I had an interesting conversation this morning with a young friend, who told me about someone with whom she is close who doesn’t allow her children to celebrate Christmas in a secular fashion.
Why? Well, my friend said, this other person and her husband are devout Christians and want to respect the holy nature of the holiday, which is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. She said they believe allowing the children to climb onto Santa’s lap at the mall and ask him for Christmas gifts takes away from the holiday’s spiritual meaning.
Fine, I said. “But I don’t believe there’s any exclusivity involved here,” I added. My friend agreed.
“You can celebrate both,” I said. Again, she agreed.
I’ll add here that I also believe in both the biblical version of the world’s creation and in evolution. Moreover, the Bible tells us that God created humankind through Adam and Eve, who then produced two sons. As far as I can tell, the Old Testament doesn’t specify that he created only Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel — and left it at that.
My friend did add, though, a rather ironic twist to the tale, which is that the family she mentioned celebrates Halloween, allowing the kids to dress up in costume and go scarf up all the candy they can carry.
I’ll add this thought.
The Jesus I’ve read about in the Bible cherished children and wanted nothing but happiness for them. My sense is that he would approve of a Santa Claus-based celebration — as long as Mom and Dad made sure they understood as well the real intent of the holiday. He might even approve of Halloween and, oh yes, the Easter Bunny.
I am now open to any comments you might have on this subject.
Feel free to weigh in.