"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

And the answer is…..YES! And, NO!

HUH???

Let me try to confuse you more explain…

If the question is whether I celebrate the Christmas holiday season, the answer is ABSOLUTELY! We put up a tree and lights, decorate the house, enjoy special treats, get together with extended family, exchange gifts, and hang our stockings every year. We love this season!

But, if the question is whether I celebrate Christmas as the birthday of Christ, the answer is NO, I don’t.

Gasp!

But Amy, I thought you were a Christian! (See, I knew what you were thinking.)

Please be fair and stay with me to the end here, OK?

Yes, I am a Christian. It’s the most important relationship in my life. And, because I am a Christian, I strive to live by God’s teachings as outlined in His Word, the Bible.

And do you know what the Bible says about Christmas? Nothing. Nada. Zip. (Really. Go look it up! ) You won’t find any mention of Christmas, or any commandment to celebrate the birth of Christ on any particular day (or at all….stay with me…) and you won’t find any indication of when Christ was born. (But, even secular historians agree that it wouldn’t have been in December.)

So my big question is, “If God wanted us to celebrate Christ’s birth on a certain day or in a certain season, don’t you think He would have told us so?” He’s pretty specific in other areas, so it’s hard for me to imagine Him leaving this out if it were really important to Him. In fact, the Bible teaches that the most important thing we should observe is not Christ’s birth (although I’m so glad He was born!) but His death and resurrection:

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”  I Cor. 15:2-3 (emphasis mine)

And that death, burial, and resurrection should be celebrated every first day of the week (not once a year), according to multiple Scriptures.

For what it’s worth, I am glad about the fact that so many people turn their attention to Jesus at this time of the year. I think it’s great that people are reminded to think about the One Who gives us all good gifts. But, friends, please don’t criticize me for not doing something that God Himself has not commanded us to do!

I don’t ever want to be guilty of the same thing as those who were called “hypocrites” in Mark 7:

And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (verse 7)

You see, Christmas is a fun time of year, but celebrating it is a tradition of men, not a commandment of God. (Look up the holiday’s origins and I bet you’ll be surprised! It all started among the pagans, and then became customary for the general public after spreading through Catholicism.) The Bible gives no indication of anyone in the early church celebrating Christmas.

The very next verse after the one quoted above says, “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” It seems to me there are an awful lot of people sleeping in each first day of the week, but then walking around telling everyone that “Jesus is the reason for the season” once December rolls around. It just doesn’t make sense!

Why celebrate at all, then? Christmas, like many other human holidays, is a wonderful time to get together with friends and family. It’s a great time to teach our children about Acts 20:35, “…and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” It’s a fun opportunity to catch up with those we don’t often hear from throughout the year, and to enjoy family activities like baking and decorating.

But Amy, you just said there’s no mention of Christmas in the Bible!

That’s right. And that’s why I would never try to tell another Christian that they HAVE TO celebrate Christmas, just like I’d never tell someone they have to celebrate Valentine’s Day! I would never insinuate that someone would be sinning by not observing this human holiday in some fashion.

I also cannot agree with those who say it’s wrong to celebrate Christmas in any way. Giving Christmas gifts is like giving birthday gifts.  It’s great fun—just don’t claim you’re doing it because God says we have to!

I hope I have spoken the truth in love. I sure don’t want to offend anyone out there. But I do hope after reading this some will be more careful about giving looks and comments that indicate that anyone who doesn’t celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th is “not a good Christian.”

Now it’s your turn. What do you believe about this subject? More importantly, can you back it up? I welcome your comments below, as always; just please be sweet and respectful with your words.

And if you notice there’s not a nativity set in my front yard this month, don’t get the wrong idea. I’ll be worshiping Him with fellow Christians on Sunday morning, and trying to live my life for Him all week. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!


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Comments on: "Christmas: To celebrate, or not to celebrate?" (52)

  1. Great post. I was planning to do the same type of explanation on my blog soon.

  2. This is very confusing to most people, but I think you did a good job explaining it.

  3. Loved reading this post. It explains it all very well and I appreciate you taking the time to share it. I’m going to share it with others 🙂

  4. It’s so important for even Church of Christ parents to teach this to our kids. I was raised in the church, and yet my parents never explained this to me until I was a preteen. It was so confusing. When I was 5, I asked my mom one Christmas if we could get the baby Jesus a birthday cake. And she did! I put a few candles on it, mom lit them of course. And I sang Happy Birthday. I guess she thought it was cute. And why wouldn’t she….I was adorable 🙂 It was just all so confusing later in life. Thank you for this article and the simplicity in which you explain it.

