we just assume that Christmas has always been. Well it has, but not in the way we understand it. In the 1600's, English Puritans almost extinguished Christmas. The Pilgrims were even more orthodox than the Puritans, so much so that you could have been fined 5 shillings for even exhibiting the Christmas spirit. (FYI - Don't tell the government this one or we will be paying a Christmas tax next year.)
Because Christmas was an English tradition, Americans didn't much take to English customs so Christmas was mostly ignored until the 19th century that Christmas was made an official holiday.
Now this is where it gets interesting. In the early 19th century there was a time of class conflict and turmoil. Unemployment was high (deja vu?) rioting by the disenchanted classes (Occupy protests?) often occurred during the Christmas season. This started the way Christmas was celebrated in America.
Believe it or not - before the Civil War Christmas was a divided issue. The North really viewed the celebration of Christmas as a sin. While the South saw it as a important part of the social season. Hmmmm!
Children's books and publications made popular the customs of trimming trees, giving gifts and Santa Claus.
Washington Irving and William Gilley printed poems and stories about about Santa. They gave us the rough description of what he did, how he did it and what he looked like. But it is believed that it was a dentist by the name of Clement Clarke Moore who wrote a poem entitled "An Account of a Visit from Saint Nicolas," which became better known as "The Night before Christmas", that started it all.
Where did the need for all this decorating come from? Women's Magazines! As they suggested how one should decorated ones home for Christmas, it birthed a whole new industry of decorating for the holidays.
(WARNING: Christmas Eve service spoiler - I will be mentioning the following.)
A new study just released says that a whopping 84 percent of grown-ups were once children who trusted in Santa's magic. These parents now teach their children to believe in the old red guy too. Why?
As one great grand mother said, It is important for kids to have something to believe in.
Yup! This is where I get off this train. Santa is the figment of someone's imagination. He's fun to be around - but we cannot put our faith in him. Why don't we teach our children to believe in Jesus - the reason why we celebrate Christmas. Santa may be politically correct - but he isn't good for your families faith. Let Christmas believe in what is real.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
P.S. CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES 7 and 11 p.m. at Faith Family Worship Center in Palm City. See you then!