How do you feel about Christmas?
Do you observe it differently now compared to the way you observed it when you were a child? Do you observe it at all? Did you know Christmas has pagan roots? Does that bother you?
Don’t get nervous. I’m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing this time of year. I can’t because I don’t have it all sorted out myself. I’m torn. I don't believe people should go around telling others they should not celebrate Christmas.
For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11
I wrote a book on the Bible Holidays so I get a lot of email in December asking, "What do you do about Christmas?" So I'm answering below.
Download the Free Bible Tip-Ins and Margin Strip post. at the bottom of this page.
Christmas is Pagan?
Since the beginning of the church, there has been controversy over pagan customs. On one side were those who wanted to “Christianize’” the customs to win over the heathen, and on the other side were those who rejected anything having to do with paganism.
Some Christians observe Christmas as they always have with family traditions, Santa, etc., but with a focus on the Savior’s birth. Some avoid the Santa scene, try not to get wrapped up in materialism (pardon the pun) and focus on Christ.
Some have completely given up Christmas because of its pagan roots, or because the Puritans didn’t observe it, or the materialism, etc. Those who have given up Christmas usually face a lot of flack from friends and family.
Our home is divided. It’s rough. My husband wants to celebrate Christmas. I look forward to the end of December every year because I can't stand the focus on spending money.
December 25 is Not in the Bible?
I have no problem that celebrating Jesus’ birthday wasn’t commanded by God. Purim wasn’t commanded by God, but suggested by the Hebrews as an observance to remember a miracle of God.
I want to celebrate the birth of Christ as a miracle of God. The INCARNATION: the most wonderful miracle of all! I would just prefer not to merge the celebration with a pagan festival. It’s a compromise I don’t feel good about.
12 Things About Christmas
12 Things I like About Christmas
- Focus on Christ
- Bible studies about Jesus!
- Families getting together (for some, the only time of the year)
- Church programs (giving to the needy, the elderly, plays, songs, etc., focusing on Christ)
- Nativity scenes
- The music (especially Handel’s Messiah)
- Homemade gifts and cards
- Baking Goodies
- Creativity (crafts, gingerbread houses, decorations, Chrismoms, etc.)
12 Things I don’t like about Christmas
- Lack of focus on Christ
- Pagan roots
- Lonely people feeling lonelier
- Christians disagreeing
- Greed (coveting)
- Shopping, shopping and more shopping
- Debt- LOTS OF DEBT!
- Family stress
- The good are rewarded philosophy that spills over in “saved by works” mentality
- Santa worship (idolatry)
- Political War on Christmas
Our Christmas Evolution
As a child we did what everyone else did in the sixties. Full-blown Santa is coming, tinsel-decorated tree, with a big-time focus on presents. We didn’t leave out Jesus but He wasn’t the focus. My mother would read the Christmas story in front of the nativity scene on Christmas Eve. Jesus got about 15 minutes of the holiday rush.
I was very dedicated to the Lord when my children were born. When my first children were toddlers (over 30 years ago) we had a birthday cake for Jesus each year.
Our traditional centerpiece was a Santa kneeling over the Baby Jesus in the manger. I also took my children to have their photo taken with Santa. Santa even came to our church to pass out presents.
By the time my oldest children were school age we dumped all Santa décor and focused on Christ. (We also stopped all Easter bunny traditions that year).
We made Chrismoms (symbols of Christ) for the tree out of white and gold felt and sequins and hung them every year as we read Scripture verses for the symbol (door, crown, sheep, bread, etc).
We sent out “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” Christmas cards. I remember my mother was disappointed we didn’t accept Santa and reindeer presents. The tree and stockings were still a family tradition.
2000 to Present Day
Christmas is important to my husband mainly because it is only time his family gathers. I still don’t feel at peace with this decision but it is really not my call. So I make the best of it and focus on Christ. I feel God can use all things for His good.
Since I began Bible journaling in 2015 I spend December focusing on Christ though art and journaling.
This year I started a December Daily Bible study focusing on the 31 Titles of Christ.