My first “bitter-sweet memory” of Christmas is of my foster home in Germany in the early Fifties. We were so impoverished, we barely had enough food to survive in our three-room shack that lacked running water and electricity. My foster parents (with whom I lived until I was almost 9, when my natural mother snatched me out of my poor but happy home) always made Christmas enjoyable for me, with hand-me-down gifts and cookies that Mama baked just for the occasion, and a tree they had cut from nearby woods, made alive with candles.
Any “happy” memories about Christmas ended the day I learned that “der Weinachtsmann” (Santa Claus) was a myth. That was when I first realized you can’t trust parents to always tell you the truth! I think the disappointment in my face was one of the things that spurred my foster mother on to eventually admit she and Papa weren’t my “real” parents – which further drove home the point that life HURT and people couldn’t be trusted. It hurt to know that my “real” mother gave me away to be raised by strangers! (I later learned there were two other kids she had also given away.) Regardless, I was a happy child in the knowledge that my foster parents truly did love me and they did everything they could to spoil me rotten, despite their lot in life.
Four years later, a couple of strangers – a man wearing an American soldier uniform and a “painted woman” - strolled down the dirt lane and, without warning, snatched me out of my happy foster home and tossed me into the back of a big, American car (I had never ridden in a car before!), where I discovered they were my natural mother and her new husband. Turns out, “Mother” (who I much later discovered was an alcoholic prostitute) HAD to retrieve me from my foster home because she was unable to leave Germany with her new husband who was being transferred back to the United States – Fort Carson, CO, to be exact. (That is where I learned English.) And oh yes, her new husband – well, he was a raving pedophile, a terrible, mean-spirited man who sexually abused me from the age of 9 until 14 when my mother left him to marry someone else. (And no, she never knew…I was too terrified to tell on him.)
Fast forward through all the Christmases I spent with her until the age of 16 when I ran away from home, and you’ll understand why Christmas is “bitter-sweet” for me – more bitter than sweet, actually! Christmas often found my mother inebriated, getting into physical fights and/or arguments with her latest boyfriend or husband (she was married 8 times before she died at the age of 45). My mother was Jewish through her mother (whom she hated, because her mother was the one who forced her into prostitution in her early teens), but she didn’t adhere to Judaism. From what I could tell, she didn’t believe in God, period – and her lifestyle proved it. I wasn’t able to forgive her until the day she died, when it dawned on me that, in spite of everything she had done in her life and the misery she had forced on me as a result of her decisions, she was still my mother. ”Accident” or not, she did give birth to me….
When I joined the Army after high school in 1969, I was elated to think ALL my problems were over with, and life would be a “bowl of cherries” from then on. WRONG! Satan knows how to keep you on that merry-go-round from which you can’t escape, and not only was my life constantly in a state of chaos (because, like my mother, I didn’t know how to have relationships, either); but because I was perpetually “single” most of the time, I ended up “pulling CQ” and other miscellaneous duties during the Christmas holidays, so that married folks could spend time with their families. Now, mind you, I didn’t HAVE to do it, but I have a soft heart and was easily persuaded by my married co-workers….
I do have one happy memory of Christmas and that was in my early years in the Army while stationed at Fort McClellan, AL, working at the Staff Judge Advocate’s office. A co-worker, a sweet old lady named Mary, was surprised to see I wasn’t taking Christmas vacation and when she asked me why, I told her the truth: I had no place to go and no one to spend the holidays with. Well, the next day, I came into work to discover my whole desk filled with presents, with a note from “Santa” that said: “Dear Carmen, I’m sorry I’m late but I got caught in a snowstorm.”
I never cried in those days, but I’m sure Mary could see how grateful I was to have SOMEONE care about me! YHWH allowed me to “pay it forward” many years later when I was acquainted with someone in my church who constantly gave her all, but her selfish grown children didn’t think enough of her to give her anything for Christmas….By that time I REALLY hated Christmas because of the endless sorrow it seemed to bring.
Anyway, when I found Torah, I discovered that you rarely (if ever) saw anyone becoming depressed or committing suicide over any of the Biblical Feasts - mainly because they are all about YHWH/Yeshua/Torah! Every single mo’ed (even Hannukah, which is NOT one of the mo’edim) consists of prayers honoring YHWH! It’s all about HIM, not us! (You tend to not become depressed when your focus is on your Creator!) But Christmas…well, Christmas is simply NOT biblical. And for me, that is a huge relief, because I would hate to think that YHWH was the cause of my lifetime of misery during “that time of the year.”
Yes, there it is in a nutshell: Christmas is NOT biblical! Reason Number One: Y’shua was NOT born in December; He was born on the first day of Sukkot (Tabernacles) which falls in the September/October timeframe on our Gregorian calendars! While Christmas is supposed to be about “Jesus” is it really? Turn on your TVs between late September, all the way into January when the “after Christmas sales” begin, and you’ll see what the REAL idea behind Christmas is! Sure, many devout Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, and that’s great – but why won’t they celebrate it on the ACTUAL date on which He was born…a date YHWH would approve of (even though Scripture never tells us to celebrate His birth, in the first place)? It’s because Christmas in December is a TRADITION, that’s why! It’s “fun for the kids!” (Please see my meme.)
Reason Number Two: The “three Wise Men” didn’t give presents to each other; they gave them to Y’shua. We supposedly give presents to each other because of the “gift” God gave to mankind…but what has that really turned into, and why do so many “go into debt” at this time? “Debt” goes against Scripture - Romans 13:8; Psalm 37:21, Proverbs 28:8; Matthew 25:27; Leviticus 25:35-38!
Reason Number Three: At Y’shua’s birth there was no “Santa” flying in his reindeer-driven sled to deliver presents to Y’shua or anyone else; he is yet ANOTHER “tradition”! Not only is “Santa” a tradition, but he’s one of the first LIES we tell our children – and lying is a SIN, no matter how one wishes to justify it….I will NEVER forget how I felt when I discovered Santa was a myth! Well, rather than to list all the things that are wrong with Christmas, I’ll simply post my two articles which outline the reasons: The problem with Christmas and Christmas is unbiblical on several levels.
I pray that during this “holiday season” many will open their eyes to YHWH’s Divine Instructions in Righteousness, and choose to start OBEYING Him. He has amply outlined in His Torah who He is, who His Messiah is, and what He expects of HIS people. It’s ALL ABOUT HIM and His relationship with us! He didn’t send His Divine Son to die so that we could have the” grace” to ignore Torah. Y’shua died to cleanse us of our PAST sins - Halleluyah! Y’shua will be returning soon to find – what? – myriads who aren’t paying attention to the Divine Commands which include the keeping of the Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts/mo’edim. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Please think about this: If we don’t obey YHWH, then WHOM are we really worshiping?