And the answer is…..YES! And, NO!
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.
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!