Family Life · Holidays

Should We Celebrate Christmas? Part 1

Note: For our family, we believe that Biblically, celebrating Christmas for Christ isn’t God honoring, so we choose not to do so.  I hope that these posts will be helpful to anyone who is questioning the validity of Christmas, but please, don’t take my word for it.  You will never go wrong if you stick to what scripture says and abide in Christ.  Blessings!

This is Part 1 of our seven part Christmas series.  Other topics include:

(Is Celebrating Christ’s Birth Wrong?)

(The Pagan Roots of Christmas)

(The Worldliness of Christmas)

(The Sufficiency of Scripture and What’s Next?)

(It’s All About Me)

(Worship in the Spirit v. the Flesh)

It is early November, and I really should be writing about thankfulness.  Instead, since researching the roots of Halloween, everything Christmas related has been swirling around in my brain.

I am a very black and white person.  For the most part, events, objects, behaviors, etc. are either good or bad, right or wrong, righteous or ungodly.  Sometimes I wish this was not so.  Life would be much easier if when I noticed a ray of good in something, I could allow my family to participate with a clear conscience.  However, with all honesty that isn’t biblical.  We should flee from even the smallest appearance of evil and by God’s grace strive towards righteous living.

This year, while studying Halloween, I came across some quotes by Spurgeon regarding Christmas.  I honestly do not know how.  I truly believe that the Lord has been slowly working on my heart regarding Christmas, without me even realizing it.  He is so kind and gracious, and His timing is always perfect.

“We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and, consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority.”
-Charles Spurgeon, Sermon on Dec. 24, 1871

“When it can be proved that the observance of Christmas, Whitsuntide, and other Popish festivals was ever instituted by a divine statute, we also will attend to them, but not till then. It is as much our duty to reject the traditions of men, as to observe the ordinances of the Lord. We ask concerning every rite and rubric, “Is this a law of the God of Jacob?” and if it be not clearly so, it is of no authority with us, who walk in Christian liberty.”
-Charles Spurgeon’s Treasury of David on Psalm 81:4.

After further study of the word “Christmas,” or “Christ’s Mass,” I’ve discovered that the term really doesn’t bring honor to Christ at all.  This “holiday” just screams of pagan traditions and history that has nothing to do with my Lord and Savior.  I will be sharing information about the pagan roots of Christmas at a later time with you all.

Some other questions I hope to answer during this month while looking through Scripture:

Is celebrating Christ’s birth wrong?

What pagan practices are associated with this time?

Are you going to celebrate/decorate at all during this holiday season?

If the Lord looks at our heart, and knows our heart’s motives, does it really matter if we celebrate or not?

Aren’t your children going to be deprived?

This season is a wonderful time of giving, regardless of pagan roots and idolatry that we no longer think of today.  Why give that up?

Even the names of the days of the week come from pagan roots and idols.  If Christians can call the first day, “Sunday,” then why shouldn’t they celebrate Christmas?

If the world openly embraces a holiday as good, does that mean it is not of God?

The Bible says, whatever you do, do so for the Lord.  As long as we are attributing the day to Him, celebrating is okay, right?

I was the one who would say, Keep Christ in Christmas! and Jesus is the Reason for the Season! from the rooftops.  Just a few weeks ago I gave away a Christmas ornament shirt on this site.  I’m so very humbled by the way God works.  The gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit is never condemning, praise God!

I have one final thought for today.  John 4:24 says this,

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

We must worship Him in truth.  This scripture looks more like a command than a suggestion.  Is it true from scripture that Jesus’ “birthday” is December 25th, or is that a human tradition?  Even if it was true that our Lord was born on the 25th, is the way we “celebrate” truly worshipful to Him?   This is a verse from scripture about human tradition:

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:8

I’m really looking forward to continuing this series throughout November.  Many blessings to your family!

31 thoughts on “Should We Celebrate Christmas? Part 1

  1. Sigh. What a hard topic. This year my husband and I talked long and hard about Halloween. I have felt, for a long time, that it wasn’t a good idea for our family. However, he felt very different. So I stepped back and gave the nod to him on it. I never said another word. Out of the blue he came to me and said the Holy Spirit had been convicting him that Halloween wasn’t something our family should take part in anymore. So, next year we will be “Halloween-less”.