    • Jennifer, I’m so glad this helped. It is confusing because we tend to cross the lines, and it’s so hard to explain it without confusing people or making them feel defensive–neither of which is my goal. I appreciate that you have been able to look more closely at the situation now that you are older instead of just accepting what you heard before. That’s never an easy thing to do!

  5. Amy, this was great! Thank you for sharing this in the way you did. I am NOT shamelessly promoting my own blog, but . . . Well maybe I am . . . I wrote a similar theme earlier here: http://scottmccown.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/keep-happy-in-the-holidays/.

    Thanks again for writing and for trying to stay balanced in your walk with God.

    • Scott, thanks for sharing the link…You actually said it much better than I was able to. (Others: Go read it!) That was part of my motivation for writing this post—if we have convictions, we must also be able to share them and back them up, but do it in love. Never an easy task, unfortunately…

      • Scott Raab said:

        Not to short-change Scott McCown, but after reading both his and your post, yours is worded better. I especially appreciate the measured use of the scriptures and your clear desire to explain in love to ALL readers (also those who might be offended or confused). Thank you!

      • Thanks, Scott Raab. You understand my desire perfectly. I think we all just want to find a way to explain a confusing subject.

  6. I understand what u r saying but without his birth there could be no death. It may not be the right time of the year but it is important 2 celebrate his birth. Yes christmas has become 2 commerical but thats not the point. The point that government or atheist want 2 tell us we cant say merry christmas or express our joy of his birth is wrong. Everytime u turn around we r told where we can pray(not at school activities or anywhere an atheist might be) because we might affend them. And your critisium of whether people go 2 church or not is between that person and God. God holds the key 2 judgement not us. Judge not least ye be judged. There r plenty of people who attend church every sunday 4 wrong reasons but thats between them and God. God knows whats in our heart. I realize what u r saying is there is no commandment that says 2 celebrate his birth but there is no commandment that says its a sin 2 so no one should have the right 2 say we cannot say merry christmas or gather in his name and thank him 4 his son.

    • Sandra, thanks for your thoughts and for taking the time to post them here. Actually, I agree with *most* of what you are saying, but I think we are basically talking about two different things. You are talking about the unfairness of people saying we CAN’T express our joy at His birth or we’ll offend them. I’m talking about the unfairness of people saying that we HAVE TO celebrate this date as His birthday or else we are not true Christians. Neither of those situations is right. Both go against what the Bible says.

  7. THIS IS CLEARLY IDOLATRY, WHETHER OR NOT PEOPLE WANT TO BELIEVE IT, DOESN’T MAKE GOD’S WORD UNTRUE. READ JEREMIAH 10 (SEE ATTACHED LINK)
    http://rarebible.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/god-and-the-bible-forbid-christmas-trees/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog

    • Based on the link you attached, I THINK what you calling idolatry is the practice of cutting down/decorating a Christmas tree. Is that correct? As I referred to above, the celebration of Christmas was originally a pagan holiday, and now is considered a religious holiday. I celebrate it as neither. For me, it is a family celebration of togetherness and giving and joy. I also let my children wear funny (not goulish) costumes and trade candy at Halloween, but we don’t celebrate the things the pagans did, and we don’t decorate with witches and monsters. On Valentine’s Day we share candy and give cards. There is a way to find joy in celebrations that are neither pagan nor religious. However, I must say I truly respect your desire to stay far away from anything that even appears remotely anti-Christian. I appreciate that and wish more people felt that way!

    • Ms. Guild,

      Your make an interesting point using Jeremiah 10. If we worship a tree as one would an idol that passage is spot on. However, please be careful in implying that Christmas Trees are what Jeremiah (God through Jeremiah) has in mind. Contextually, the tree decorated with gold and silver is and idol carved out of wood.

      However, if one worships Christmas in the place of God or the traditions of men over the commands of God, they are in some respects worshipping something or someone other than God.

