This week I have been doing some reading on the history of Christmas. I have again been reminded of how quickly something can become a hard and fast tradition for us. As I have said before -- traditions can be very good. They are anchors of security in a chaotic world. And Christmas is one of those beautiful traditions.
But did you know that the celebration of Christmas (as the birth of Jesus) was actually outlawed by the Puritans. And while the tradition of Santa Claus goes back to a monk from the third century (Saint Nicholas), our idea of Santa Claus really came to being through the famous poem, "The Night Before Christmas," by Clement Clarke Moore (1822). It was originally titled "A Visit from Santa Claus."
As quickly as our culture is evolving, it would be entirely possible that Christmas as we have known it for all our lives will look quite different in another generation. Even now, this time of year is known as "Winter Break" or "the Holiday Season." The word "Christmas" is used less and less. I would hate to see that happen. Because my appreciation for Christmas continues to grow more and more. As our culture is moving toward the removal of "Christ" from Christmas, I am realizing that Jesus REALLY IS the reason for the season.