Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People
Stacey, thanks for your note. It might interest you that a major U.S. study found that many people view the extended family element of simply getting together during traditional holidays of higher importance over actually observing the “religious” aspect of Christmas (or Easter), which may explain the conflict you’re facing. The study, summarized in the book “The Presence of the Past” (Columbia University Press), showed that “what mattered was the gathering of families, not the official content of each [Xmas or Easter] holiday.” Accordingly, finding alternative ways to strengthen family ties or express respect for family members apart from the biblically contrary practices of Christmas may reduce the conflict you describe. Many people don’t care about the religious element – they want the important memories associated with families gathering renewed in a pleasant and happy context. Appropriately honoring parents and families (away from pagan practices) is in line with the keeping of of the fifth commandment, so let your family members know you very much care about them, regardless of the holiday.