...[D]o not fall for the lie that the spirit of Christmas is an ethereal kind of thing. This is the celebration of the Incarnation, when the eternal Logos of God took on a material body, which He still has. Do not, therefore, join in the general lamentations about "materialism." This is a celebration of God taking on a material body. It is therefore a holiday that should focus on stuff.Of course materialism is a bad thing. But material is good. In its proper place, it's a gift from God.
By stuff, I mean ribbons, decorations, fudge, wreaths, cider, presents, feasting, toasts, shopping with joy, putting up a tree, sending cards, learning a Christmas piece on the piano, and more fudge.
Of course, we all know how to sin with stuff--we were living in a pretty earthy state of sin before Christ came. But He did not come to whisk us out of this world in order that we might go celebrate some kind of Gnostic holiday in heaven. We are to honor the Lord Jesus with our stuff...
Every new Christian (and many an old one) goes through a stage of reflective anguish where he reevaluates timeworn traditions. "Should I put a tree up? Is it pagan? Should I still give gifts?" Such reflection isn't bad--we ought to always evaluate our traditions. But don't throw away perfectly good traditions based on some hyperspiritual (and unbiblical) notion that disembodied spirituality brings us nearer to God. It doesn't. God called his creation good, and we honor him when we properly enjoy it.