For awhile, Christmas was banned in Boston and much of New England. Yes, Christmas was banned; a feast or celebration on December 25 brought you prosecution and a fine.

The Puritans preferred fasting as a way to remember the Savior’s birth. What would they think of today’s worldly ways of celebrations for Christmas, where every year we spend $500 million on wrapping paper and $800 million on lights for our Christmas trees, homes, and lawns?

We in America know how to celebrate just about anything. One Christmas, some of us neighbors decided to go caroling. As the music was passed out, I was shocked to find a group of Jr. High boys in the group who had never heard “Away in a Manger.” They had no clue as to what it meant.

We know how to celebrate just about anything.
We know how to celebrate just about anything. Yet, I must ask, have we replaced the holy with wrapping paper and humility with tinsel? The Old Testament prophet Amos declared for the Lord, "I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies" (Amos 5:21 NASV).

It wasn't that God was against a good party. The story of the rebellious Son, lost coin, and lost sheep make clear that God likes parties! (Luke 15). What God hates, however, is pretending we honor him with a show and without substance. God lets us know what he does want from us: "Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream" (Amos 5:24). This holiday, let’s get serious about justice and righteousness instead of the hype and glitter of the season.