I’ve decided to convert to Paganism and celebrate the Winter Solstice on December 21st, complete with burning a yule log and drinking mead while reciting Mother Earth poetry.
Wait, no. That’s not right…
Oh, I’ve decided to succumb to the materialism of this season and purchase and expect gifts in absurd excess and wrap innumerable packages in flashy glittered red-green ribbons…
Hm, no…that’s not right either…
Ah! I’ve decided to aggressively suppress my cultural heritage like the true colonized-assimilated body that I am, buy into the white man’s religion, and, on top of that, spurn Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and any other “ethnic” holiday.
I’ve also decided to ignore the fact that Christmas–which my white man’s religion says is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, fully God and fully human, Immanuel, the Savior of the world–got the date of Jesus’ birth wrong. In fact, Jesus was probably born around the time of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, which usually occurs around September/October in the Roman Calendar. But, I’ve decided, in order to make Jesus less Jewish, less Galilean, and thus more appealing and more accommodating to my white man’s religion, I’m just gonna accept He was, in fact, born on December 25th.
Yes, I’ve decided to become politically, spiritually, gender-ally, racially, and culturally incorrect and ignan’t. To run down the streets with a miniature Christmas tree on my head, a Nativity scene strapped to my chest, and some candy-filled stockings hanging from my shoulders shouting, “Merry Christmas, Joy to the World, Happy Birthday Jesuuuus, ho-ho-ho suckaaaas!”
*Reader becomes aware the writer was merely being facetious and laughs awkwardly or good-naturedly*
*Reader recognizes a shift in tone, that the writer is about to get serious*
Last year, mainly because of the purported pagan roots of Christmas and its not actually being an accurate calendar celebration of Jesus’ birth, I was opposed to celebrating it. I made the season about spending time with family, the spirit of generosity, and general thanksgiving that Jesus Christ came to earth.
But this year, I’ve totally changed my mind. Yes, we’re allowed to do that. I want to celebrate Christmas in all its tinsel and glory. Why?
Because, even if the date’s a little off, I want to celebrate the birthday of my favorite person, my best friend, my King, my Savior, my eternal companion. Because His birth–God coming as a Man–really, truly happened. This is foundational to everything I believe in and everything I’m willing to give up my life for, everything I’ve already laid down my life for. If Jesus Christ is not fully man and fully God, the Word become Flesh, then humanity and existence crumbles.
There’s way too much anti-Jesus the Christ stuff that’s going on in the world today, and taking Christmas off the table, I realize, is one of them.
Think about it: people don’t want to say “Merry Christmas,” opting for the safer “Happy Holidays” because it’s politically incorrect to celebrate Jesus Christ, the harbinger of a “white man’s religion.” This is totally absurd. Jesus was equal opportunity and affirmative action before we even understood what “race” meant.
Evidence: though the promised Hebrew Messiah, He died and resurrected not just for Israel, but so that ALL members of the human species, regardless of race or DNA, could be reconciled to our Creator.
Paul writes to the Romans, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:12-13 ESV).”
He writes again to the Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise (3:28 ESV).”
This is the Father’s love, and it’s partly what pissed off the Pharisees and other hypocrites of religiosity…that their Messiah was to be shared with the whole world. But this is 1 reason why I love Him so. He’s so caring and sharing it hurts.
So, now that we can all be Hebrews, friends in this family of God, I approach my second equally important reason for celebrating Christmas this year:
I want to celebrate Jesus’ birthday along with the millions of others around this nation & the globe who are just as in love with Him. He’s not so petty as to not show up to His own birthday party, even if we’re a couple months late. I doubt He’s sitting on His throne like, “Yea, I’m not going to accept this party. The date’s wrong, fools. Tear down the decorations; hey Magi, return the gifts, man; try again.”
Bro, He’s compassionate and generous, and this King of Majesty’s gonna show up decked out in His best threads and crown, with a twinkle in His eye and huge grin on His face! And honestly, what better way to end a solar year and begin another solar year than to remember and celebrate Immanuel?
I want you to know that I also celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles, in my own individual way. And I said happy birthday to Jesus then, too. We had a birthday meal.
Now, I’m looking forward to celebrating His birthday again, but this time along with family and friends, and maybe even some strangers who happen to stumble upon our festivities. To focus on all the things that make us love Him and each other: compassion, generosity, kindness, holiness, righteousness, fun, grace, mercy, love, laughter, joy; helping widows, orphans and marginalized.
And…I love the deep majesty of this season. The royal blue hues, snowflakes, wintry evergreens, golden bells, twinkling stars; it’s beautiful. The true spirit of Christmas is wholly Jesus Christ. I don’t want to be silent about that anymore. In fact, I’m gonna celebrate that.