Many Christians have a "problem" with other Christians celebrating Hanukkah. "God never tells us to, so we don’t have to, (or shouldn’t,") is their reasoning. Many somehow see it as "legalistic", though I’m not sure how they ever get that out of it. I don’t know one true Christian who thinks they are saved or more loved by God because they celebrate Hanukkah or any other holiday or DO anything else for that matter. I do know some "pretenders" who think such because they go to church on Christmas.
Yet those that have a disdain for Hanukkah celebrate a holiday that not only was not given by God for us to celebrate, neither was it celebrated by anyone in the Bible (other than the time it happened.)
True, Hanukkah was not a God ordained Feast, but Jesus celebrated it, AND it is full of symbolism pointing to fulfillment in Him! See this post for why I LOVE Hanukkah!
I don’t think it is wrong to celebrate Jesus’ birth. MANY prophecies are fulfilled in it. And it is a MOST joyful thing to celebrate our God becoming Man that He might redeem us. BUT God did not direct us to celebrate His birth, (let alone make the biggest commercial day of the year out of it,) none of Jesus’ followers celebrated it (except at the time of His incarnation), and we know it wasn’t in the middle of December! If we’re going to celebrate it, at least we should do it at the right time of the year. It is simply Christ-Mass, a mixture of pagan winter solstice with Christ.
I actually heard a "Christian" radio announcer say that we need to find ways to keep Jesus the center of Christmas (good idea) and that her mom had found a way to do that all year. "Don’t take down the tree." WHAT????!!!!! You keep Jesus the center by focusing on a tree all year???!!! How about you focus on Jesus by getting away from all the man-centered trappings that have nothing to do with the incarnation of GOD?! But no we create post facto symbolism so we feel good about what we are doing.
How do I deal with Christmas? I see it as a time of outreach. It is a time when people who don’t have much to do with Jesus all the rest of the year show their "Christian" warm fuzzies. It is a time they are more open to talk about Jesus, which can open doors for us to share the Truth.
It is also a time when many Christians celebrate Jesus’ incarnation, truly worshipping Him (though with a bunch of worldly trappings usually). Although I think the whole idea is silly, I don’t fault them for wanting to celebrate Him. I think God has given us a better idea, but I’ll save that for another day/month. 🙂
I don’t have a problem with giving gifts or decorations or festive parties and meals. I have a problem with thinking this is "celebrating Jesus," that we need a "tree" to celebrate Jesus’ birth, or lights, or gifts or whatever. Have a celebration! Go all out. Do it as to Him! But don’t try to say all these things are about or for Him or His "birth". Do I think Christ should be left out of Christmas? Absolutely not!! I think Christ-Mass should be left out of Christ! And that He should be the center of everything everyday!
Dd16 said today, "People always say, ‘It’s not about getting, it’s about giving.’ and ‘We give gifts because the wise men gave gifts to Jesus.’ That is so wrong. It IS about getting! It’s about God giving and us getting. It’s NOT about wise men giving gifts to Jesus. It’s about God giving Jesus!"
"Out of the mouths of babes" Matt. 21:16
Celebrate Christ! Keep Jesus the center and all-in-all of all your celebrations! Celebrate the fact that God GAVE! The rest can all be left off and it will still be "Christmas".