One thing you learn from the doctrine of vocation is that the Christian life includes what we might describe as the secular. The realm of “Christian” does not consist just of overtly devout exercises. Rather, it also includes our lives in the family, the workplace, and the community. This point also applies to how we celebrate Christmas. We are surely right to complain when Jesus is left out of the celebration of His birthday, but those who complain about the secular observances–wanting it to be just a religious holiday celebrated in church, being irked that even non-Christians are celebrating it, and complaining about all of the presents–may be missing something about the scope of Christ’s reign and the nature of vocation.Consider, for example, this piece by Patrick Callahan, Charles Dickens’ War on Christmas. This is a much better and more nuanced treatment than most, but it advances the by-now-familiar thesis that Dickens’ The Christmas Carol is responsible for “the transformation of Christmas from a religious feast to a secular holiday.”
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