Dec

05

2012

Justin Taylor|12:00 am CT

Why Christmas Is in the Winter

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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