When I look back at the Christmas we celebrated as a family in northern New York, when I was growing up I don’t even recognize Christmas the way I remember it. We use to go to a tree farm, pick out the tree that we liked and cut it down and then bring it home. When we got home you usually have hot cocoa and sandwiches. Christmas was a time when we did everything as a family. We would all get together and make all the decorations for the tree including stringing popcorn, cranberries, and making the decorations to hang on the tree like snowflakes and all other kinds of things. Yes, there would be Christmas gifts for everybody but nobody knew what they’re going to be or even dared to make a list as to what they wanted. That would take the whole surprise out of it. The important thing was the primary focus was on family, not on what am I getting.
Today the entire holiday seems to be completely commercialized and instead of focusing on the purpose of the season it focuses on what do I want and in many cases the list is more like a demand list.
Christmas is the time for families of faith to share the message of God’s love with others as we celebrate our Savior’s birth!
The actual date of Christ’s birth was changed by the Emperor Constantine in 336 A.D. The church in Rome began formally celebrating Christmas on December 25 in 336, during the reign of the emperor Constantine. Constantine was trying to appeal to everybody including the pagans that worshiped the birth of several of their gods on December 25. The apostle Luke writes in chapter 2:1-20 the story of Christ’s birth. It mentions the fact that the shepherds were attending the flocks at night. The only time this would’ve been happening is when the sheep were giving birth. This would’ve meant that Jesus was born in the spring somewhere between 4 and 6 BC. There are a lot of factors that would confirm this but they’re too detailed to go into now.
The early Christian community distinguished between the identification of the date of Jesus’ birth and the liturgical celebration of that event. Do not think that I am suggesting we change the date December 25 is actually a perfect date.
Today with the pandemic we are being encouraged not to have the big parties like we are used to. I think would be a perfect time to focus on the whole reason for Christmas and get the focus back on the family. Yes there are precautions we are recommended to take but I think we could do both. I think majority of the time is spent with immediate family and very close friends that we already feel safe with.
I very strongly feel that the important thing that we do is focus on the celebration of Christ’s birth and the many blessings our family has on having one another.
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