It is a rare occasion when I encounter a Christian who detests Christmas. Now, I realize that I must qualify this by stating many of us struggle with the over-commercialization of Christmas, and some of us even dread the holiday because we are in the midst of suffering and can't bear the thought of "celebrating" during intense heartache.
But if we break Christmas down to its simplest form, it really is epic: God becoming flesh to rescue the world! What's not to love about this!!!
As a bonus, a godless (or post-god, however you want to slice it) culture continues to persist in the accommodation of the celebration of Christ's birth. Most people are given the day off work. Many others take the opportunity to spend the holiday with the people they love the most. We eat good food. We drink good drink. We give good (or not-so-good) gifts (I see you tiny pocket knife, weird socks, stinky candles, or horrible white elephant gift). Other than those terribly awkward conversations with family you only see once a year, we can all agree that Christmas is pretty much one of the best things in our earthly lives.
In the end, a good chunk of the world still celebrates the holiday, if even for all the wrong reasons. But here's some truth for your ears: We can remove Christ from Christmas (i.e. by calling it X-mas), but we will literally never be able to remove "Christ" from Christmas.
For Christians, this is the best news ever! This is also the reason why we should celebrate HARDER and LONGER than all of the non-Christians across the world who don't know, love, and worship Jesus.
And you'll never be able to guess what Christians have done for the past two millenniums?
We have concocted a way by which we can celebrate Christmas for the entire month leading up to Christmas day. It is called Advent (which I will explain more below). The reality is that Christmas provides a massive opportunity for us to celebrate in our homes, with our families, giving credence to the reality of arguably the single greatest event ever (without Christmas there is no cross and empty tomb).
It also affords us the opportunity to celebrate with our church communities and with the lost and dying world around us, with the ultimate goal of pointing, proclaiming, and presenting to everyone what John the Baptist upon his first glance of Jesus exclaimed: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29
The word adventus is a Latin term meaning “coming/arrival.” Early Christians spoke of “The advent of our Lord” in reference to the incarnation (God becoming flesh). As time went on, Advent was designated as the period leading up to Christmas Day when Christians prepared for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. The specific celebrations began as early as the 4th century AD. This time period was marked by prayer and fasting with a focused attention on the wonder of the incarnation as well as the hopeful return of Christ at His second coming.
So why should we celebrate Advent? Because it pushes us to focus on the real reason for the Christmas season. When we celebrate Christ’s first coming, we are reminded of what it took for mankind to be rescued from sin, death, and hell. It required God to take on flesh in order to become a sacrifice for the sins of the world. To celebrate advent is to celebrate the hope of redemption; the hope that first came in the form of a baby – a baby who would forever change the world. His name is Jesus!
We are serious about Advent at Kid Theology and view this season as another incredible opportunity to point ourselves, our children, and all those around us to Jesus. There are many ways in which you can do this.
We will hopefully be throwing out some helpful and simple tools for you to celebrate Advent in the coming days (Advent technically begins this year on December 3rd).
(side note: This will only apply to those who are signed up on our mailing list. to receive free advent content (as well as other tools to help you disciple your children, sign up here).