Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is Christmas A Nuisance?

"I feel exactly as you do about the horrid commercial racket they have made out of Christmas. I send no cards and give no presents except to children." C.S. Lewis, Letters To An American Lady.
I was shocked to learn that C.S. Lewis was somewhat of a Scrooge when it came to Christmas.  Specifically, in his collection of essay, God in the Dock, he decries Christmas as a nuisance.

I suppose in some sense he is right.  If Christmas is limited to its secular purposes then it is no more than a Federal holiday or worse, a commercial racket.  And truthfully, it is easy to get caught up in a “meaningless” Christmas with all the “duties” that come with Christmas between shopping for mostly needless gifts, dutifully spending time with family whom many would not like to spend time with outside of Christmas (note to my family, this certainly does not apply to you. I can think of no people I would rather spend time with.).

I hope instead this Christmas and every Christmas is one of deep meaning.  I hope you are able to reflect on the love that Jesus showed you by emptying himself and become man.  I hope find time to reflect on the hope that we have, a hope that is certain because of Jesus’ incarnation.  I hope you are able to consider the peace that Jesus offers us because of his life.  I hope you experience joy in knowing the depth of His love for you.  May this joy, peace, love, and hope of this season fill you full such that you are able to extend it to those in your life.

If we do not focus on such things, then C.S. Lewis is right… Christmas is a nuisance.


  1. At the same time, Lewis advocated for a joy that was consistent throughout the year. And in "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" describes our pre-Christ existence as "always winter and never Christmas". The commercial holiday is certainly a nuisance, but the Spirit is very much life-giving.

  2. Each year I am more and more grateful that my parents did not celebrate Christmas with the overabundance of 'things' and commerciality that Christmas has become. Christmas was a quiet time to come to peace and reflect on, mainly, family, and remembering why we celebrate Christmas at all. Token presents were given, but they were more of an afterthought, rather than the main event. When I see how commercial it is these days, and how some children associate it only with lots of sweets and a surfeit of presents, I am sad.