It’s during this time we hear songs such as:
“A wonderful Christmas time!”
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
“God rest ye Merry Gentlemen”
“Joy to the World”
During this time of year, people are generally more giving, friendly, and all-round pleasant. Those who aren’t in the “Christmas spirit” (which happens to be the general attitude of the mass populous for the other 11 months out of the year) are labeled a Scrooge. It’s this time of year that we celebrate the spirit of giving. We purchase gifts for those we love (and occasionally an obligatory gift here and there to keep feelings from being crushed for those we don’t particularly love). We send cards to all our friends and family wishing them a wonderful Christmas, most of the time including pictures of our family because this is the only time we really establish any sort of contact with many of them. Families are brought together, and we overlook differences, as is expected of us, for the sake of unity. There is just an overwhelming attitude of thinking of others; for example, this is the one time of year where people see things at the store and think of someone else who would enjoy that item other than themselves. We speak of the Christmas spirit as if it’s a wave of emotion that just irresistibly comes upon us at this time of year, which I find quite amusing.
Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas (hence the name “Christmas”), and even those who are not Christian will sing songs of The Savior during this time of year as it’s part of the atmosphere. I know that the winter solstice was celebrated by non-Christians around the world before The Son of God was made flesh, and we have adopted some of their traditions and filled them with new meaning. I don’t necessarily think this is always a bad thing either, seeing as that’s essentially what has been done in choosing the date, and most of the Christmas traditions we have. There are many things we have done this to, and I think redeeming the culture and traditions is a good thing – a Kingdom thing, if you will.
Although the birth of Christ does not seem to be celebrated by the early New Testament church; and although it is highly doubtful that Jesus was actually born on December 25th, I’m not against celebrating Christmas and en-grafting these causes into it. It is a time that we can make a connection with unbelievers and use the day they emphasize giving to others to tell them of how God has given to them. It’s a time when people are more naturally in the “spirit of giving” and thoughtfulness that The Spirit of God can work through us to show how The Father has given humanity His Son. It’s a time where we can proclaim (through word, song, and action) the birth of the Savior of the world.
So we can sing with the rest of the population that this is the most wonderful time of the year, for men are in a spirit of otherness and love towards each other. We can sing how we are simply having a wonderful Christmas time enjoying each other company and such. Yet we also unashamedly proclaim the first advent of our LORD. Just as the “Christmas spirit” is contagious this time of year, may our proclamation of Jesus’ advent be also. May our actions, songs, and attitudes this time of year be so pregnant with the proclamation of the new born King of Kings that the attitude of praise and adoration for Jesus is even more contagious.