J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Pagan, Pious, or Patriotic

This article appeared first at the Garner Citizen.

The Christmas season elicits a slew of responses from people.

Despite the present economic environment, there are still those who feel the obligation to buy their children and loved ones everything on their wish list in order to “give them the Christmas I never had.”

There are folks who treat it as a holy season to reflect on the blessings of Jesus and His advent to a hurting world.

There is a crowd that goes the opposite direction and finds the holiday tainted with pagan imagery and origins, so they go yule-free avoiding it all together.

There are folks who don’t Christmas two thoughts because it is just not their thing for religious or other reasons.

Then there is the social holiday crowd that isn’t worried about any religious implications, so they celebrate it with a few presents and a joyous round of applause for the few days off that it affords.

For the most part though, in America, Christmas is National Present Day just like Halloween is National Candy Day and Easter is National Chocolate Day. There is a tendency in our country to reduce every holiday, whether its origins are pious, pagan, or patriotic, to its lowest common denominator: time off with benefits.

No matter where you are in the spectrum during this holiday season, let me encourage you in this way. If you worship Jesus as your Savior, do so by consuming less and giving more. Make the holiday about meeting others’ needs, purchasing fewer pointless gifts, and the giving of your time. In this, you obey Jesus’ exhortation, “If you have done this for the least of these, you have done it to me.” If you do not worship Jesus as your savior, celebrate the season in the exact same way: meet others’ needs, purchase fewer pointless gifts, and give your time to serve others.

These practical suggestions won’t boost the economy and pull us out of economic turmoil, but I think they will make a larger impact in the long run. Needs will be met, fewer pointless gifts will be opened and quickly discarded, and others will enjoy a pretty sweet gift: your time and attention.

This article also appears at the Raleigh Examiner. Read it there and help me earn a penny.

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December 5, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Another home run, my friend!

    Comment by Daniel | December 5, 2009 | Reply

  2. Great article.

    Comment by Jamisson | December 5, 2009 | Reply


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