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Charles Clymer Headshot

5 Christmas Tips for Christians

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As Christmas approaches, I'd like to remind my fellow Christians who need the reminder:

1. Stop suffocating in your unique, literal interpretation of Scripture. Embrace nuance. Realize that precisely because folks vary even among those in your own denomination is exactly why we should mind our own fucking business when it comes to our faith. Don't like homosexuality or a woman's right to choose? Fine, but keep it to yourself, lest I hover over your life so as to damn you for eternity for eating shellfish and wearing polyester, both of which are scorned far more in our holy book than any sexual activity by LGBTQ folks (unless said activity does, indeed, involve shellfish or polyester).

2. There is absolutely a "War on Christmas," but it has nothing to do with friendly folks saying "Happy Holidays" or celebrating their own faith that doesn't subscribe to Christ; it has to do with Christians themselves morphing what is meant to be a celebration of Christ's life into a product-happy, merchandising orgy on who can accumulate the most of what is told to us we should be accumulating.

3. There's nothing wrong with buying gifts, of course, but let's not call it a day after we do that. Why not use the spiritual opportunity and vacation time to help others? I'm not saying you need to run a soup kitchen (although that would be great), but I am saying that Christ, after laughing at the thought of our "Christmas," would probably recommend selling all your gifts and using that cash to feed and clothe the poor (you know, because that's literally what he said). And I'm not necessarily saying do that either, but at least make an effort.

4. If "bringing nonbelievers into the fold" is your primary concern in all this, do it by demonstrating love in your actions without so much as mentioning "Christ". Use that sterling personality God gave you to draw people to you in such a way that they want to know how you live such a great life. And you know what? Recognize that others may not need God to be truly happy and/or successful, and that's okay.

5. And for the love of all that is good, stop leaving asshole statements on restaurant receipts and/or your "Christian" business card that claims salvation is worth all the money in the world. If it were, you would have paid in Salvation, not money, right?