We’re in the Christmas spirit at the Credo House. We probably have the world’s largest fake tree proudly decorated to the max inside. I’m not kidding, it’s over 20 feet tall! We’re serving all sorts of Christmas season special coffee drinks. Our St. Nicholas frappuccino is flying off the shelf. The other day I was sipping on our egg nog Latte, listening to Christmas music bounce off the Credo walls, watching Elf playing on our largest flat screen t.v. when one of our baristas walked in the door for his shift. This barista is probably our most “hipster” of all our baristas. I love this guy.

He came up to me with a look on his face I hadn’t seen before. It reminded me of the look that must have been on the face of Jesus when He said, “How long must I be with these people?” Our barista surprised me by his question. He said, “Are we really going to be playing Christmas music all month?”

I must admit I was taken back a little bit. I responded, “Probably.” Once again I got the, “How long must I remain with these people?” look. In an instant my mind was filled with other times in my life where I’ve encountered scrooges in training. We can all be scrooges in training. Here are several ways we can be too cool for Christmas:

1. Too Unique for Christmas

I think our barista fell into this category. No one wants to feel like they’re just a 9-digit social security number. Out of the 7 billion people on the planet we each want to be valued for our individual worth. It’s easy to get into the mindset, “If other people like it I don’t.” If everyone loves a certain musical artist, I’ll find an indie group no one has ever heard of. If everyone loves a certain team, I’ll set myself apart by being too unique to lower myself to the bandwagon. If everyone wears a certain style of clothing, I’ll differentiate myself with an eclectic wardrobe. I want people to remember my unique contribution to the world.

The people in this group continually think, “I am unique and need to stay that way in all areas of life.” If millions of people love Christmas, not me. I’m out, give me a break. I’m too cool for Christmas.

The problem with this mindset is Jesus. Jesus is the unique One. Do you know any other God-mans? Do you know anyone else who invites you to be adopted into the family of God? Do you know anyone else who bids you to throw your life away and take His life. And it is truly an upgrade? If you want to set yourself apart, follow the only God-man who has ever stepped foot on this planet. Christmas is the only time when the arrival of Jesus rightfully takes center stage. Don’t be too unique for Christmas.

2. Too Old for Christmas

If we aren’t careful we will all start thinking Christmas is just for kids. Yes, I’m planning this coming Saturday on taking my three little kids to sit on the lap of Santa. Did you know he’s going to be at Quail Springs Mall in Oklahoma City, OK? My kids are so excited they can barely see straight.

My two year old daughter screams every time we’re driving around at night and she sees a house with Christmas lights up. She’ll say, “Lights! Dad! Lights! Dad!” as loud as she can until I acknowledge her. Then 5 seconds later we drive by another house and it starts all over.

I can become calloused by my kids exuberance for Christmas. Yeah, I was that excited when I was little too. My innocence, however, is gone. I now know how much those presents cost. I’m just too old for Christmas.

Let’s not get caught up in that thinking. Yes, I’m not as innocent as my children. Lights on a house don’t cause me to scream. I know, however, about the true darkness of the world more than my 2 year old. I know what it’s like to feel like your world has gone dark. I should appreciate the Light of the World more than my kids. God has filled my neighborhood with houses shining light. For 30+ days I will drive past and be reminded of the bright light of Jesus. My worship is not as external as my little Gracie’s screams, but it should be deeper and filled with more lasting joy. Don’t be too old for Christmas.

3. Too Smart for Christmas

These are the people who will bring up everything they can to make you feel dumb for celebrating Christmas. Do you know Jesus wasn’t really born on December 24th? Do you know Christmas just replaced a pagan holiday? Go ahead, if you want to be a simpleton, celebrate with the rest of the pagans.

Can you imagine a person laying prostrate on their face before their God on December 24th. They cannot believe that the Creator would step into His creation. They cannot believe He would leave paradise to become a being with bowel movements. They are undone that He chose to die on a cross to rescue my soul for God. They are praying, “Jesus, thank you for coming tonight! Thank you for stepping into my world tonight!”

Do you think God would summon Gabriel and say, “Hey Gabriel, check this out, this idiot thinks all this actually happened on December 24th. What a joke.” I’m pretty sure the Lord doesn’t mind a world in worship on December 24th.

4. Too Christian for Christmas

This mindset is unfortunately pretty common. If we aren’t careful those who walk with the Lord every day will get mad at people who come to church at this time. We can start hating Christmas because our usual parking spot at church is taken by some submarine Christian. This is a Christian who only surfaces for Christmas and Easter.

We’ll also start hating Christmas because of Santa Claus. As I’ve been studying the Council of Nicea more this past year I’ve really come to love Saint Nick. I’m actually really thankful for the prominence of Santa Claus during this time of year. Why? Because he’s easily redeemable. Saint Nick loved Jesus so much that he secretly gave gifts to poor kids around him. Any parent can turn that into a teachable moment.

Saint Nick was also a very passionate follower of Christ. Did you know Santa Claus was at the Council of Nicea? As Arius was trying to get the world to believe that Jesus was a creature, St. Nick firmly believed Him to be the Creator. Santa Claus got so ticked off at the irreverence of Arius, he actually slapped Arius in the face! For 30 days we get to be surrounded by such a great mentor. How can you hate Santa Claus? Make him a teachable moment and it’ll be 30 days of excellent Christology. Now the Easter bunny is an entirely different thing.

Don’t be too Christian for Christmas.

5. Too Hurt for Christmas

Many people, justifiably so, feel like they’re too hurt for Christmas. Counselors will agree that there’s a spike in people visiting offices surrounding the holiday season. For many people the Christmas season is a season of pain.

