One of my early lessons from reading the entirety of the Bible was noticing how many feasts God chose for His people. Lots. And proper parties, where everyone came and shared and everyone went home full. Community happened, blessings were shared. Look it up for yourself. God likes a good party.
I’m a Protestant with Messianic leanings – I know that most of the West’s holidays were lifted from various European traditions and paganism. I battled that back and forth for a good while, because Truth is important to me. Finally I decided that the heart of the holiday is what matters. The idea of community, and whatever it is that we’re celebrating. That’s why I have little use for Halloween – celebrating evil isn’t my bag. But Christmas? Christmas is good. On Christmas, we celebrate our Lord’s birth. Was He born in December? Very unlikely. But we don’t have a date. So, we use this one. Whatever. I was born in December – there are plenty of years I’d just as soon celebrate my birthday in June. Would be more convenient. (I don’t, but it’s been done).
What do we celebrate on Christmas? What do we do? We get together as families, and we worship the King. We give each other gifts, because He gave us the best gift of all time. And we feast.
Souls need feast times. Times of joy, times to eat the richest food and drink the most elaborate drinks. Feast times give us a reason to endure the normal days, a reason to endure the fast times. Protestants tend toward asceticism – as if the porridge and water of everyday, virtuous and healthy as it is, should be EVERY day. But lives need rhythm – and the memory of the Christmas feasting carries one through the dark days of January and February.
In other words, eat the fudge, drink the eggnog, have your fill – and you likely won’t want another serving for a year. Hug your relatives, sleep late, enjoy your presents and don’t feel guilty. You were created to enjoy feasts, and isn’t that kind of cool? 🙂