    • Melissa – it is not clearly idolitry, and please keep in mind this very relevant scripture before condemning everyone who celebrates Christmas as an idolitor: Romans 14:5-6 – “One man regards one day above another, another man regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convince in his own mind. He who observes the day observes it for the Lord, and he who eats does so for the Lord for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not for the Lord he he does not eat and gives thanks to God.” (read vs. 13 & 14 too)

  8. Wonderful blog post, Amy. I have such a difficult time explaining to denominational friends and family why I do not celebrate Christmas or Easter as a holy day even though I am a Christian. I also have Christian friends who believe I am wrong for celebrating any holiday with pagan or Catholic origins such as Christmas, Valentines Day, etc. even as a family holiday. Thanks.

  9. Cara, you have summed up my struggle, exactly. Thanks for your encouragement.

  10. Jenn Price said:

    Amazing!! You have just the right words to explain this. I appreciate that you took the time to put your words together.

  11. Jenn, thanks so much for your encouragement, because I really struggled with how to say it.

  12. David Dye said:

    Dear Amy, Appreciate your thoughts… Would like to leave you with two points to ponder. Number 1 being…We cannot perpetuate the lie associated with this holiday of telling our children that Santa Clause is real, and point number 2… our family abstains from using the term Christmas “Mass for Christ” so before God on judgement day we won’t have to answer for using his Sons name in vain. In Christian love Candy Dye

    • Thanks, Candy, for sharing your thoughts here. I probably should have mentioned that our kids know exactly who fills their stockings. 😉 When our older kids were small, we told them that Santa is real but not who they think he is, and eventually told them that WE are Santa. But with our youngest I think we’ll go ahead and tell her now that Santa is just a character associated with the holiday and that the gifts are from us. (We only had one Santa gift anyway–we wanted credit for the things we’d given them!) 🙂 I never thought about the word Christmas having anything to do with using Christ’s name in vain, I guess because it is now a completely different word (meaning this current holiday), just like “good-bye” was originally short for “God be with you” but now just means “so long.” However, as I mentioned in a previous comment, I certainly respect anyone whose desire is to stay far away from even the appearance of wrongdoing, so I appreciate your point! Thanks again for commenting.

      • Dear Amy, Thanks so much for the reply. I would like to put a challenge to you and my other brothers and sisters in Christ…For one full week during this holiday season I’d like you to substitute the word Christmas for Xmas for all your greetings and see what reactions you will receive. You will find that people get greatly offended when you take Christ out of the title. The title Christmas today means the same thing as when the title was first established. Where we live a strong emphasis is place on putting Christ back in Christmas, a holiday named after our Savior. In reference to goodby, in my personal opinion if it was spelled Godby I would not use that term. Thanks Candy Dye

  13. Scott Robinson said:

    Great post, Amy!

    I have variations of this same conversation every Christmas season with friends and coworkers. I may have to start pointing them to your blog (which I read all the time, by the way).

  14. Great post! I think you hit on an important subject – that we can’t bind our reasons to/not to celebrate on others.

    As a family, we enjoy the secular traditions of our culture (without the Santa lies). However, part of our culture also includes the fact that many people celebrate Jesus’ birthday this day, and we’ve discussed that with the kids, too, without the misinformation. We tell them that Jesus probably wasn’t born in December, and that the nativity scene probably isn’t accurate with its three wise men and shepherds visiting baby Jesus at the stable (instead of what the Bible says – they visited him when he was a toddler in his house!), but that a long time ago, some people decided to change a wicked holiday into a holiday that celebrated the day Jesus was born, and to this day some people still like to celebrate it. Then we tell them that we’re happy EVERY day that Jesus was born and that we also do something very special to celebrate Jesus – but instead of once a year, we celebrate his victory over death so that we could all be saved, every time we take the Lord’s supper.

    And while we personally don’t celebrate Dec 25th as Jesus’ birthday, we don’t ignore the story of His birth altogether. We watch the Nativity Story all year long (excellent and very Biblically accurate movie, by the way, if you haven’t seen it!), and the kids have a play nativity set they keep out all the time – and we don’t put it away just because it’s Christmastime, either. 😉

    • Well said, Amy. We have some books on the birth of Jesus, but we keep them w/ the other Bible story books on the shelf, not w/ the Christmas stuff! Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing them here.

