I Hate Christmas

To many, it’s probably surprising–even irritating–that a former pastor would declare that he hates Christmas. I just have to be honest. In actuality, it’s not really Christmas that I hate. More to the point, it’s what Christmas has become that draws my ire.

Several of my friends have posted an article entitled, “In Case You Missed It: Christmas is About Jesus, the Birth of the Christ.” At one point, I sarcastically commented, “Yikes! When did that happen?” The sad part is that it seems almost necessary to remind people of that reality. It IS about Jesus—or, at least, it used to be.

Lost in the Shuffle

Somewhere along the way, Jesus seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. The shuffle I speak of is daily life. Or maybe I should say, holiday life. I’m no expert, but it seems to me that Christmas should be a simple time. It should be a time of worship, family, warmth, and learning. For many—if not most—it has become a time of stress, excessive spending, crowded calendars, and no worship. The only learning that takes place is the knowledge that we’re broke.

I can see how things have gotten out of control so easily. After all, giving presents is a good thing. Still, the whole present thing has become the god of Christmas. That’s easy to spot considering the fact that slews of non-Christians celebrate the season. Unfortunately, Christmas without Christ is merely Mas. My Spanish friends can tell you that mas means more. That about sums it up. We give and get more each year. Frankly, it appears we’re having a lot less fun doing it.

Somewhere along the way, the church chose December 25 to celebrate Christ’s birth. We don’t know when his birth actually occurred, but I suppose December 25 is as good a day as any. While celebrating the birth of the Savior seems like it should be a bigger and better celebration, say, than that of our own birthdays, I’m going to go out on a limb to suggest that Jesus isn’t overly pleased with the way we go about it.

All I Want for Christmas

One of the things that brought all this up for me is the fact that there are now radio stations that play nothing but Christmas music that has nothing to do with Jesus. If these stations were your only source of knowledge concerning the holiday, you would think we celebrate snow, trees, and chestnuts.

I especially took note this year of the old Mariah Carey song, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” That’s all you want? Another human being? Frankly, that seems like quite a lot. Subjugating another human being just doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of the season.

I encourage you to, at the very least, take a little time to read one of the Christmas stories from Scripture (Luke 2:1-20 or Revelation 12) and ponder it for a few moments. It might make all the difference for you this year.

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]

3 thoughts on “I Hate Christmas”

  1. Well … I don’t hate Christmas and the busyness… I do have compassion that for the many who forget the Reason is Jesus…
    I often have been in the trap, over the years, with trying to buy the right gift for the special people we love… but always realizing the real gift is giving the love of Jesus… so … that is what I do with words and actions… my Mom taught me the gift of giving and serving, not only during the Christmas season but all year. Even the Magi gave to a baby without really knowing why ,,, they were under stress I am sure in their travel! My Mom taught me Giving more than you have to those who have less …. but with that special message of Jesus loves you and there is always hope in Him. She didn’t always say… Jesus loves you with words or even preach to the people she gave gifts to,,,, She did it humblyand with love…. people just seemed to see Christ shine through her…. Mom has been gone for 32 years … and I still have strangers come up to me and ask if I am Carrie French’s daughter… can you imagine the love I feel from heaven ? I am humbly touched with Gods grace… Those people always share a story of how my Mom touched their life with many different acts of kindness and gifts. My Mom was very humble and kind. She had very little money… worked everyday, never complained, and ever said an unkind word about anyone!

    Gift giving is okay… and can be a real blessing to some folks… and we may never know which gift was the seed to plant the true meaning of the season…. JESUS!

    This year after all the years of gift giving to my 4 lovely grandchildren… and giving those gifts in my mother’ s style Jesus Centered and always making Christmas celebrations about love and Jesus our granddaughters honored us with a love letter as our gift and homemade paintings. Jesus was the reason because giving love is what He gave us… and they realize that over the years all through the years our gifts of presents, time, travel, food, busyness for others, the hustle and bustle of traditions and preparation is done in the spirit of LOVE… I am sure there was hustle and bustle frustration and uncertainty on that not so silent night when Jesus was born. … There is love in giving… and I guess if you get to point that it does not send the message of love for you then it would be time to rethink the reason for the giving. You have given much to many!

    I thank my pastors that sacrifice their own family to be part of the ritualistic celebrations. Of the Christian holidays… they are in the trap of the hustle and process too… however the sacrifice they make….it makes a difference that may go unseen… their gift of time often causes them to lose site of the Reason for the gift of their service because of the stress of doing the services can be so routine. …. so busy… etc… Since you have been my friend and pastor and one who has made a difference in our family’s faith walk I just want to send you a hug and a thank you! We humans do get lost,,, we lose sight of what is most important,,, that’s why we need each other to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas … Jesus… Gifts are given with LOVE…. love came down to us and the cost was great….

    So I know you don’t hate Christmas… what you really meant to say is that your heart is heavy for the lost… you ?LOVE Christmas because…. this is the time of year that everyone seeks love…and a gift of LOVE is just what JESUS brought to us on a not so silent night!

    Merry Christmas-and a blessed NewYear to your family.

    Thanks for your messages and thanks for all the years of pastoring my family and others! Someday we will have to visit!

  2. Thanks for your article on this subject. Along with the the missing Jesus from Christmas, outside the church, there is expectation of the unexpected in the church. By that I mean, Advent, a season of waiting is waiting for the expected. The original Advent was anything but expected. It was only known after the event, and even then only as a growing awareness. It seems to me we have packaged Advent in a nice curriculum of expectation thinking we have kept Jesus in Christmas, but actually institutionalized what inherently is “of the Spirit.” We now plan the unexpected.

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