Over the years I've been learning more and more about what the Bible says about things and what tradition says about them. I'm still studying, still learning, but December 25th was chosen to celebrate Jesus' birth BECAUSE it coincides with pagan holy days. The same is true about about Easter. These dates have nothing to do with Jesus and His life - my understanding is that they were selected to detract from the pagan rituals.
Now, you can say that this doesn't matter, but look at what these holidays have become. How many people, even non-Christians, are sick of the commercialism? Do parents take their kids to church on these days for photos at the nativity and cross, or to the mall to sit on the laps of two make-believe characters? Does going to church on these two days inspire you to attend more regularly, or does it make you feel satisfied that you made it twice that year?
Like I said, I'm still learning, so I'm still deciding what to do with all of this information. I do know that I'll tell my children the truth about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny - that they have nothing to do with God or the celebration of Jesus' love and sacrifice. But am I ready and willing to make the jump to celebrate the REAL days of birth and resurrection? Am I going to set myself apart and start following scripture, despite what the world does?
I honestly don't know.
What I do know, however, is that I want to learn more. I want to make sure my motives are pure, that my heart is focused on God. I don't want to follow blindly, just doing what I've always done because there ARE things that Christians do during the holidays that have no real Biblical significance. It was just a desire to fit in with the world, but to try to sanctify it by calling it "Christian".
So I don't have any answers right now, but I'm looking. In the meantime, please know this - all of my lights, my gifts, and my decorations are about one thing - God. He loves us, He always has. While people fail daily at demonstrating that to each other, He has never failed us. He sent Jesus as proof of that love and devotion to save us. THAT is why I celebrate Christmas.
I pray that each one of you will know God's love, that He will touch your hearts and eyes so that you can see Him today.