  15. Amy, Thanks for writing this and so many of the things you blog about. We think fondly of the days we worked with you and Troy at Jersey Village.

    I struggle with aspects of this. I know and have lived by your arguments for my entire life so don’t think my points here are judgmental. In trying to grow the body, I question how we can reach more people and teach them the truth about all things. I now serve on the eldership at our congregation and on Christmas Eve, when all the other ‘Christian’ churches are celebrating the coming of what the world thinks is our most special day… our building will be dark. What do those in our community think when they drive by? I could stand on the curb and shout to them as they pass… “It’s not in the Bible!” And hold a sign, “But come back tomorrow on the Lord’s day.” I’ve come to the conclusion that they are most likely confused how to interpret our lack of celebration.

    Let me ask a question. Did you celebrate Thanksgiving? It’s a holiday where our nation pauses to give thanks to God. No, not everyone still looks at it that way but that’s how it started and many realize that the ‘thanks’ is directed to God. But aren’t we supposed to give thanks more than once a year? Should we not be giving thanks every Lord’s day for Christ dying on the cross and not once a year on a Thursday in October? I hope you see the parallels. We don’t worry in the least that others will think we’re only thankful once a year. Yet with Christmas we are so careful no to be associated with religious aspects of the holiday. All to avoid the possibility that we would feed the misconception that Christ’s birth is in the Bible.

    Romans 14 talks about when we have differences. One of the differences is days that we put above other days….

    Romans 14:5 (NIV) One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord.

    In the last few years I have come to appreciate more the thought that during Christmas time, many turn their thoughts to God who don’t normally do so.

    All food for thought. And Merry Christmas! 🙂

    • Thanks, Steve, not only for sharing your thoughts here but for choosing your words kindly. I hope the same respect comes across in my response. I wholeheartedly agree with the first part of your sentence, that we need to try to grow the body. I also wholeheartedly agree with the last part of the same sentence, that we need to teach the people we’re trying to reach the truth about all things. (I also agree that there’s a right and wrong way to do that.) Yes, a dark building on Christmas Eve indicates that we are different from the world. Is that automatically a bad thing? Is it not an opportunity to teach? (You’re right, we can’t shout it from the street corners…thus my meager attempt here.) I fear we’re on a very slippery slope when we worry about conforming to the religious world in general. What if others have an Easter service? Good Friday service? St. Valentine’s service? Where do we draw the line? Our buildings are also dark on Saturday evenings. Why don’t we offer the convenience of a Saturday service, the way other groups do? Isn’t that confusing, when we should be wanting people to worship? (No sarcasm intended.)

      Many Bible passages talk about how Jesus’ teachings were hard for the people to understand, but He didn’t change His message. And II Peter 3:14-18 says, “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

      We should be on our guard to teach truth, rather than conform to the world, even the religious world. As I said in my post, I am so thankful that Christ was born, and that people do tend to focus more on Him this time of year. I should have done a better job of encouraging us all to take advantage of the opportunity to reach out and try to influence them while Christ is on their minds. I just don’t want to compromise the truth while doing so, and I want people—both Christians and non-Christians—to think carefully about what the Bible says before pronouncing judgement on those who don’t celebrate this season religiously.

      Wow, that may be longer than my original post! 🙂 Hope something in there makes sense. I appreciate you, your work for His church, and your heart for the lost.

      • Thanks Amy. No changes to your original post required in my opinion. I appreciate the give and take on a topic that’s current and complex. I’ve just had some things on my mind about this subject and it’s good to discuss them with others who know scripture and desire the truth be taught.

        As you can tell, I haven’t come up with a great way to take advantage of people’s seasonal focus on Jesus for fear of the misconceptions that could result. Misconceptions outside the body and within. The phrase ‘The reason for the season’ makes those of us who seek complete truth cringe to varying degrees. A part of me wants to market in reply one with season crossed out and ‘everything’ in it’s place.

    • Just realized I didn’t respond to your thoughts about Thanksgiving. Your point is well taken! I guess the difference I see is that we try to teach our children to be thankful all year, and when TG rolls around we teach them about the origins of the holiday. We read about the first Americans, we read Abe Lincoln’s proclamation, etc. They know it’s not a special day commanded by God in the Bible, but a day that we, as Americans, have chosen to celebrate, and we don’t go around telling others that they can’t be real Christians if they don’t observe a day that wasn’t even designated in Scripture. I do see where this could be confusing, though, and appreciate your bringing it up!

