From this comment my impression of this commenter was that she was a thinker and didn't base her views on feeling but put thought into why she held the views that she held. I also deduced that if she put this much effort into researching it out, there was a chance that she was sincerely looking for the truth of the matter. I visited her blog and confirmed that she was a deep thinker and I also discovered that she was not a Christian. I asked God to give me the words as I was writing the response.
Here is the comment.
Forgive me for being blunt, but if we're going to discuss the true meaning of Christmas, it doesn't necessarily trace back to remembrance of Jesus Christ, either.
Simply put, no one knows the day that Christ was born - from biblical descriptions historians are led to believe that he may have been born sometime in September (approximately 6 months after passover).
Why do people celebrate his birthday has having been December 25th? The answer lies in the fact that the origins of Christmas came from several pagan celebrations that occurred at this time.
Babylonians participated in the Feast of the Son of Isis on Dec. 25th, while Romans celebrated the Winter Solstice (complete with performers who traveled house to house entertaining neighbors - this is the origin of caroling) December through January. In Northern Europe many other traditions that are now considered part of Christian worship were begun long before the participants ever even heard of Christ.
In the year 350, Pope Julius I declared that Christ's birthday would be celebrated on December 25th. Essentially it would make converting pagans to Christianity easier because at least then their feasts and celebrations would not be taken from them. Essentially, the Christmas we celebrate now was good strategizing on behalf of someone who wanted to gain more followers for his religion.
Why, then, would it be a bad thing for the Christmas season to become inclusive of other holidays (Ramadan, Kwanzaa, etc.) when the origins of Christmas itself were to more or less market Christ at around the same time that other festivities were taking place?
What exactly is wrong with saying "Happy Holidays" to include all the possible celebrations people may be participating in? The United States may proclaim itself to mainly be a Christian country, but Christianity is by no means the only religion here - so why is it fair, then, to act as though yours is the only celebration that should be observed?
I'm honestly just curious and hope that I haven't presented myself in a disrespectful or inflammatory way.
My prayerful response.
Dear XXX - You are correct that we don't know the exact day that Christ was born. But does that mean we shouldn't celebrate His birth? Not at all. I have known people who did not know the day they were born so a day was chosen to celebrate their birth each year. They call it their birthday. The date is inconsequential. It's the celebration that is important. It's the celebration of a person. No matter how the date was chosen it's still the celebration of that person's birth and all that they mean to us. How much more would we hold that celebration dear when it is the Birth of Christ. The One and only True God. The Only God who Loves us so much that He chose to be born of a woman and take on the flesh of man so that He could save us from the consequences of sin. CHRISTmas is about the celebration of Christ's birth. That is why is it is called CHRISTmas.
When muslims celebrate Ramadan they don't call it Christmas and they don't say Happy Holidays. When Jews celebrate Hanukkah they don't say Happy Holidays, they say Happy Hanukkah. When Africans celebrate Kwanzaa they don't say Happy Holidays, they say Happy Kwanzaa. The same is true of any celebration. If you are celebrating Christmas then you should say Merry Christmas. If you are celebrating something else then you should say what it is. Christians aren't telling others not to call their celebrations what they are. We only want to keep our celebration what it is and we only ask for that same respect in return.
When a person is celebrating something it is for a reason. There is specific purpose and meaning in it. It is not just a generic day to go have fun for whatever reason you want. Celebrations are by their very nature focused on something. When you celebrate your children's birthdays, are you not celebrating their very lives? Would you want other people who don't know and love your child to tell you that you can't make it about him or her because that isn't inclusive? No, you would not and you should not. That would simply turn it into just another day and NOT the celebration of your child's birth. If we are going to respect all peoples celebrations then we should truly respect ALL of them and call them what they are.
There is so much more I could say but I will end here. I sincerely appreciate that you asked and expressed your views. My relationship with Christ began by my asking God to show me if He was real and by explaining my perspective to Him (as if He didn't already know). He didn't take offense, He answered because He LOVES HIS CREATION. I hope that you know that my answer is also not meant to offend, only to give an answer for what you are asking. I truly hope that you will also choose to take your questions to God and seek out His Truth in all matters.
I left a nice comment on this person's blog and let her know that I had responded to her question. I don't know if she ever read the response because she did not reply. But likely she did read it, it's human nature to wonder, and seeds of thought were planted in her mind. The results are in God's hands. It is His job to tend to the seeds, it is ours to plant them.
The reason that I'm posting this is because this is one portion of the culture that we need to change, the removal of Christ from Christmas. Please notice that in my response I did not dispute any of her well researched points. Whether or not they are true is irrelevant. My purpose was to show that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and that means everything to Christians. If we take Christ out of Christmas then you might as well call it something else because it is something else.
Now look back at my last two posts about where the culture change begins. It begins with Christians. I will discuss this more in an upcoming post.
"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 (emphasis mine)
"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou