Christmas isn’t my favorite holiday. This is the truth but also a lie. It’s the truth because from a Christian perspective Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday edge out Christmas for the holy days closest to my heart. When I share the Gospel, I emphasize the belief in salvation through Christ alone. This makes Good Friday my favorite holiday (as in holy day). It’s the day I sit and reflect that God’s son died for me, for my sins. Resurrection Sunday celebrates the promise of eternal life.
Christmas, of course, is every bit as important but only in the context of the birth of our Saviour. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NKJV)
That is the truth.
Here’s where the lie comes in. Christmas is my favorite holiday celebration! I enjoy the opportunity to reflect on God’s love for His people and Christ’s perfect sacrifice during Holy Week. Bu it’s not fun. More often it’s quite the opposite. For me, the celebration part, bunnies, eggs, and candy, are too disconnected from the meaning of the holiday.
Christmas is different. Okay maybe trees and mistletoe are just as disconnected, but so much of Christmas is directly tied to Christ’s birth and Christianity. Even the jolly fat man is based (often loosely) on a benevolent priest. I love the decorations – greenery, stars, angels, and of course the Nativity scene. Gifts are my love language. I love receiving presents. I love it when I can find the perfect gift for someone. It’s also a time of gathering of friends and family. Plus there’s food. Gingerbread is my pumpkin spice. Eggnog and wassail are treats. Did I mention the food and gifts? Not exactly spiritual, but oh yeah, that’s how I party!
As for the music, I love both hymns focusing on Holy Week and Christmas carols. I love almost all sacred music. And I love a good contemporary Christmas song as long as it’s between Thanksgiving and New Year’s (preferably ending 12/25).
What is your favorite holiday? Do you have a favorite for religious reasons and different one because of the celebration associated with it?