My pastor talked a bit tonight about why he doesn’t celebrate Christmas and why he doesn’t put up a Christmas tree. Basically, he says that he esteems all days the same, so Jesus is just as much Lord today as he is on December 25 and he should be honored and celebrated every day, not just one day out of the year. Good and well. The tree thing has nothing to do with pagan tree worship, as some might assume, but rather that he can’t see how it brings glory to God. He interacts with Chassidic Jews regularly and when they ask him why Christians put up trees at Christmas time he can’t provide them with a good answer. He can’t see what they have to do with Jesus.
Now I personally don’t like Christmas trees for pragmatic reasons, i.e., they’re a pain in the butt to put up and take down. If you like real trees as opposed to fake ones (which I’ve always had) then there’s the added problems of dripping sap, falling pine needles, and the possible critter or two that might be hiding somewhere in there. But if I liked Christmas trees and someone asked me why I, as a Christian, put one up, then I’d simply say, “Because I like it.” There doesn’t need to be some deep spiritual reason for it; they don’t need to bring glory to Jesus. Putting up a tree is no different than hanging a painting in your home that you find aesthetically pleasing. For the same reason that I don’t have to provide some detailed apologetic about why I like gray shirts (and trust me, I have a whole mess of ’em), I don’t have to provide one for why I like Christmas trees; I just do (for the sake of this post).
Perhaps one could argue that Jesus is glorified in the appreciation of something that is a part of his creation; but I wouldn’t be the one to argue it.