A Classic Christmas, what does that look like? The term classic is subjective. I suppose every one of us could relate what a classic Christmas might be. Mine might be different than yours. When I look at the American culture I have grown up in, there are parts of the Christmas celebration that seem to be universal. All of my friends and family, the people that I associate with at our church, even the other families at the kids’ school seem to be on the same page with me. While that might seem to be a longer disclaimer than normal for taking what is really a harmless stand on the definition of a Classic Christmas, it is because I can’t back it up from some book or other source.
Christmas in the 20th century leveraged all of the power of the US commercial engine. The 50’s, also knows as the happy days, gave us many of the classic Christmas music and traditions of the 20th century. White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, Frosty the Snowman, Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, It’s a Wonderful Life, all contributed to the Classic American Christmas culture.
That’s not all bad! My childhood is full of fond memories watching TV specials drawing me into magical worlds of flying reindeer, talking snowmen, and the Peanuts Gang. Yet that wasn’t the only piece of Christmas for me. I grew up an an extremely Christian home that included daily devotions read from a Bible that was literally falling apart. This Bible had been used for family devotions for generations. My dad used it with great pride, bringing his three sons back into God’s word to find new truths and old. Christmas always meant that God was born.
However, if a young person was raised in a house that didn’t attend regular worship services on a Sunday morning or in the home, this steady diet of classic Christmas stories can dilute the Christian meaning of the season. Very quickly Christmas is only a cultural phenomenon. I first saw this with horror at a Christmas for kids a number of years ago. Fifteen children filled a room in our church and my wife shared the story of Jesus’ birth with an audience who had never hear the story. The kids asked questions. Why shouldn’t they? This was new and confusing. They knew all about a classic Christmas. I praise God that at our church they were able to hear about Jesus birth. You can hear more about a late Christmas gift to a man named Simeon HERE.
Want to hear more? …including how The Twelve Days of Christmas was used as an ancient catechism? Watch this week’s Bible class the fourth in our series, An American Christmas: Classic.
Please click HERE to find the Bible class slides.