  16. Amy, you did a lovely, Biblical, truthful, encouraging job on this post. It was well written, well thought out and well worded. Sadly there are always detractors on both ends of the spectrum, those that falsely celebrate Christmas religiously, and those ready to condemn those that celebrate at all. Well spoken, and lovingly spoken, Sister.

    Much love to you and yours!

    • Debbie, thank you so much. I have such great respect for you, and your encouragement means a lot to me. My intent was to speak the truth in love….but I know my words don’t always come out right, and I struggle with that. Thanks again, my sweet sister!

  17. Amy, it is a well-written post. One that helps with the problem that we face every year… how do we explain our lack of Christ´s birth celebrations at Christmas. I appreciate the thoughts that you put down.
    I really enjoyed David P´s reply, also.
    We need to be careful not to judge people on either side of this celebration. Just because the Bible doesn´t command us to celebrate Jesus´ birth, does not necessarily mean it is wrong. We do things at church that were not talked about in the new testament (bible class, vacation bible school, lock-in´s, the list goes on), but they are done in the name of Christ and His love.
    The line seems to be crossed, when we worship the image of a baby Christ, instead of Him, when we worship a Christmas tree, or the gifts that we want…
    I am comfortable to talk about Jesus´ birth any time of the year, Christmas included. I am not comfortable making a worship service for the baby Jesus, but am comfortable to celebrate His life, including his birth at this time of year and the rest of the year.
    Love the lines of communication that this media gives. It helps us to think in our box and outside of our box. It helps us to listen without interrupting and to react in time when we have seasoned our words with love.
    Thank you for your lovely seasoning! Hope your December is filled with warm, loving memories!!

  18. Luncinda, those are all great points, and I’m thankful you shared them here. My intention is not to criticize anyone, but to hopefully put an end to criticism by explaining that my choice in this matter is based on what I believe the Bible teaches/doesn’t teach, as opposed to any lack of love for Jesus or lack of appreciation for His birth. It’s always hurtful to be accused of showing disrespect for the One you love the most! Thanks again for your great thoughts and your sweet way of sharing them.

  19. Amy, I found this blog through a friend on Facebook. Thank you for sharing this! This is exactly how & why I celebrate Christmas, only you word it much better than I can. May I repost this to my blog? (With link to your original of course.) Excellent post!

  20. I didn’t see anything offensive here at all. After browsing some of your other posts, I think you’ve got a nice blog going with good well-written content. It took quite a while for me to overcome my ritualistic Catholic upbringing to grasp the knowledge that God wants true worship from me all the time, not only on some world-driven date/place/manner. In our family, we extend your line of thinking to other holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s/Father’s Day, and Veteran’s Day. I’d like to think that I convey my love for my wife on many days other than Valentine’s Day. And Father’s Day…well, being a father is a privilege, essentially a gift from God. As a veteran, I’d rather get a 10% discount year round (yes, a bunch of stores do that) than get a free meal on one day per year at some restaurant that is trying a “sales ploy” with vets to win customers. None of them are bad holidays, but their meaning is twisted with improper use. I think God feels the same. Dang, you got me writing too much! Again, nice blog…

  21. Melissa Bewley said:

    I enjoyed your insight,along with all the others who shared.I dont celebrate Christmas. Sometimes it seems like no one understands why I dont.It is a choice we all have to make as Christians.I think you did a great job explaining both sides.

    • Melissa, thanks for your encouraging words. I appreciate your desire to do what you believe is right regardless of whether others understand it or agree with it—never an easy thing to do.

  22. Sarah Scott said:

    I was always confused by my family and church’s stance on Christmas and Easter.

    Rudolph, Santa, Christmas songs, caroling, trees, lights….all good.
    Mangers, Christmas songs sung in church with other Christians, baby Jesus….”bad”.

    Our church would NEVER have a Christmas tree in the foyer or fellowship hall. We did nothing to reach out to our community at Christmastime as a congregation. We would NEVER sing a Christmas hymn in December in a worship service. But you can bet we all dove into our presents on Christmas morning with joyful abandon as we listened to Jingle Bells and ate reindeer cookies in our Santa themed pajamas!

