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In essence Romans 14.5 states: Each person will assess the value and meaning of a day. One person will value one particular day as more important than all other days. While another person will place the exact same value on each day. What’s important is that each person needs to have complete confidence in their decision about how they value the day(s).

For decades, I have not enjoyed this time of year, and my biggest reason is December 25 and the event that is associated with it.

First, I am not against the Christians. However, I have long struggled with the date that so many associate with the birth of Jesus. I come from a biblical tradition that frequently taught reasonable doubts as to that date and why it does not correlate to the events around the birth of Jesus.

Second, I like good will toward all, and freely admit that December 25 can cause interesting and profound moments of intense retrospect, introspect, and peace among peoples. But while I have heard many reasons as to why Jesus is the reason for the season, I can no longer substantiate those reasons.

Third, I have heard many reasons as to why Jesus was not born on December 25, along with hearing some incendiary comments directed toward Christians regarding this day. While I tend to believe that Jesus was not born on this date, I do my best to be cordial.

Fourth, after years of contradictory religious milieu regarding the date that so many venerate, and having spent several decades in personal struggle regarding the celebration of this day, personally, I can no longer set aside this date as important, and cannot find a way for me to substantiate the day as venerated.

Fifth, I am pleased that I am free to decide what I believe about December 25, and I feel pleased that I am free to determine how I will observe or not observe that day.

In accordance with the concepts of Romans 14.5, there will be those who will not understand my decision and that is because they have determined that this particular date has significance to them.

For what it’s worth, I understand that they do not understand. But, I do encourage them to read and study the ample amount of discussion that is already available.

For me, truly, I have wrestled with the truth of this season for as long as I can recall. Is it true? Is it valid? Should I observe? Some years were okay. Some years were terrible. A constant vacillation, which meant the dilemma continued many years.

Regarding this season, there are things I cannot bring myself to believe. I cannot believe that December 25 represents the birth. I cannot believe that a sleigh-using-gift-bearing person travels the globe. I cannot believe that it is socially beneficial to encourage increased debt in order to promote a season.

I cannot participate in a system that perpetuates those things just as I cannot believe that it is good for me to perpetuate that which I cannot believe.

As such, I am tired of struggling with this time of year, for I have fatigued and grown weary of this struggle. So as of this year (2017), I arrived at a place requiring me to decide what I am going to do.

After much study of the bible, study of religious history, and study of life, I have determined that the following is important to me.

For me, the reasons that I have been told as to why December 25 equals the day that Jesus was born do not align.

For me, and this will probably be the most difficult part to read, the information I have been given about Jesus and this date in December borders on deceit and lies, but, at best the information was an ancient religious church rewrite of what it deemed as pagan festivals.

For me, I can not perpetuate a myth and/or a tradition that cannot be adequately substantiated via scripture as if it were scripture itself. What others choose is theirs. As for me, I simply can’t.

For me, from study of the scriptures, I have come to appreciate the importance of the lunar calendar, lunar cycle, along with the signs and seasons marked by the stars and luminaries.

For me, from the study of nature, I have come to appreciate the equinoxes and solstices, spring and autumn equinoxes, and summer and winter solstices.

For me, I consider the spring the beginning and blossoming of life, summer the growth of life, and autumn the retreat of life, and therefore do not consider the winter the start of the year, because I consider winter the hibernation of life, because things go dormant.

For me, the calendar marking days from January to December is simply a mechanism for civil organization, permitting individuals to coordinate, and while significant in civil matters, it has little bearing on my actual being.

For me, I no longer use the civil calendar to organize and understand my life. Instead, I am learning that the lunar calendar and the luminaries have relevance to me that I once did not understand, and thus for me the lunar calendar has become primary.

For me, I measure spring in a specific way, looking for the first month of the lunar year according to information found in the Book of Exodus. From there, I measure out each month when the sliver of the new moon is seen.

For me, I will observe the lunar month that initiates the lunar year, observe each lunar cycle through the year, and observe the equinoxes and solstices arrivals during that lunar year.

For me, when the next winter arrives, I cannot in good conscience observe December 25 as a date celebrating a birth.

For me, when the next winter arrives, marked by its solstice, in the spirit of the lunar calendar which directly affects agricultural, I will welcome in the dormancy as an opportunity to celebrate family and friends as a time for being together, resting and recovering from a lunar year’s worth of work, yet having sweet anticipation of the spring that brings forth new life.

For me, I will celebrate the solstice as a time of seasonal festivities; to include the celebration of life, sharing time with family and friends, participating in a type of Festival of Lights, and limiting myself to non-debt festivities (e.g. limited gift giving).

I am not losing faith in God, or in Jesus. I am simply adapting a different ideological, philosophical, and theological approach to this seasonal occurrence, aiming for an engagement of the season that is both respectful of God’s design of the lunar cycle and luminaries, and respectful of what the scriptures do and do not say regarding the birth of Jesus.