The Christmas Hypocrites

It is almost the start of December, the month we celebrate Christmas as North American believers. The world started to “celebrate” their way – consume more and accumulate more debt – well before Halloween even arrived. It seems to me the world’s Christmas observance has been starting earlier and earlier … as I think it use to at least wait until after Halloween was over.

It must be confusing for those who celebrate both. You have your halloween decorations up on the front lawn and yet the stores are already decorated for Christmas. So, the morning after Halloween is officially over everyone in my neighbourhood rushes out to take down the inflatable Halloween monsters to put up and inflate Santa Clause, Elfs, Minions, and assorted other non-religious front yard decorations. A few still display the baby in the manger, the Wise Men, and the shepherds with a few weak looking sheep. 

It is the time of year that I try not to do any shopping but the basics – food, coffee, and Coke Zero. I don’t want to deal with the crowds. People looking for bargains and spending money they can ill afford to spend are not pleasant people to be around. And, if I end up shopping in the Christmas rush I loose my sense of inner peace – the peace that passes all understanding that Jesus talks about. You know – Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amazing how we lose peace celebrating the birth of the Price of Peace. But, I digress.

The other reason I don’t go shopping and visit all the stores is because so so many of those buying Christmas gifts are hypocrites. They don’t believe in Jesus, His ministry and message. At best they are religious and believe in some set of rules, rituals, and rigamarole. Many are agnostic or even atheists. So, what are they doing celebrating my season, my holiday when they have no real interest in the true meaning of the season?

When I do end up in a “Christmas rush” of shoppers it takes everything in me not to stand on my shopping cart and yell, “Why don’t you all just got off my holiday!” After all, why do you take the 25th of December and assorted other days around that day to celebrate something and Someone you don’t believe in? Why don’t you just go to work like any other normal day? Why are you taking advantage of something you don’t believe just to get a few days off? Do I hear the word hypocrites?

I don’t celebrate Halloween because I don’t believe in it. I don’t pray to the saints on their special days because I don’t believe in it. I don’t go to or watch football games because I don’t believe in paying people large sums of money to run around in tights and fight over a ball. I celebrate the Christmas Season because I believe in Jesus, God born as a man who died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, and rose again from the dead on the third day after His death proving that He is God and that what He taught was and is true. I celebrate His birth because I am one of His disciples and followers. I live according to what He preached and taught. I have made Him Lord of my life. 

So, I take the opportunity that the Christmas season offers to talk to people about Jesus. I see all the decorations in the neighbourhood and as I walk my dog I comment about the way people have decorated their yards. Comments like, “So, you are a believer?” And “I am so glad that you believe in Jesus!” This allows them to tell me what it is they believe and what they are really celebrating. I do the same when I am standing in a long, slow moving line at the checkout at Walmart … I simply turn to the next in line and say, “So, are you a believer in Jesus?” The looks on people’s faces and the resulting conversations would astonish you … and embarrass you. 

Hey, if you are going to edge in and benefit from my holiday season I think I have the right to bring up the “reason for the season” and see if and what people actually believe, if anything. I take every opportunity the Christmas season offers me to share what I believe and who I follow. 

After thought: A lot of these same people will tell you that they don’t go to church because the church is full of hypocrites. Umm…. So is Walmart during the Christmas season.