A group of researchers have estimated the likely birthdate of Jesus to be December 1st, 7 BC. I do not want to argue the accuracy of the date, just to share the impact that this had on our family life. The group I belong to spends the first weekend of December remembering the birth and life of Jesus. This weekend of meditation over His birth, Life, Death and Resurrection is a perfect start to the Holliday season. Before all the office parties and family gatherings, we have centered ourselves in His Life and His Mission for the coming year. Instead of fighting the materialistic Christians season, we can enjoy it as His gift to us.
We certainly believe in the sanctity of the event, but not the sanctity of the date. My family, for deep philosophical and religious reasons, pretty much always celebrated Christmas gift exchange one week after Christmas – everyone of us was a teacher or a student and we couldn’t get anything else done in the last couple of weeks before Christmas except school or performance related efforts. An additional benefit of that arrangement is after-Christmas sales.