I know that when one puts up their Christmas tree can be a source of controversy. Not like there are other sorts of more important controversies out there or anything.
A lot of people are in the "Not till after Thanksgiving!" camp and I get that. I think it's out of a desire to protect Christmas from over commercialization. That's a noble desire indeed.
For our family however, we don't feel like one month is long enough. In the first place, it's usually a bit of an effort to put everything up, so why go through that just to pull it down in 4 weeks!? But secondly, we like the tradition of being able to enjoy all that our Christmas tree stands for during this time of year. So, this leads to us usually putting our tree up in early November.
And when we do there are four things we like to draw attention to when we put up our tree. I share these things not to try and say you have to do it this way but hopefully to give you some ideas on intentionality in your Christmas celebration.
I love being intentional about making Christmas point to Christ. What an astounding truth that God most high clothes Himself in human flesh to dwell among us! So, here are 4 things we focus on when putting up our tree:
"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:24
The most wonderful news about God becoming man is that He came to do something about our sin problem. And this was accomplished though Christ's death on a cross made of wood. We use the Christmas tree to help us remember this.
2. The Tree is an Evergreen. Jesus is eternal and so is His kingdom.
There have been various reasons given for the origin of the 'Christmas Tree' but we use the fact that it is an evergreen to help us think rightly about Jesus' eternality and the everlastingness of His rule and reign.
3. Jesus is the light of the world and Believers are called to be lights too.
It's a beautiful sight to see your Christmas tree all lit up. Our children especially are captivated by it. We use it to remind them (and us) that Christmas is about hope. A light in the darkness. The days are shorter this time of year and physical darkness seems to be winning. But just as the lights on the tree shed more light in our living room, so to does Jesus shed light in this spiritually dark world. And as His followers our light should point to Him.
4. God is faithful
We don't do a 'themed' tree. Rather, every year we buy an ornament or a few and write the date on them. This is something I had when I was a child. So, we have a tree with ornaments that are nearly 30 years old. There's often fun conversation and memories as we put up ornaments together. We remember where we got them and the story behind them.
What we've told our kids about this process is that this is a reminder of God's faithfulness to our family over the years. How He has blessed us and shown His kindness to us year after year.
Nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to celebrate Christmas. But I do think it's a wonderful time to focus on God's incarnation and to share in the blessings, fun, and traditions of family. The point of this post is to help us think intentionally about pointing our children to Jesus through the holidays. Don't let the world take this celebration from us! Don't let the false god of materialism be who is really worshiped this time of year!
Christ is King. O come let us adore Him.