Doug Wilson on how to celebrate Christmas

The inimitable Doug Wilson argues that celebrating Christ’s advent should not be turned into an introspective dirge. There should be feasting and joy. In an essay for Christianity Today, he writes:

Celebrate the stuff. Use fudge and eggnog and wine and roast beef. Use presents and wrapping paper. Embedded in many of the common complaints you hear about the holidays (consumerism, shopping, gluttony, etc.) are false assumptions about the point of the celebration. You do not prepare for a real celebration of the Incarnation through thirty days of Advent Gnosticism.

At the same time, remembering your Puritan fathers, you must hate the sin while loving the stuff. Sin [is] not resident in the stuff. Sin is found in the human heart—in the hearts of both true gluttons and true scrooges—both those who drink much wine and those who drink much prune juice. If you are called up to the front of the class, and you get the problem all wrong, it would be bad form to blame the blackboard. That is just where you registered your error. In the same way, we register our sin on the stuff. But—because Jesus was born in this material world, that is where we register our piety as well. If your godliness won’t imprint on fudge, then it is not true godliness.

Read the rest here.


  • Caleb Suko

    Great article! Thanks for sharing it. I think Wilson takes a balanced approach to the celebration. We don’t need all the “stuff” to celebrate, but if our hearts are in the right place we can use the “stuff” to celebrate with.

  • Reg Schofield

    I love Wilson , don’t agree with always but love his in your face , bombastic word play. This one is a amen to me . I love Christmas . I enjoy it from decorating , to the carols , watching Charlie Brown and A Christmas Carol . I love having family and friends over to drink and eat and laugh . I love kissing my wife under the mistletoe , and giving with a generous heart to my sons ,wife and family . That also includes to those in need as well . My wife’s nickname for me is “Mr.Christmas” . But most all I love this day because I love Jesus and the fact He would come to die and save a underserving sinnner like me . His grace changes everything . If Christ is the center , then lets make merry and share the joy and good news of God with us . Thats why I love Christmas .

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