I may have caught some eyes with that title. Some may be thinking I am going to go on a rant about how Santa Claus is a wicked distraction, or that Christmas trees are an example of false god worship as we lay gifts underneath, or that we should not have carved images of angels, the wise men, the saints, a manger scene, or even a cross as that may be idolatry…. Well, I am not saying that, nor going down that path, or rabbit hole.
My reference for “Is Christmas idolatry?” is that it could slip into that category depending on the intent, motive, and actions of the heart. Let me expound a bit:
Let’s say you mentally and emotionally get so worked up just before Christmas with preparing the home, getting ready for company, wondering what gifts to buy, or if the gifts you are buying are enough. Well, that could be the tool of the enemy. You see, the enemy would like that you get worked up, stressed out, full of anxiety and fear, and well into debt for the holidays. Besides it distracts you greatly from the true meaning of Emmanuel that is celebrated on December twenty fifth.
Let’s say you spend over you budget in new Christmas lights, Christmas decorations and that “Griswold” Christmas tree, and you may not have enough money left over to first stay on your committed budget for the year, but not able to accomplish your tithes, or family giving decisions whether that was for your church or another charity. Well, that could slip into the category of idolatry as well as vanity of you are overspending on decorations to keep up with the “Griswolds” or your neighbors to impress others, verses realizing the true meaning of Christmas, and that Christ Himself came of very humble means, with no flashy robes, or attire. The enemy also enjoys seeing believers slip into the prison of debt. The best decoration you could adorn is to love on your loved ones, and your neighbors and let that Light shine brightly so they see Christ in you, your actions, and deeds.
Let’s say you hit that Black Friday sale, the Cyber Monday sales, and all the sales leading up to Christmas walking quickly by the Salvation Army folks ringing bells, maybe walk around or step over someone less fortunate or homeless, while missing a few church services, home bible studies, or worse yet Christmas Eve Services or Mass because you have to get those discounts and material gifts, right? Well, that could slip into the category of idolatry as you may have put shopping, materialism, and physical gifts above the true meaning of the gift of the child that was born in a manger in Jesus Christ. That He was the example of how we should strive to live by serving, teaching and loving all. That we put sales, above demonstrating our salvation.
The enemy is a cunning deceiver and desires to manipulate you away from God, away from the true meaning of the season. You see CHRISTmas put an end to the chains and separation from God. If the enemy can distract you away from Emmanuel, and the reason for His birth into the world, it is a win for the enemy, which has the potential of larger wins down the road.
The most precious and priceless gift you can give your loved ones is your attentive and engaging time. If gifts are in your budget, that you do not have to charge up debt, and it doesn’t take you away from the true meaning of CHRISTmas, and away from God, then go ahead and give those gifts to you your loved ones. Just do not let what could slip into or be deemed as idolatry distract you from the true reason for the season.