The Reason for the Season

Tina Haapala |

By Gary Silverman, CFP®

While I don’t have an official day that my column runs, for most of this year you’ve read me on Tuesdays. I will therefore assume (always dangerous) that you are reading this on Christmas. First, thank you for being a loyal reader. (If not, thank you for accidentally finding me today.) Second, be warned that today’s column will be dripping in religion, so if that kind of thing really bugs you, stop reading, and come back next week.

I don’t see any reason to believe that Christ’s birth occurred on this day. It just doesn’t line up with what was going on at the time and there is plenty of evidence that the date chosen for the celebration was one of convenience rather than accuracy.

There’s also no command to celebrate the birth of Christ. But since we like celebrating most other birthdays I suppose it is appropriate to celebrate the birth of someone who allowed himself to be sacrificed in order to pay a penalty that the rest of us owed.

Being humans, we have the odd ability to corrupt the purity of just about anything. Memorial Day ends up being more about shopping and movies than remembering anything. Thanksgiving becomes a food orgy with digestion occurring during a football game. Therefore, it is not surprising that during Christmas, Christ is relegated to a supporting role, if any role at all.

This corruption does not make the sacrifices of our soldiers, sailors, and airmen any less memorable; our present freedoms and prosperity any less built on those that came before us and the friends we have today; or the birth, life, death, resurrection, and intercession of Christ any less real.

If you don’t think that there is a God (or if you do believe, but you don’t think there was a Christ; or if you do believe but do not think He is Savior; or if you do believe but don’t think you need salvation), I’m not going to try and convince you here. I don’t know where you are in your life or your beliefs. I don’t know what roadblocks Satan (yes, I believe he exists) has put in your way.

Instead, if you are not a Christian, I’ll be happy to talk to you. Since no one ever takes me up on that offer then you can surf over to and start exploring why this Christ the world celebrates on December 25th  matters.

Those of you who profess Christ—to you I ask that you find a quiet time and place today to talk with your Savior. Take time to do more than celebrate a holiday—celebrate the life that the Son of God gave you. And for the children around you—make today more than the excitement of presents; make them excited for the gift that Christ has given you.

Merry Christmas.

Gary Silverman, CFP® is the founder of Personal Money Planning, LLC, a Wichita Falls retirement planning and investment management firm and author of Real World Investing