December 24, 2010
Why We ARE Celebrating Christmas
Yes, I have probably shocked some of my Torah Observant friends. But I can't apologize, because I am not sorry. I love you all, but I will explain, so that hopefully you will understand where my heart is.
I have been so very torn in my heart about this year's holidays. First Hanukkah...do I celebrate or don't I? On the one hand, according to Torah, it isn't a feast time, yet there are many things that are celebrated that aren't commanded. We didn't celebrate Hanukkah this year only because I do not know enough about it. We will be celebrating next year, and I am excited about it.
So very many in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic community latch onto the information that Christmas is based on pagan roots. From the tree to the ornaments, there is a "dark" connotation to all of it. But as a dear friend recently said to me: "any day we say hooray Yeshua is born, hooray Yeshua died for my sins, hooray Yeshua rose from the dead and is interceding for me is a very good day!"
I do not celebrate Christmas for the pagan roots of it. I never have. I didn't know about those roots until this year. I celebrate, and always have, the fact that Yeshua was brought to this world to save me. Is the date right? We will NEVER know. But as my friend said, celebrating HIM is never a bad thing. I also am honoring my parents and their parents when we celebrate Christmas. Our tree doesn't symbolize the pagan connotations, but rather the image of my grandfather. I don't put him above YHVH or Yeshua, but I do feel it is very important for my children to know where they come from. My grandfather was an amazing man, who at the age of 11, went to work to care for his father, who was blinded in a factory accident prior to the depression. Once the depression came, my grandfather was a young man, with his wife, several of his children (they ultimately had 6), and his father to care for. Christmas was a tough time of the year for everyone....in the depression, every day was tough. My grandfather waited until Christmas eve to get a tree, because the man on the corner would sell them for just pennies, to get rid of them. It has been a tradition ever since. I remember my father telling me that story every Christmas eve when we put the tree up. And every time I hang an ornament, I think of him and my grandmother, who passed when I was just 9 and 11, respectively. I don't want my children to lose that part of their family, just because they aren't here. I can give them that through stories and memories. I doubt YHVH or Yeshua would be angry at me for that.
Ultimately, we are all human. We all read the Torah and Scriptures through our own filters. We all have our own interpretations, even if we claim we don't. I will continue to celebrate Christmas this year, and be extremely grateful for what YHVH has done in my life this past year. He has blessed me beyond measure. What will next year bring? The only one who knows that is YHVH.
So tonight I will enjoy time with my children, and tomorrow we will open presents that were bought with love for each other. Tomorrow afternoon we will go and spend time celebrating with my parents, who do so much for us.
Shalom and Merry Christmas!