Welcome to Hank’s Place
Are you troubled by the merchandizing, the manipulation, the greed and excess of the Christmas season? Don’t be! Here is a little history.
Pope Julius I in 320 designated Dec 25th as a holy day – to counteract the excesses of the Saturnalia celebrations in Europe dating from pre-Jesus times. The edict – didn’t work. People enjoyed their revelry and celebrations, choosing to repent afterwards.
Now fast forward to Puritan England in the 1600’s with Oliver Cromwell. He came into power by promising to eliminate Christmas celebrations, and he did! Afterward, King Charles II’s party came into power by promising to make Christmas as wicked as before. And they did!
Get this: most genuine Christians of the time loathed Christmas, considering it an instrument of the devil for sin. When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in 1620, they outlawed Christmas. There were no church celebrations, businesses were ordered open and anyone caught celebrating was subject to arrest and fines. And that’s the way it was in America – for over 200 years. In fact Congress continued to meet on Christmas Day up to 1856.
However, over time outrageous Christmas revelry began to re-emerged in America.
THEN – in 1822 “T’was the Night Before Christmas” was written by Clement Clark Moore and for the first time Christmas was seen in America as a joyous holiday for children. Christmas as a joyous family affair appeared on the scene – with gusto.
THEN – in 1834 Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” and Christmas in England was never the same. The crushing dehumanizing industrial revolution had to give place and time to consider the wonder of the birth and life of a Savior. Jesus was making an appearance of sorts back into Christmas in England, then America!
There’s more, but gradually over the rest of the century, joy, family, giving, and worship replaced pagan debauchery, lewdness, revelry and drunkenness in both countries.
What about gifts, you ask? Glad you asked! The tradition of gift giving, at first a simple and modest gesture, exploded in America following “The Night Before Christmas.” Merchants, sensing great opportunity, placed Santa everywhere and people quickly adjusted their celebrations to include him. And spending. A lot of spending.
“Put Christ back into Christmas?” Historically – in America – that’s not very accurate. He was not officially in those Christmas’s of early America, and A Christmas Carol was quickly overstepped by ol’ Santa Claus and extravagant gifting.
But don’t YOU to be depressed my friend! YOU make the difference – why not make your own celebration of Christmas as true believers have done for ages? Put Jesus into YOUR Christmas. Hey! Don’t you see Him in the wreath, the evergreens, the candles, the tree?
BEST OF ALL share JESUS with others – JESUS – the Greatest Gift of all! You can – and as you do, many will hear – and they will COME ALIVE!
M e r r y C h r i s t m a s from Hank’s Place !
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