"We only decorate for the kids. Now that they are gone, I'm not going to do it."
"The grandkids won't be in this year, so we aren't going to decorate. It's just too much trouble."
"It's just me left at home now. Why fool with all of that?"
You have heard it said and so have I. You may have even agreed with the one who said it. (For the record, I may have kept silent, but I NEVER agreed.) You may have even said it yourself. You may even be one who doesn't decorate.
We have probably all heard those who love to talk about how Christmas is really a pagan holiday and it really isn't Jesus' actual birthday anyway, and we are really worshipping trees, and Christmas is just too commercialized now anyway and a true Christian doesn't need decorations--they just need to celebrate the love of God all year round, and on and on it goes.
I find it easy to dismiss all of the above nit-pickiness since I love the atmosphere of the Season. Anything that brings more of a God-awareness to our homes and society is a good thing. I know it probably isn't Jesus' actual birthday, but is that really the point? I know I'm not worshipping the tree, and I know I don't need decorations to celebrate the love of God, so whatever floats your boat, right?
I even felt this way regarding any kind of Christmas decorating. For years, I was of the opinion that it was everybody's individual choice. Whatever they wanted to do--to each his own. I certainly didn't agree, because I simply love Christmas decorations and twinkling lights, but that was my personal preference and I certainly wasn't going to foist it on anybody
However, in the past few years, I have been re-considering.
Because of the fact that festivals were instituted by God himself (see the book of Leviticus and research Old Testament feasts) it is definitely Biblical that we celebrate an event of such importance. Because of the fact that the order and agenda of the festivals were instituted by God himself (again, see the book of Leviticus and research Old Testament feasts) I also feel it is Biblical that we eat, laugh, take off work, and enjoy a few hours/days of special love and bonding in His Name. And, because of the fact that God was even present in the decorating details (see scripture listed at the bottom of this post) I feel that it is probably Biblical that we decorate.
In some fashion. Probably with greens of some sort. Even if you live alone or the grandkids aren't coming home this year. Even if it seems to be a little extra trouble. Even if you aren't very good at it and it turns out to be a little bit tacky.
Not to honor a pagan practice. Not to draw attention to a selfish pursuit. Not to commercialize a sacred, holy event.
But to let Him know that we are celebrating the fact He came. It's His birthday, and we love Him.
I'm not suggesting that anybody make a doctrine out of this post.
I'm just offering my take on an aspect of Christmas that is normally overlooked...
"And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days."