Melinda Eye Cooper
The Gift of Celebration
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
I remember having one Christmas tree when I was a child. The fragrance of Cedar always takes me back to that memory – a fresh-cut tree in a bucket of rocks with big, colored lights draped around it and tinsel dancing within the branches. I loved it. That year I got a baby doll and a little table and chairs. It was my favorite Christmas. It was also my last one with a tree.
Shortly after, Dad became convicted about Christmas trees and decorations. He no longer allowed us to have either. The holiday became ordinary. No Santa. No tree. No decorations.
We still got presents wrapped by Mom. Instead of placing them under a tree, she just marched out of her bedroom on Christmas Eve, arms weighed down with gifts and passed them out to us. Mostly, we got clothes because they were needed. But she made sure the youngest children got a new toy. We still went to our grandparent’s houses and they had Christmas trees. So, we weren’t destitute.
As an adult, I respect Dad’s conviction. I agree that Christmas has become commercial, about Santa Claus instead of Jesus, and stressful. To this day – he still won’t have a tree. But I do believe that all of my siblings and I have Christmas trees now. Dad’s conviction didn’t stick to any of us. As soon as we moved out, we strung lights and put up a tree. (hehehe)
Recently, a Facebook post about the subject caught my attention. Her argument was that the Christmas tree has pagan roots. (That’s kinda funny if you think about it…) And December 25th isn’t really the day Jesus was born. (I didn’t realize folks thought it was the actual day.)
To be honest, I just don’t care. Maybe that attitude comes from my young girl-self who felt deprived at Christmas. Maybe it comes from my adult-self who absolutely loves Christmas. I’m not sure. I guess I’m convicted about Christmas and trees and all the lovely decorations that go along with my favorite holiday.
We celebrate so many things in life – engagements, weddings, birthdays, graduations and even Groundhog Day. We throw surprise parties for those we love. We honor others by celebrating events in their lives like when a young couple brings a new baby into the world or when an older couple’s marriage hits the fifty-year mark. Those accomplishments are worth celebrating. Let’s face it, life is not always easy. We need to have those celebratory times.
The act of celebration is actually a gift.
Why wouldn’t we have a special day to celebrate the birth of the savior of the world? There are enough scriptures about celebrating to convince me that God encourages it.
As Christians, we’re thankful for Jesus every day. Not just Christmas day. Hopefully, we honor God every day with our lives for the wonderful gift of His Son.
Why not unwrap the gift given to us and celebrate like never before?
“So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1st Corinthians 10:31