From Starr Meade’s delightful allegory Keeping Holiday:

Legend has it that the Founder first came to the town that is now Holiday in the dead of winter. The funny thing is, as much good historical evidence as we have about so much else that has to do with the Founder, no one really knows what day he first showed up. It probably wasn’t winter at all. But the dead of winter would have been a really appropriate time for him to come, wouldn’t it, because the conditions of the people he came to were certainly winter-like. Think about it. In winter, everything’s dark, dreary, and dead. Days are short, and people feel depressed. There’s very little sun, so nothing grows. Plants go dormant, producing nothing. Tree branches are naked and they can’t bear any fruit. Winter’s a wasteland, like the one you came through. Before the Founder rescued them, those he rescued lived in a winter of their own making. They were hopeless; they were lifeless. They could produce nothing worth anything at all. Even if they’d wanted to return to the good Emperor they’d rebelled against, they would have been able to bring him absolutely nothing as a gift to win his favor. The Founder came and changed all that. He burst in upon them all like springtime. He brought light and life and worked so many changes in them and in their town that they became wonderfully productive. Now, the real citizens of Holiday grow all kinds of fruit and produce all kinds of gifts for the Emperor, gifts that he not only accepts, but accepts with delight. So people decorate Holiday homes and Holiday vacation spots with icicles and garlands, reminders of the winter barrenness from which the Founder rescued them.

—Starr Meade, Keeping Holiday (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008), 162-163.

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4 thoughts on “Why Christmas Is in the Winter”

  1. Kiwi says:

    The Southern Hemisphere begs to differ. :)

  2. Ali says:

    I think they call it hemisphere-centric, Kiwi :).

  3. Kirk says:

    I think it’s a little bit silly to make a point of the ‘winter’ of Jesus birth when Meade herself acknowledges that he probably wasn’t born in the winter. It’s a bit like a preacher saying, “This isn’t in the Bible, but do you mind if I preach about it anyway?”

  4. Paul says:

    Or, she just could have been honest and say, “like many other things in Christianity we borrowed it from the pagans and have tried to cover over a few of the more offensive things while keeping the majority and rebranding them under the banner of Christ.”

    Now that would have been honest.

    This kind of dribble reminds me of a recent Catholic magazine I picked up recently with a key article about Purgatory. How did the author begin: “although the bible is silent on the concept of purgatory…”

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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