Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Trees or Holiday Trees?

I’ve been on a kick this week. With all the emphasis on Christmas decorations, I’ve begun to notice something I never really placed much attention on before. First, I MUST say I have NOTHING against Christmas Trees. I know some Orthodox Christians have a BIG problem with the, but I am not one of them. The Mystagogy Blog has a entire Christmas Resource Page which includes articles on Christmas Trees. I HIGHLY suggest reading through these if you happen to be one who does not approve of Christmas Trees. Of course, there is a difference between not having a Christmas Tree and REFUSING to have a Christmas Tree. I would hope you understand the difference.

It’s isn’t the Christmas Tree directly that is the target of my kick this week. It is so-called Christmas decorations in general I’ve been taking notice of. I’ve noticed that there seems to be no difference between the way we decorate our homes and the decorations at the mall, which quite publicly many times refuse to use the term Christmas. Other than the decorations for sale, I have been hard-pressed to catch any glimpse of a genuine Christmas message within the decorations. They are quite beautiful, but they are quite general.

Red and green ribbons, stunning glittery bows, sparkling lights, shining silver and gold ornaments, but hardly anywhere a reference to Jesus Christ. I don’t blame the malls actually, since they are public gathering places in a pluralistic society of Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, along with secularists, deists, and atheists. BUT there should be a difference in the decorations in our home.

I challenge you to take an honest and objective view of your Christmas decorations and ask yourself, “Is there any difference between our decorations and the mall?” Ribbons, lights, bows, wreaths, even decorated trees can be used to beautify any home for ANY season. But we’re supposed to be decorating for Christmas. Do your decorations include icons of the Nativity or Jesus Christ? Do your ribbons express the traditional Orthodox Christian greeting, “Christ is Born; Glorify Him!” or season’s greetings? If the answer is “no,” then maybe you have shopping mall decorations in your home rather than Christmas decorations.

You may think my kick isn’t a big deal, but if a non-believer cannot tell the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian, whether our morals, our actions, or our decorations, then we are we really allowing the Light of Christ to shine or just fitting into the crowd.

This post is written for the 40 Days of Blogging Challenge sponsored by the Preachers Institute. You may find other blogs participating in this challenge. I hope you enjoy this year’s Advent journey.

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