    I have been dismayed about Christmas the last few years, as well. Everyone on my FB are putting up pictures on their pages about keeping the words “Merry Christmas” out there and not letting it be secularized. But, I am starting to question that. Why? How many people spend more than a few minutes on Christ on that holiday? December isn’t even when He was born. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to put up lights, trees, and give presents in honor of His birth. So it’s not like we are breaking God’s heart (that I could imagine) by giving a secular day back to the world.

    I have no issue celebrating Christ’s birth. The angels did. The shepherds did. The wise men did (though not on the night of His birth). His birth was celebrated. But not the way we do it today.

    I guess I am starting to get some apathy for Christmas (not towards Christ at all. In fact my passion for Him grows at my apathy grows for these holidays). I am not sure if it’s wrong. I am still learning about that myself. Thank you for your insight. I will add this to my prayerful consideration.

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  2. Hi Nicole, So interesting that you have been researching the same thing that has resonated strongly with me for a number of years. One year I decided to not decorate a tree and our neighbor decorated one of our trees on our shared driveway which almost caused me strife….for me personally, I like being a homemaker and putting out a festive arrangement here and there in going with the different seasons. I have been addressing my gifts as spring, summer, fall and winter gifts which I give to family and friends. I cannot choose how others regard holidays and adding some color in the stark winters is something that I do to make the home cozy. I do think that shopping during the Christmas season seems to show many people with more loving attitudes than they seem to have throughout the year and it gives us a glimpse at how nice it will be for love to truly rule throughout eternity with no more hate at all….I hope to press in to His love, grace, light, hope, faith, ever nearer and closer, continually. Although I truly to think I know how you are feeling about these traditional holidays since I feel so similar, I am hoping that I am honoring in faith and believing to our Lord Jesus Christ with the love and grace I need!

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  3. Thank you for this! I wish we could be neighbors! Lol.

    My husband was the one who initiated the “no tree” policy our second christmas together. My dad and I always loved christmas the most. That was our thing. I thought not having a tree would be horrible! But Jesus began working on my heart. This year will be our 6th christmas together, and we now have 3 little ones who more and more are inspiring me to seek first the kingdom of God. It has been more and more clear for me: if it doesn’t help them know Jesus, I don’t care to mess with it. Period! We have gotten major backlash from friends and family at different times, but as we try to humbly and lovingly walk out our convictions, Jesus has taken care of us. And while all those around us stress and worry and go into debt “for Jesus’ birth”, we have joy and peace. Praying for all those trying to press in closer to our Lord! Keep these posts coming!

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  4. Good post! While doing my own research on the pagan roots of holidays I looked up where the idea of all things birthday come from. It’s just as pagan as Christmas traditions. You will probably find it very interesting.:)

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  5. Thank-you Nicole for researching this. I was wondering about this also around Halloween time. Reminder-I am the “Laura” who had a lot of questions about Halloween. FYI- We chose to let our children trick or treat and we did help out with the Fall Fun Day at our church. We live in such a small community we decided it is better to be out with everyone because “the whole town” is out and you have a much bigger opportunity to witness than on a regular “trip to town” type of day. And yes, we did get the opportunity to plant a few seeds that day.
    Back to the Christmas thing, I love it that you are putting effort in to this. This is a holiday where I feel many lose sight. All the parties, gifts, decorations, ect. I would like to get to the point where people don’t think they need to give me a gift. I dislike this part of Christmas very much. I do however love taking the time each year to think about God’s perfect plan to save a fallen world and how it began with a Virgin and a babe in a manger.
    The world has commercialized this holiday. I like to think “simple” when we celebrate and decorate. Candle lit time under a blanket with my girls reading “Little House” Christmas stories. Operation Christmas Child/Angel Tree projects and teaching my kids that not everyone has what we do and how we show Christ’s love when we take care of others. It gives us a time to remember and thank God for keeping His promises and it gives us a chance to prove the validity of the Scriptures and how they came true. Definitely agree that Christmas has become something it was never meant to be. My ideal Christmas would be serving in a soup kitchen with my family and donating the money that we would have spent on us to a local charity/family in need. Looking forward to your series. 🙂

