Christmas Blogging Day 5: Secular and Christian Traditions

This is the box-style advent calendar I made for my family. Inside the scriptures are wrapped like a present and opened each day. I usually hid a small piece of candy for the kids. The boxes are big enough that if we have guests over I can slip in a few extra candies.

This is a bit of a touchy subject! Even some of my Christian friends still do Santa with their kids. I won’t. That’s not to say I won’t be getting photos with Santa or banning my daughter from watching Christmas movies that have Santa in them, but I won’t be allowing her to assume her presents came from a jolly fat man who lives in the North Pole. Christmas remains Christ-focused in our family, but I won’t be telling anyone else’s kids that Santa isn’t real.

That being said we do still keep a lot of traditions that considered non-Christian, or secular. Getting a tree, putting up ornaments, and eating too many cookies are all things that fall into the realm of secular traditions. It’s not just Santa and his Elves! If you find yourself wondering, “Why do we even do this?” it may be a secular tradition that doesn’t really have anything to do with Christ’s birth. You may even find that some traditions were created by false marketing claims, such as putting a Christmas pickle on the tree. True story! 

Some of the traditions we keep that are specifically Christian are following Advent. Advent is simply a word used to describe the arrival of an important person. In this case, you may hear many Christians talking about Advent celebrations or traditions. We are simply celebrating each day that leads up to Christmas, which is the day we celebrate Christ’s birth. We make a point to read scripture leading up to that day which pertains to the story of Mary and Joseph as they travel to Bethlehem for the census.

Many people get an Advent Calendar to follow the story. Some have windows that open revealing a small candy and a verse on the inside panel. Other calendars just have verses. (There are even advent calendars for Santa with candy or a small toy.) In church, we light a candle for each week leading up to Christmas. My family also has our own candle set to follow this in our home.

When it comes to Christian and Secular traditions, Christmas has been filled with both for a long time. I don’t want to start a Santa or no Santa debate, but I do believe minding your own business on this one is probably the best choice. I don’t know of anyone who was messed up by not being lied to about where the presents came from, and I don’t know anyone who was traumatized by finding out Santa isn’t real.

Where does your family stand on these traditions? Are you growing as a Christian and starting to realize the meaning behind Advent and the Nativity Story?

Advent Day 5

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

Luke 30-31 KJV

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