A highlight from How to Christmas with Dr. Perry Downs

OC Talk Radio


How to christmas if i asked you to. Tell me about how you do christmas. I bet you'd start telling me about family. Traditions decorations scheduled for opening presents. Typical attendance at church services and stuff like that right now. You wanna tell me about the lights. You've put up in the midst of the pandemic in who can't travel to see whom and we are so far afield. We can't see the baby through the pine needles. But before i send you on a guilt trip which is just too easy to do. I want to ask more thoughtful question. How should we do christmas. If we want to have anything to do with the founder in my not so humble opinion anything we do regularly can get distorted by the familiarity which loves to breed contempt. Christmas comes around every year whether we like it or not. But why why is this something. We're celebrating or is it. When i was a new christian i went through what i jokingly referred to as the jehovah witness stage of questioning every tradition which is not explicitly commanded in the bible. Just because something is a tradition. Doesn't make it go to right right. If you've ever been willing to talk to a jehovah witness knocking on your door. They will explain. Why birthdays and holidays aren't worth celebrating. They may have a point. So why is the church determined for two thousand years the wrong in the holy in holy day for the birth of jesus and we like and here what can we do to put the holy into our christmas. How can we learn more about the one. Where celebrating. How can we teach our children and grandchildren. In such a way that they don't fall prey to the consumer a secularists the cynical communists or the grasping pagans in the midst of their winter festivals and chili sauces. They answered this question. We've asked back. Dr perry downs a former professor of christian education at trinity evangelical divinity school the alma mater of your host. He's real practical a foster parent over thirty blessed children and just real enough to be worth listening to welcome back to church shirts and dr perry downs. Thank you john. I really appreciate being here with you. Pair you know. I like to jump into theory. But let's just to. Which your favorite christmas memory i have to. I think i would share with your one is Just from my own childhood in that is the the wonderment of krista christmas morning Because it was all about senate and presents you know i remember getting up in the morning and seeing the tree always presence and our family tradition was. You could not open anything until parents got up and then we had to have breakfast. And then we'd come back and have to sit and look at the tree at how beautiful it was looking at all the presence of i. Finally we just do that to drive us nuts. You know we wanna do is a double backflip into the presents under the tree. We rotated around took them one at a time. But it's just it's really such joyful memories for me of my childhood in the northeast right so you probably had snow and stuff like that during christmas. Yeah i dropped. Grew up in connecticut so we would. we'd have snow quite quite a bit and so it was. It was quite quite magical The other memory though i have is With the foster kids we had twin boys. We got a two and a half years of age and Were the home been in into a half years so they had zero stability whatsoever and in fact what we did when we got them you know we forgot how in the world that we get control of his and we decided on one rule we've had one role of family and that was it and the rule was you will never guess was. We don't bite each other because they did all the time. And so my wife had The hand puppet with big teeth and the puppet would bite her on the arm and then she her finger at the pump and say no no no in this family. We don't bite and that's we'd hear them. You know. find doing that to another. No no no family. We'd don't bite and so that's how will you know. We had to do to get control of the first christmas. They never seen anything like it. and They came down christmas morning and saw his presence and set them. We gave them their gifts in the first gifts that they opened with with were rubber boots. They'd never had boots was wintertime. And so we got him boots and they went nuts over the boots. Put him on over there. Pajamas wanted to go outside. Walk in the snow and we couldn't get them back to understand you have more presence dolphin because that was beyond their comprehension but you watch the wonder and the joy those little guys you know it was. It was amazing. And i'll tell you now that they both have masters degrees ones working on his phd. Wow yeah and they came out of health. Isn't it hard not to in with a church context and that's what we deal with. Church zand the whole church and the fact that oftentimes it hurts. And i think one of the things that potentially can hurt predicted you utah in a conservative seminary. And there's the issue of those saying you know Santa's iffy i mean santa's getting in the way of the message of christmas and that has really such a divide because there are people who are here that and just roll their eyes and say you are really a freak. I mean really to even ask that question How did you deal with with santa in christian household when you're teaching other people how to teach about jesus. I can go on for a long time on this. But alex tell you that what we do. We really wrestled with that. Because there are people that said if you teach your kids santa's real and then later on they find out he's not real then they're gonna think well jesus. Is it really either. Well i think that's way too simplistic i think. Kids are pretty good at sorting. Make play from real but what we did with. My kids were little. We told them one time that we have a game that we play at christmas time in santa and we pretend that santa claus comes and brings presents and stuff and it's a really fun game and so that's what we did. You know we just. We pretended but we never reinforce it. After that we just talked about. You gotta get to bed cassandra's coming tonight. And they threw themselves into a loved it but knew in the background. It really wasn't true but as as kids got older i got we develop a tradition. Where i got really. I used to get grumpy about santa cova because it made such a mess. There were all these stupid presence. And all this wrapping paper you know. So i try to talk santa ana not common talk said. Try to convince anna not to come like started with signs. I'd make up a sign in now. No reindeer on the roof. You know no presence here. And meanwhile the kids would make other scientific. Santa welcome you know and stuff like that and it. Just escalated escalated escalated until finally One year we had we had adopted our thirtieth lost child. So my kids are all you know. We're we're in graduate school. When we adopted her new exist by that point for san diego then sorted that went out to but

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