As Halloween approaches I’ve noticed a proliferation of churches doing “harvest festivals” and “trunk or treats.” Lutherans are even getting into the act with “Reformation Parties.” (Up for a game of pin the 95 Theses on the church door? Yeah, baby!) These are all supposedly well-intentioned attempts to give people a godly alternative to the pagan holiday of Halloween, though some would argue it’s just a way to celebrate Halloween without calling it Halloween.
Of course you’re probably aware that Christmas is not Jesus’ actual birthday either. It was originally a pagan festival to celebrate the winter solstice. Since the church couldn’t get pagans who converted to Christianity to give up the celebration, they co-opted it and made it a Christian holiday.
With all the success Christians have had at taking over those two holidays for the Lord (yes, that’s sarcasm), I started dreaming… what other pagan holidays could Christian co-opt and came up with…
The Top 5 Pagan Holidays Ripe for a Christian Takeover
1) Valentines Day
The pagan holiday of Valentines Day makes an idol out of romance and human love. As Christians we need to show the world that only God’s love is worthy of celebration. That’s why we need to replace Valentines day with God is Love Day. We can keep the red theme and the heart-shaped balloons (just put Jesus face on them). Even the Sweethearts Conversation candies are good because if you think about it they could apply to God too – Be Mine (Lord). And as long as we’re going for things that could refer to God or human love, God is Love Day parties would be a great opportunity to bust out some Christian ballads – you know the ones that are about the singer’s love for God but they’ve been made to sound like they’re about a woman so they can have crossover success on secular radio stations. (e.g. Honestly by Stryper)
2) President’s Day
Scripture tells us we’re not supposed to bow down to any earthly rulers. Everyone knows that from the story about those 3 guys that got thrown in the fiery furnace, right? So, President’s Day is definitely out. What could replace it? How about King of Kings Day? Maybe we could even sculpt a huge monument like Mount Rushmore, but put the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit on it. There’s real tourism/gift shop potential there.
3) The Great Smoke Out
To the theological novice The Great Smoke Out may seem like a good holiday, after all, smoking destroys the temple of the Holy Spirit (to the heathens out there I’m referring to your body). But all this focus health and living a long life is just another idol. Our earthly bodies are irrelevant. Let’s put the focus on something more spiritual by ignoring The Great Smoke Out and celebrating Burning Bush Day instead. Instead of lighting up a cigarette, we can light up our yard waste and recount the stories of Moses and the Israelites around the fire. (This has the added benefit of acting like a prescribed burn so it would help prevent large forest fires). Hard core churches could re-enact the crossing of the Red Sea and even the 10 plagues.
4) Fathers Day
This is an easy target because nobody really likes to celebrate this Hallmark-created holiday anyway. Dads be honest, do you really want to unwrap another necktie? Wouldn’t you rather put your feet up and watch the final round of the U.S. Open in your man cave? The fact that Father’s Day is always on a Sunday makes it an easy target too, because people are already at church. We just need to start referring to it as “Our Fathers Day” to put the focus on God. The theme of course would be the Lord’s Prayer (to the heathens reading this, that’s because the Lord’s Prayer starts with “Our Father, who art in heaven…”). This has great revenue potential, because Lord’s Prayer merchandise is some of the most popular in the Christian market. This is a great opportunity to take money out of the hands of the greedy corporate greeting card companies, and put it into the hands of the Christian bookstore shareholders.
5) Arbor Day
A day celebrating trees clearly puts us on a slippery slope towards Gaia, the pagan worship of “Mother Earth.” So, let’s establish Cross Day on the same day. After all, scripture refers to Jesus being hung on a tree. Churches that want to stay “culturally relevant” can still plant trees with the understanding that when they grow up they will get cut down to make crosses. Hard core churches can just plant crosses in people’s front yards, though they might want to avoid celebrating Burning Bush Day on the same day.
Once these Christian holidays start to gain in popularity, we will be on our way to taking back our holidays and our country for God!
Which one do you want to start with? What other holidays could we take over?