Thursday, December 26, 2013

The War on Christmas edited by Bodie Hodge

The War on Christmas was a book I received from Handlebar Publishing. This is an interesting book, as it addresses many concepts of Christmas within the Christian tradition. When I first received it, I imagined it to be about pagan culture and how it is attempting to remove the traditional idea of Christmas from society. In some ways, I was right. It does discuss cultural ideas and issues Christians may deal with while celebrating Christmas. But it does much more than that. The book begins with the concept of Christmas itself and why it is important. There is a lot of history in the book to remind us of the origins of Christmas. Overall, it reminds us that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ, regardless of any other associations we may have with the holiday. Culture often overshadows the purpose of Christmas. Sometimes even Christians are known for focusing solely on Christ's birth, rather than His entire purpose. Christmas, as any other day, should be a time for gratitude, reflection, and acknowledgement of the Christ. It is much more than His birth. It is a celebration of His willingness to be a sacrifice for us, and to come to earth in the form of an infant in order to fulfill His purpose. The book walks through many of Christmas's traditions and gives the history and explanations for them. For example, the book discusses the date of Christmas and why it is celebrated in December. This book also discusses other parts of the Christmas tradition, such as the wise men, the manger, and whether or not X-mas is an appropriate way to write Christmas. The book did seem repetitive at times, and sometimes asked questions in an attempt to move the narrative forward. Overall, though, the information made me examine my celebration of Christmas more deeply. It made me stop and reflect on my motives during this time of year, and helped me focus on Christ as the purpose of celebration. I think it is a worthy read.

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