cancel Christmas, bah humbug!

“If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’
on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of
holly through his heart. He should!”

Ebeneezer Scrooge

(Alistair Sim as Scrooge)

So I’m currently up to my elbows in bubble wrap…as we continue the overwhelming task of
packing up the house for a move in mid-January.

But despite my current state of distraction, I have managed to hear, read and see the growing
crescendo of rumblings being offered up by various governmental leadership, on both sides of the pond,
all talking about “canceling” Christmas.

Canceling Christmas?


Well it seems that I am not the only one who has heard of these latest
COVID restrictions being mulled over by the various politicians both far and near.


There shall be no collective gatherings—or so they say.

No family get-togethers.
No Midnight mass.
No live nativities.
No shared meals.
No singing.
No caroling.
No parties.
No worship.

So instead of mistletoe and Christmas pageants, there are to be fines, warrants,
and arrests for anyone choosing to defy the Draconian proclamations.
Woe be unto anyone who wants to live out a life full of the depth of holiday cheer
and Christian Joy.

It seems that our friend the Wee Flea, the Pastor David Roberston, hailing
these days from the land down under, has written his latest post about this very notion–
the idea of canceling Christmas.

David even offered up a bit of a history lesson—
Did you know that Christmas was once actually illegal in England?…

“After all was it not Cromwell who banned Christmas?
Not quite…

On 19 December 1643, the English Parliament passed a law encouraging its citizens to treat
the mid-winter period ‘with the more solemn humiliation because it may call to
remembrance our sins, and the sins of our forefathers, who have turned this feast,
pretending the memory of Christ, into an extreme forgetfulness of him,
by giving liberty to carnal and sensual delights’.
From then until 1660, Christmas was actually illegal in England.
In Scotland we banned it from 1640 until 1686.
In fact Christmas was not a public holiday in Scotland until 1958 (unlike New Year) –
Boxing Day in 1974.
We can’t blame Cromwell for that.

I have grown to love Christmas as a great time to reflect upon the incarnation
and to communicate the Gospel.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see –
hail the incarnate Deity.
Yet I also loathe the commercialism, excess and
‘carnal and sensual delights’. Excessive drunkenness,
as well as the declining popularity of the church,
meant that the tradition of midnight Christmas carols, was already becoming less.
Who knows, but Covid may have killed it off?
In St Peter’s in Dundee I introduced a carol service and a Christmas day service –
both were great opportunities for outreach and fellowship.
I suspect McCheyne would not have approved.

But what about this year?
In Sydney, we are debating about whether we can go ahead with outdoor carol services
and get over the ridiculous ban on singing.
In the UK and the US, I suspect the Covid hysteria will be ongoing and
just when they need some Christmas cheer they will be reduced to what
the Scottish Government is calling a ‘digital Christmas’.
It won’t be long before the daily message from politicians includes the
sickly message that Santa is not banned.

But perhaps we can give a different message?
Perhaps churches can ‘reset’ so that we turn Christmas to what it should be –
a celebration of the incarnate God. At a time when churches are being urged
to be less incarnational we can proclaim the one who did not come ‘digitally’,
nor did he die or rise ‘spiritually’.
He came in the flesh.
Pleased as man with man to dwell.
A real baby, with real tears (crying he did make),
in a real world where an unknown number of baby boys were killed in an attempt to get him.
Real angels…real shepherds….a real star…and real glory.
In a world that is governed by misery and fear, we can bring
‘good news of great joy for all the people’.

We should be singing like the angels in the public square…
we should be proclaiming Christ from the rooftops, in our pulpits
and on our digital platforms.
We should be looking at creative ways to engage church,
children and community with the Gospel.
Perhaps some will not be permitted to bring people to church –
but is there any reason why we cannot go out –
by whatever means possible – and, like the angels, take the good news of
‘glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to men on whom his favour rests’?
Instead of churches seeing Christmas as an exhausting burden of endless services,
perhaps we can find a more sustainable way to use this
time to proclaim and glorify Christ.
Maybe even Cromwell would approve of that.

Have Yourself A Merry Cromwellian Christmas – AP

And so I now think about Christmas.

I think about the secular vs the spiritual of Christmas.

I think about what it means to keep Christmas in our hearts.

And so, as Tiny Tim said, “A Merry Christmas to us all;
God bless us, every one!”

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me,
the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience
as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God,
be honor and glory forever and ever.

Timothy 1:15-17

Yes, God bless us each and everyone!!!

26 comments on “cancel Christmas, bah humbug!