    My confusion comes with celebrating one part and not the other. If a Christian believes that celebrating the religious aspect of Christmas is wrong, shouldn’t it ALL be wrong?

    As I said, I was raised with a similar belief system as you espouse.
    Then I married an ex-Presbyterian. His family always went to Christmas Eve services. So we tagged along with his family after we were married. Wow. It was sacred. Breath-taking. Gathering to sing “Silent Night” near midnight on Christmas Eve was indescribable to me…someone who had never been “allowed” to ponder, meditate and worship at this time of the year. After that experience, Christmas ceased being just a fun time of the year to celebrate all the secular stuff. It became a true “holy day”…not just a holiday. Today, it would feel just WRONG and worldly to rip open presents on Christmas day without taking time out to praise God for the “reason for the season”.

    I’m glad we are a part of a church family that decorates for Christmas. We gave Christmas gifts to over 200 children with our “Angel Tree”. Their families came to the building today for carols, and their parents wrapped their gifts and we fed them dinner. Our church sings Christmas hymns as often as we can in December. But most of all, we stop all the hoo-ha on Christmas Eve and go to church as a family to pray, sing, light candles and celebrate the best gift that was EVER given to the world. Why would that make my Heavenly Father angry? After all, He made sure the Wise Men and shepherds showed to help celebrate! That’s my example.

    • Sarah, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      It isn’t any more wrong and worldly to open Christmas presents than it is to open birthday presents. I buy my children birthday presents each year, but I do not force their party guests to stop and worship before we have cake, telling them they’re not real Christians if they just dive right in to cake and presents without taking time to remember the One who created the birthday child (even though we DO thank God for him). I certainly don’t expect my church family to sing Happy Birthday during the worship service, or to decorate the foyer with balloons and streamers. Why not? Because God has been specific about how He wants us to worship him, and since having kids’ birthday parties as part of our worship isn’t part of His plan as outlined in the Bible, I don’t feel like it’s my right to add it, even if other groups start doing so. Does that mean it’s wrong to celebrate my kids’ birthdays at all? Of course not! There’s nothing wrong with families and friends celebrating together, separate from our worship of God. Yes, we’ll say a prayer before the birthday dinner, and recognize that God is helping the child grow, etc. but we will understand that blowing out candles and handing out party favors are human traditions, so we won’t force them on others as if they were doctrine. In the same way, we’ll thank God for our freedom on July 4th, probably multiple times, in fact, but we won’t expect our church family to shoot fireworks during the worship service or add watermelon and cupcakes to the communion table.

      When all is said and done, we can go to either extreme. We can say that everyone who wants to maintain their status as a Christian should be forced to turn what started as a human holiday into a religious experience, even though that’s our idea and not God’s. Or, we can condemn those who enjoy celebrating human holidays with their families altogether, in which case we must forbid all holidays and all celebrations, not just Christmas. I think a much better choice than either of those would be to simply enjoy our own family traditions (whatever they may be) and opportunities to give to others during this holiday season, and refrain from criticizing those who don’t believe as we do in matters of opinion. I don’t know any simpler way to put it.

      I do appreciate your taking time to comment here, and hope I’ve answered clearly and appropriately. By the way, the wise men and shepherds weren’t at the same “party.” The shepherds saw him at the manger, shortly after his birth. The wise men came some time later, and visited him at a house. But maybe that’s another post altogether… 🙂

  23. Carmen Powell said:

    I have to say that when I first began reading this post I was a bit confused. A friend of mine posted it to Facebook and I was intrigued. I’ve actually done a little research myself and the only reason I subscribed to this blog was so that I could respond. I, as well, think that we should remember the birth and death of Christ and follow His teaching every single day. But the information that I found did not indicate Christmas as it starting out as a Pagan holiday. Christmas originated form the words “Christ’s or Christian Mass.” The date that was decided on to celebrate Christmas actually occurred around the same time as some Pagan holidays and some of the customs of these holidays were adopted by individuals that celebrated them along with Christmas. There then was a later attempt to paganize Christmas because of the time of year it was celebrated. No, I do not believe Christ was born on December 25 but I will celebrate His birth on that day just the same because I do not know the exact date. It says in Luke 2 , verse 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

    11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

    12 And this shall be a asign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

    13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

    14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth bpeace, good will toward men.

