As I type this, I feel as though my heart is just going to burst. 15 years ago my husband and I began a journey to find more meaning in our walk with Christ. We wanted Christmas to be truly focused on Christ.
We began to study and search. We only wanted those customs that pointed to Christ. We came to the conclusion that Christmas was pagan and that the best way to honor Him would be to STOP celebrating Christmas.
This left such a hole in my heart. I loved Christmas. Christmas was always about the birth of Christ. It wasn’t that we denied the virgin birth. It wasn’t that we didn’t acknowledge that the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among mankind. It’s that we thought it was wrong to have Christmas trees and wreaths and all those other “pagan” items.
In our defense we were just trying to serve Him with glad and grateful hearts. He gave us a miracle in Supergirl and we wanted to honor the God of the universe for His love towards us.
As each year passed, my heart would grow heavy at Christmas. I missed it. It didn’t get easier. I began to have doubts. If Christmas was very wrong why did so many CHRISTIANS celebrate it? But the breaking point came when I realized just how much “paganism” surrounds me everyday. If I threw out everything and anything that even remotely resembled something that may or may not be pagan, I wouldn’t really have anything left. I would not be able to communicate with others about dates. I wouldn’t be able to name months or days of the weeks. I wouldn’t be able to wear my wedding ring!
We decided to try a “secular” Christmas (yes you may roll your eyes now) We realized that Christmas time was an excellent time to demonstrate love towards family and friends and to strangers! We “got over” some of the pagan phobia and bought a Christmas tree in 2004.
In 2009, we experienced our First Orthodox Christmas. Oh.my.word.!!! If only we had known back then! We finally found what we were looking for! Here we found the fullness of the faith. Here we found that Christ was celebrated. The gift giving, the decorations, the fabulous food, they all flowed out of hearts that understood that Christ had to born. Christ had to have a human nature. Christ had to become man so that we might become like God.
Today my heart sings. There is no longer an achy hole in my heart. It is filled with the joy of celebrating the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My house is filled with Christmas hymns and carols that speak of this wonderful God who became man so that He could redeem this lost and fallen world.
Christ Is Born