The Day They Took Down The Christmas Tree

This may upset you. Shock you. Make you angry.
Or maybe not. Maybe you’ve heard this before and made your decisions.

This is a sensitive issue and may rub against you.
If so, stop reading and go about your regularly scheduled activities.

Please understand that the material suggests that pagan practices have been incorporated into routine celebrations.  This may be unsettling to those who hold dear to those practices.  Practices which have replaced God’s standards.

Many of us are aware of facts and myths about the origins of Christmas Trees, mistletoe, holly, the Star, candy canes, Santa Claus, etc.

Christmas-Historical Timeline

Some traditions are nice (ex., the candy cane story)  and some are not so nice.  We have our family traditions and for the most part, we like it that way.  End of subject.

This is a hard message.  I don’t have all the answers, and do not intend to irritate or inflame you, but to urge you to do your own research.  As a home educator and as a family, you can decide whether this is worth looking into further or not.  Don’t take my word for it.  It’s up to you to review and check everything out. Above all, seek God’s Word and His Will in all matters.

There are many resources one can read that provide the historical background of the symbols and customs that have been used for the celebration of Christmas (and Easter) for thousands of years.

Caution: Parental discretion is advised if you search these things out. Several have references to fertility rites and may not be suitable for children.  (In fact, some are distasteful in general.)

Here are a couple to start:
A Brief Summary of the Christmas Tree
A Christian Look at a non-Christian Practice

Dispelling Myths about Christmas

Once Upon A Time, There Was a Great King on Earth Named Nimrod.

When Nimrod died, he became the first god-king. Over the years, his name changed as various cultures became powerful. From Babylon, Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece, Rome, the Far East: The Sun God has been reborn every year at the Winter Solstice. It doesn’t matter that the name changed from Mithras to Santa Claus…

Image of Mexican god holding a fir tree in his right hand and a pine cone in his left hand, from http://historical.benabraham.com/html/pine_cone_of_mexican_god.html

“This is all fascinating, but that’s not what it means to me!”

So, here’s the reason for the title of my post.

I’ve been a reader of a homeschool blog, “Anne’s Coffee Break” for about a year or so.  The author, Anne Elliott, has been working on a world history curriculum that uses the Bible as its primary textbook.  Over the course of this year, she has also been spending time reading from the book of Deuteronomy and writing about her discoveries regarding God’s Law in her family’s life.  She goes on to say, “As this Christmas season has approached, my husband and I ‘happened’ to spend some time one Sabbath studying what the Bible says about being holy.”  After further study and some tears, they gathered their children for a few hours and taught them what they had learned.

I’m sure not many of us would have been able to do what the Elliott family did this year – especially after all the preparation had already been done.

She explains that after all the beautiful Christmas preparations were already made this year, that they made a hard decision: to take down the Christmas Tree BEFORE CHRISTMAS!

They didn’t do it because of convenience or timing or traveling out-of-town.  They did it…  Well, here’s a snippet from Anne:

“A few weeks ago, our family set up our beautiful Christmas tree and decorated our home for Christmas. Because of our discussion about holiness and our historical studies, we were aware that Christmas had pagan roots. However, our goal was to use the Christmas season to share the gospel message with as many people as possible, and to take what Satan meant for evil and use it for good.

For instance, we had learned that the fir tree and pine cones were a symbol of fertility, and they were used extensively in evil worship of Nimrod, the sun god, and many other false gods that were patterned after Babylonian Nimrod.

Of course, that was certainly not how we were using the tree in our home! Wasn’t it appropriate to take the beautiful things created by God and “set them apart” again for His worship, rather than allowing Satan to “steal” them?  That was our opinion the day we went to hours of work to beautifully decorate our home for Christmas.”

“That’s not what it means to me!”

Families attempt to bring meaning and purpose to Christmas to teach their children the right things.  We believe that Christmas is all about Jesus and spreading the message of the Gospel.

What if it’s really about something else?

What if all the symbols were fingerprints stamped all over the world throughout history that no one notices or cares about anymore?  Have we gotten complacent and can’t even see the truth?

“Just so. Opening your eyes is all that is needing. The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us…” George R.R. Martin A Game of Thrones, 1996

“It’s all about Jesus and the enemy has been trying to hide the real message from us.”

No Christmas in White House Card

Be not deceived (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Soak this in.

It takes a lot of truth to allow the little lies to take root.

What if God, The Creator of the Universe was offended by our traditions?

“But it doesn’t matter as long as our hearts are sincere.”

From Anne:

“Then God showed us more verses, again from the book of Deuteronomy.

Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains and on the hills and under every spreading tree where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places. You must not worship the LORD your God in their way” (Deuteronomy 12:2-4).

This verse really struck us! God clearly said not to worship Him in the way of the idolatrous nations. Moses had already told God’s people that all the other nations under heaven would worship images like created things, bowing down to the sun, moon, and stars (Deuteronomy 4:15-19). All the other nations would worship images! All! Remember, there are only two religions: Satan’s (from Babylon) and the one, true God, YHWH. That’s it. No other choices!”

Read the whole article here.

I’m not expecting anyone to do what the Elliotts did and take down your Christmas Tree, but I urge you to seek the truth for yourself.  The truth can only do one thing.

Will this change how you celebrate traditional holidays?

In the end, you have to determine some things for yourself.

The message of Peace on earth, goodwill toward men still stands.
Thoughtfulness and kindness to others is all the time, not only once a year.
Rejoice always and thankful of your blessings.

Are you willing to do hard things?

Are you ready to turn around and worship as He wants you to worship Him?

Dig into it. Check everything out. Count the costs.

We should be willing to do as He wants.

Jesus states in John chapter 14: 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

A small thing to do considering what He did for us.

Resources:

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1868506_1868508_1868518,00.html TIME magazine bizarre Christmas facts

http://4ofus.bravehost.com/ChristmasLinks.html Includes links to Facts, Traditions, Songs, Carols, Educational Resources,Activities

http://www.christmas-tree.com/where.html CHRISTMAS TREE TRADITION HAS ANCIENT ORIGINS

http://www.squidoo.com/christmas-lesson-for-homeschool-group Christmas Symbols Lesson Plan created as a two week unit for a homeschool co-op. Act out a nativity play, make edible Christmas trees for family members, sing a Christmas carol, and more.

http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/essays/cot/t0w32christmas.htm An essay donated to hyperhistory.net. Includes Quiz and Bibliography.

http://www.xmarks.com/site/www.athomeschool.com/unitstudy/christmas_symbols_index.html  Several sites bookmarked here with unity studies on Christmas traditions and symbols.

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/christmas/christmas-symbols/ The Origin of Different Symbols of Christmas

http://www.achristmastestimony.kingdomdesignministry.com/christmas-symbols-and-their-meanings Christmas Symbols and their meanings

http://www.divinedinnerparty.com/christmas-tree-meaning.html Christmas Tree Meaning

http://wilstar.com/xmas/xmassymb.htm Symbols and customs of Christmas

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17770/17770-h/17770-h.htm The Project Gutenberg EBook of Christmas Stories And Legends

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