    If the birth of Christ caused that much celebration from “a multitude of heavenly host” then I definitely think that His birth is worth celebrating on December 25. I think that it is a great missionary opportunity and a wonderful teaching tool for my children on top of what they learn in church every Sunday as well as what they are taught at home. I think that you NOT celebrating Christmas because of the so called Pagan origins or because of the other reasons you have listed should not matter. No we are not commanded to celebrate Christmas but I think that you are being rebellious to the commercialism of it and are missing the point entirely. Christ was a gift to us from our Heavenly Father. Without His birth the Atonement could not be possible. I think that we as Christians should take every opportunity we can to make our beliefs known and I think that Christmas is one of those opportunities. I think that we should continue to fight the commercialism of it all and make it as Christ centered as we can or we are going to completely loose the true meaning of CHRISTmas all together. What would you do if the holiday were taken away from us? What if we were not allowed to celebrate Christmas at all? Would that upset you??

    • Thanks, Carmen, for sharing your thoughts. We obviously are getting our information from different places, because every source I’ve read about the origins of the Christmas holiday differs from what you stated. From reading the rest of your comment, I feel I must not have been very clear in my original post about what it is I’m trying to say because I think you are missing my point entirely. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how else to state it in order to make it clearer and more understandable. I did give some further examples and information in my responses to other people’s comments, and maybe going back and reading those will help clarify. If they just bring up more questions, feel free to ask. Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment.

      • Carmen Powell said:

        I honestly think that you are the one missing the point entirely. You said that we are not commanded to celebrate Christmas in the Bible, but we are not commanded to celebrate any holiday at all. And by the way all holidays are man made but who’s to say that these men were not prompted by the Spirit to create such a holiday? There are many, many examples in the Bible and Book of Mormon (I obviously realize you are not LDS but I am) of His birth being praised and Heavenly hosts rejoicing. It was made known to all the world. I think those are forms of celebrating. Even in Christmas Hymns that can be cross referenced with scriptures say to rejoice in His birth. I know that by reading some of your other posts in this blog that you are truly devoting your life to Christ…I have no doubt in my mind that you are a good person, but I really do wish you would pray intently about this. I did, and I have such a peace and happiness knowing that I am celebrating the birth of Christ during this Christmas season and my Heavenly Father approves. I hope that you do have a Merry Christmas and if you do celebrate it, if only for the secular traditions, know that Christ deserves to be recognized as the reason for the celebration for most Christians throughout the world and we are not doing so in vain.

  24. Sarah Scott said:

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. I don’t think the birthday analogy you gaveis the same at all. Your example would be to give glory and praise to your earthly mortal child. Christmas is about the SAVIOR….not about US. That is the difference between those who celebrate His birth, and those who just want to be near the party for the presents and fun. The angels rejoiced at Christ’s birth. The wish men and shepherds were told of his birth via the star….they were late, but their reason for coming was the same. And I don’t think it’s WRONG to celebrate only the secular, commercial side of the holiday (weird, but not wrong)…..I said it FEELS wrong to me now that I’ve experienced the true joy of the season.

    One of my minister friends on Facebook asked today “Why do those of you who are agnostic or athiestistic celebrate Christmas?” I ask the same question of believers who celebrate Christmas for the secular, commercial reasons only. It’s confusing, because it IS.

    It is refreshing to leave behind the patternism mentality. God is not an angry dude in the sky waiting to smack us if we do something he didn’t tell us to do, especially if we do something with a pure heart to His glory. I’m not talking about CHANGING what He has already commanded, but doing something not mentioned. (Like an outdoor sunrise service on Easter….but your church has probably taught you that Easter eggs and bunnies are Okay…but Easter prayers are wrong. I’ve been there.) I pray that you will give yourself permission one of these Christmases (or Easters!) to truly worship and celebrate. It is AMAZING.

  25. For me I had to stop celebrating due to the pagan roots associated with Christmas. I was pagan and converted to Christianity. It may change but for now I have to stay away from all things that I associate with paganism.

  26. amen i totally agree with you~~

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