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Billy Holland | What is your reason for the season?

I have read articles over the years about how Christmas is a combination of Christian and Pagan symbolism, along with some folklore traditions. For the most part this is true. I also realize that most people do not want to hear about such things. Beyond the bah humbug, I will admit that even though Christmases is not as much fun now as it was when I was a kid or when our children were young, I still enjoy the season. To me, Christmas has always been a special time, and heaven forbid I use the term, “magical.” But as a child, my overactive imagination had no problem believing the Christmas story, especially after I learned about Saint Nicholas, who knows everything and can give every child in the world exactly what they want. Now that we are adults, it seems we still hold onto the memories of Christmas past and even have a little excitement left for Christmas future, no matter how old we are. 

Still, in the back of my mind, I keep thinking about the spiritual parts and pieces of a supposedly Christian holiday — after all, I was also taught this was when Jesus was born. Come to find out, it seems more like a good opportunity to blend in all types of traditions and rituals into one grand finale.

We have a nativity on one side, the historical pagan contributions on the other and the Santa story all at the same time. I understand for those who are not a Christian this is no big deal because a party is a party, but the Bible says that the more we learn the more we are accountable for.

I’m not trying to tell anyone how to live because who am I. Besides, everyone is going to do whatever they want. I also believe we can become so legalistic that we turn away those we might have a chance to discuss subjects like this with. If we are against everything, and end up living alone in a tent, I cannot see how this is a good idea.

On the other hand, I have wondered how many would celebrate Christmas if it was only about Jesus coming to save us. It’s popular to remember him as a new-born, as this connects with the birthday concept, but what if there were no Christmas trees, or an obese man dressed in red with a white beard?

What if Santa had no supernatural powers like being omnipresent and having the ability to visit every home in the world in one night?

Without the sparkling lights, the shiny wrapping paper, the ham and pecan pie, the music, and the children getting all excited about the gifts, Christmas day would probably pass by quietly like groundhog day. And this is what concerns me.

Beyond the wise men, the winter solstice traditions and the flying reindeer, we will all choose our own reason for the season.