I do not quickly discount your pain. I only want to remind you of certain realities. It is by the stripes of Jesus that we are healed. Jesus is the only solution available to the human race which will ease the deepest hurt. He asked humanity, “Are you weary and heavy laden?” When the answer is yes, his response is, “Come to me and find rest for your soul.” If Christmas is a time of hurt, my prayer for you is for this season to be a month-long reassurance to you of the hope that can be found in the middle of hurt.

Please don’t be too Cool, Unique, Old, Smart, Christian or Hurt for Christmas.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    14 replies to "Too Cool for Christmas"

    • Jason

      Good post, but that is actually a myth that suicide is higher during Christmas. It is lower.


      • Ed Kratz


        Thanks for the heads up. Someone actually told me that and even mentioned the credible source they got it from. It’s been edited out.

        thanks again,

    • Ed Kratz

      Who was that someone?

    • Donnie

      Great post. When I teach on Sunday, I endeavor to be celebratory, but as a UPS driver I seem to loose perspective every Christmas. Ironically, I’m “too busy making Christmas happen” for Christmas. About 20:00 HRS Dec. 24 each year, I realize it. Thanks for the early reminder.

    • P.Paulraj

      Here are some facts about Christmas! Many of the traditions we associate with “Christmas” (Christ Mass) did not originate with Christianity. Christmas as well as Easter has come to us from ancient Babylon, through Rome and through the Roman Catholic Church. The pagan holiday “Saturnalia” was the holiday celebrated in Rome on the 25thDecember. December 25 became recognized as Christmas day because it provided a Christian alternative to pagan festivals related to the Roman god Saturn. It is true that Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th. Nativity Scene, Christmas Tree, Santa Claus, free flow of liquor during ‘Christ Mass’ are idolatrous and injure the mind of a weaker brother and mislead the children. We have been commanded to celebrate to remember Christ’s death and not His birth. Nevertheless the Bible says, “One man esteems one day above another; another esteems everyday alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regards the day, regards it unto the Lord; and he that regards not the day, to the Lord he does not regard it. He that eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he that eats not, to the Lord he eats not, and he gives God thanks” (Romans 14: 5 & 6) The fact that two thousand years ago pagans happened to be praising false gods on the same day may be irrelevant to the believer today, just as the fact that a pagan in Paul’s day worshipped an idol while butchering an ox meant nothing when the apostle bought the meat from that ox. Let us celebrate Christmas in a way that is pleasing to God and let no idols of any kind keep us from giving Him praise and worship! Twenty centuries have come and gone and today Jesus Christ is the central figure of the human race. No one in history has affected the lives of people on this earth as much as this one Solitary Life, Jesus Christ. I salute those who do not celebrate Christmas, because they are RIGHT!Have a great Holiday! I salute those who celebrate Christmas, thanks to Romans 14: 5 & 6!Happy Christ’s Birthday!

    • Steve Grove

      So, when we are driving around at night it is my wife who claps and says, “Christmas lights! Christmas lights!”

      I think we should pick a date in late September that we think best celebrates the nativity and make it a day of celebration of the Incarnation. We could call it “cruciformity”, or “cruciformiday” or something kenotic.

      I also agree there is so much in Christmas that can be teachable moments and remeindeers (get it? reindeers?) for both kids and adults – Remember that the wood of the cradle rubs up against the wood of the cross. The tree – the cross; Candy canes – red and white for sins washed clean, angels bearing Good News, Presents and the free gift of salvation, Christmas lights and the heavenly host saying “Peace on earth…”, stars and the journey of the magi, etc. It is good to celebrate with family and friends. We need to do more of it.

    • cherylu

      T D Webb,

      Thank you for sharing that beautiful poem!

    • LUKE1732

      How about “Too Early for Christmas”? This is a genuine excuse for a little scrooginess.

      You know that song – The Twelve Days of Christmas – it’s about December 25 through January 6. That’s the Christmas season.

      Why not celebrate a Christian Advent instead of the secular Holiday Shopping Season?

      And then, celebrate a proper Christ’s Mass and avoid the temptation to throw the Christmas tree into the dumpster on December 26!

    • N. Malher

      Great post. Thoughtful, heartfelt. Something for everyone, yet focused on Christ, above everything. Are we not celebrating God’s love-gift for “all”? All God wants is our love, and for us to share that love with the world. Merry Christmas to ALL! (Even if you do not believe, God believes in you.)

    • videos cristianos

      Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated generally on December 25 as a religious and cultural holiday. People usually forget what we are celebrating, evenmore most of them forget at all about Jesus, and replace him by santa claus “a false belief” a gifts, but what a bout Jesus, what about love. We must turn to Christ, turn to God, thanks

    • Steve Grove

      So, have you heard of churches planning to cancel their Christmas morning service because it is Christmas Day? It seems to me to be the height of irony to cancel church on “Jesus’ Birthday”.

      So, if the 12 days after Christmas are what we should celebrate, wouldn’t that be “postvent”? Or are we “waiting” for the Magi and the epiphany to our advent-age?

    • Saskia

      Now, advent – this is something I have learnt at my new church that blew my mind cos I never knew it before:
      Advent is actually a season where we not only think about Christ’s first coming, but more importantly it is a time when we focus on Christ’s second coming and the Day. Isn’t that cool? The twelve days of Christmas are feast days where we celebrate the incarnation, after having fasted for the whole of advent in preparation and remembrance of Jesus’ great glory and His coming judgement of the whole world.
      This is why at least in Anglican churches all the set readings over advent are about judgement and the end times.
      Puts a new slant on Christmas hey??

    • […] Too Cool For Christmas by Tim Kimberly […]

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