In the DVD Why Do We Call it Christmas?, Buck Denver sings, “Why is Christmas what we call it? Why the impact on my wallet? Why the presents? Why the trees? What’s with Santa? Who is he?” Buck asks many of the questions we have about our most confusing holiday – Christmas! Why does it feel like there are two Christmases – the one that’s all about Santa and the one that’s all about Jesus? Phil Vischer unwraps the meaning of modern Christmas traditions and how they all point back to Jesus in the DVD and in interviews and blog posts below:
Christmas is very complicated holiday because it’s actually 2 holidays that we put together. It was Christ’s mass, the Catholic mass that celebrated the birth of Jesus once a year but we combined it with St. Nicholas day, which was kids’ favorite feast day because St. Nicholas would come the night before and if you were good, he would drop presents, toys and cookies into your shoes.
When Boniface gave the fir tree to these Germanic tribes as their new symbol, he said, “Look, this tree points to Heaven. Let Christ be your guide. Look, the arms of the tree are outstretched towards you. Let Christ be your strength, your comfort. And you use the wood from this tree to build your homes. Let Christ be the center of your households.”
Phil Vischer Interview with Christian Post: Christmas Confusion Causes Angst
I’m trying to diffuse some of our confusion and concern over “Jesus Christmas” vs. “Santa Christmas.” There’s just so much angst. We don’t understand why the holiday is the way it is. I’m trying to impact that. When you look at Santa Claus, for example, the man who inspired the character, St. Nicholas, was a great Christian who helped the poor. I’m trying to shine a light on a somewhat confusing modern holiday and trace the traditions as they relate to Jesus.
Jesus-Christmas vs Santa Christmas: Two whole different traditions, different decorations, different everything. It’s so confusing for kids that what I really wanted to do is bring these together and unwrap it all and explain how it all actually connects and how it all actually points back to Jesus. I think that’s a huge benefit for families to bring these traditions together and explain them.
Christmas Wishes by Phil Vischer
Modern Christmas is a sham. A false front. It’s covered with lights and tinsel and holly, but when you open the door and look inside, there’s nothing there. “There’s FAMILY! Modern Christmas celebrates family!” Sure, many Christmas songs and TV shows seem to conclude that the real joy of the season is the time spent with family. And that might sometimes be the case. But in a fallen world, “family” is fallen, too.
In this solo podcast from December 2012, Phil Vischer explains how tragedy illuminates what even Christians have lost from Christmas. “We’ve trivialized Christmas to such a great extent that we feel we almost need to cancel it if it bumps into the reality of what the world really is.” In this powerful episode, Phil reminds us that the world is broken and what we need most now is a Savior.