According to historians, Christmas wasn’t in December or on the calendar at all for the church’s first three centuries. If observed at all, the celebration of Christ’s birth was usually lumped in with Epiphany (January 6), one of the church’s earliest established feasts. Some church leaders even opposed the idea of a birth celebration. Origen (c.185-c.254) preached that it would be wrong to honor Christ in the same way Pharaoh and Herod were honored. Birthdays were for pagan gods. But putting theology and history aside, what does the day that we have all come to know as the birth of our savior Jesus Christ really mean to you?
To be honest Christmas has come to have a Groundhog Day quality for most of us. We all remember that 90s movie by the same title starring Bill Murray, where Phil, a nasty and self-obsessed TV weatherman ends up living the same day over and over again. No matter what he does, he’s stuck in February 2, 1992; not imprisonment nor attempted suicide nor kidnapping the groundhog gets him out of the loop.
Just like poor Phil, we keep doing the same things year in year out; we will binge drink, eat, bicker with relatives, fight and then pack up and go back to our respective homes till next December.
These have become our Christmas traditions. We have come to expect this period to be more emotionally and financially grueling no matter what we do to change that. But just like Phil; unless we finally recognize what we need to do to improve the quality of our lives, we will continue to feel oppressed and unfulfilled by the day that is meant to be spent having fun with family.
May this be the year you make those long overdue changes and get to have the magical Christmas that you have always dreamt of.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays from us to you all.