  1. Tricia says:

    Great message Julie in this weird and ever depressing time of ours! My state as I’m sure you’ve heard has ordered us to stay home for three weeks which in a sense cancels out any sort of traditional Christmas for those that choose to obey such nonsense. It will be interesting to see how much they try and enforce this.

    Where are you moving too? Sorry if I missed that post, we are on our honeymoon so not online as much.

    • Did y’all get to go somewhere for your honeymoon or did your Governor nix honeymoons as well??
      We are headed over toward Athens— it’s all our son’s fault— he told us they wouldn’t be coming back this way (abbys family is over on that side) so we figured we’d head that way too in order to be closer eventually with the grandkids— we’re currently on 5 acres and the up keep is getting to be more than we enjoy!

      • Tricia says:

        Yup, we made our escape a week ago and are currently enjoying the great and free Florida Keys! Well apart from a ridiculous mask mandate from the fascist mayor here that requires you wear one at all times, even outdoors(which we rarely do). It’s going to be quite the culture shock going from here where we can eat anywhere inside our out and even go to a bar and listen to, gasp, live music, to home where I’m expected to stay on my couch and eat Doritos for the next 3 weeks. Sigh.

        Well good luck with the move! Sounds like the timing is right. You can always hold it over your son’s head forever if it doesn’t turn out well. 😉

      • I’ve always wanted to visit Key West—my aunt, who lived in West Palm Beach, would always go down for New Year’s eve to see the final sunset of the year—I think I would really enjoy doing that this year!!!!!
        I love how Biden is telling us to wear masks for 100 days as a means to corral this virus.
        Funny… Gregory and I both wear the blasted masks, wash our hands, go next to no where—just Publix and Target and we both get the virus.
        So tell me, 100 days of masks will make this all just go away—in the immortal words of IB
        ay yi yi!!!!!

      • Tricia says:

        I know, ay yi yi is right! How are you guys feeling? Ok, I hope?

        100 days of “voluntarY” mask wearing, yeah right, that’ll help lol.

      • Yep, we’re all good — and so I can say that, as a Republican— contrary to common leftist thought, I’ve never doubted there was a virus— I just think a clueless old man whose handlers have to tell him what’s what and who is demanding that a 100 days of mask wearing is going to make it all better is the most stupid thing I’ve heard 😑

      • Tricia says:

        Amen to that my friend!

  2. bcparkison says:

    Maybe…just maybe …we are all in for a move…I have been home sick for a good while and there is talk this Christmas star may be more important than we know. God’s will be done on earth as in Heaven

  3. jeffw5382 says:

    It is interesting to read about how this wondrous event and its celebrations have changed over the years. I am choosing to use the current crisis and human response as an opportunity to reflect more deeply on the miracle and its implications. Started reading The Way to Perfection- St. Teresa of Avila. I am grateful for the internet and my blogging sphere. We are the Church!

  4. says:

    Christmas will not die, no matter what the mandates may be. It does live in our hearts, even as Scrooge admitted after his time travels. “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” No one can take away our joy. Love you, my friend and praying that you have a blessed Christmas even enveloped in bubble wrap.

  5. Frank Hubeny says:

    Good points. I like the association of “cancel Christmas” with Scrooge. May those who want to cancel Christmas be enlightened as Scrooge was. May they meet Jesus on their roads to Damascus like Paul did.

    Cromwell and Scotland were probably trying to move away from the pagan winter solstice festivals, but with our knowledge of astronomy and our homes with central heating I wonder how many today pay attention to the winter solstice? It does not have the spiritual significance that the Incarnation, birth, death and Resurrection of Jesus has.

    • A very interesting observation Frank— I think you are correct -we have lost a good bit of our seasonal innate connection all because of our technology and modern comforts!
      God does draw us back!

  6. LightWriters says:

    Shows us just how closely this all seems to tie into the anti-Christian communist agenda—virus came from there, many of the masks we are forced to wear are made there— Yet, our God laughs at the wicked as we read in the Psalms. He is greater and many will have an opportunity in this ‘crisis’ to think about the true meaning of snd reason for the season. Shalom and Blessed Christmas 🎄♥️🙏

  7. Cancel Christmas, BAH HUMBUG!!!!

    Unfortunately, our kids can’t come now for a White Christmas in Northern Michigan due to travel restrictions. At least we can still ZOOM.

  8. SLIMJIM says:

    I faintly heard someone once said Christmas was banned by Cromwell…well this post confirmed it

  9. […] read two impressive blog posts this past week about Christmas. Julie’s post (CookieCrumbsToLiveBy) associated “cancel Christmas” with Scrooge. Mario […]

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