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  6. We had a discussion about the amount of gifts we receive and are expected to give. We would prefer to not give or receive gifts at all but I think our family might disown us and take our children (you know, child abuse that would be!). Anyway, for the meantime we have seriously simplified our Christmas. We do have a tree because it’s God’s creation but we beautify it with items that speak of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection. We also set up a doll size baby Jesus in a manager under the tree Christmas morning. This year we will sing worship songs prior to opening gifts and we give one gift to each child. I wish we could get our family to fall into line with the less gift thing…..someday. We have really tried to put all of our focus on Jesus and what he did for us around this season and avoid the shopping, spending, Santa, malls, etc. We do things as a family and don’t do things that wouldn’t be enjoyed as a family and/or glorify God. When the children are older we hope to be able to get involved in helping those in need on a face-face basis (our oldest is only 5 and youngest is 1) I am curious to read the rest of your series and am printing this first post for hubby to read. Blessings to you!

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    1. You described the Christmas morning that I am planning on having also. 🙂 Very simple. I would love my family on both sides to come to the point that I really don’t see the need for gift giving/receiving. I do however see the point for quality family time and that is what I want my Christmas settle around.

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    2. I ordered the new book The War on Christmas through Answers In Genesis and it just came today. Funny enough, it covers the very thing your post talks about. So far I’ve only read up to page 12 but those who are researching this should try to read this book. It’s a beautiful book with lovely photographs and graphics to boot. I’m very excited to read this. He even quoted the Jeremiah verses you mentioned. Just wanted to let people know about it. It’s by Bodie Hodge.

      Also, am I the only one who finds it incredibly annoying that churches no longer seem to offer a service on Christmas Day? We have a ridiculous number of churches in our area for a town of 8000 but only TWO churches offer a Christmas Day service – and they are Lutheran and Catholic. Maybe I should be praying for churches to go back to recognizing this day as a day of worship and offer services! Am I alone in this?

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  7. Can’t wait to read more! Soo thankful I just started “following” you. We have also not been doing a tree, and every year we pray about how to talk to relatives and what to do.

    Thanks!
    Nancy

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  8. I would not consider displaying a Christmas tree the same thing as having an idol. Or at least I wouldn’t use that Jeremiah quote as an argument against having one. Jeremiah 10:3 “…and a craftsman shapes or with his chisel” is referring to carving an idol out of wood. If you are really as black and white about it as you say then you shouldn’t have any decorative carvings in your house at all ever. I think you can use it as possibly a warningas to worship Christ and not the tree (ie: don’t expect the tree to fulfill all your hopes and dreams). We will have a tree but I dont want anyone to think I’m judging if you dont, I’m not, to each their own. Jeremiah 10:5 says “…Do not fear them: they can do no harm nor can they do any good.” He saying its just a chunk of wood it holds no power, good or bad. So if you are going to try to apply this Scripture to a Christmas tree I think the same can be said. Its just something looking nice sitting in your home. Its not good or bad. The same could be said of a chair or a painting or an end table.

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    1. We have displayed Christmas trees in our home. I thought I made that clear in the post, I’m so sorry if I didn’t. We are doing things a bit differently this year and will not be celebrating Christmas. However we will still have greenery around our home, and plan to decorate a tree in a different manner. I plan to share about that later. 🙂 Also, for those that do not have a tree, I totally understand their reasoning. The verse specifically mentions “decking trees with silver and gold,” not having an end table or lamp. Blessings to you!

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  9. I really appreciate you sharing this! My husband and I went through the whole “should Christians really be celebrating Christmas” last year (also Halloween and Easter) and almost got disowned by his family over it (not really, but it sure felt like it). We came to the realization that we weren’t worshiping “in truth” but were just blindly following a traditions set up by man. Like Spurgeon said, these holidays were never even suggested by our Father.

    So, we took a look in the Bible and decided to give celebrating the biblical feasts a try. (Now, I’m in no way saying every Christian has to do this, just saying it’s what we did.) Wow-wee! Let me tell you – they are amazing! I never knew there was so much I DIDN’T know about the Old Testament, or even Jesus, for that matter. And as far as my kids “missing out” – they absolutely LOVE Purim, Passover, Sukkot, and Hanukkah (I know the last one isn’t in the OT, just the NT, but we chose to celebrate it anyway because it’s such a beautiful picture of the Messiah!). All in all, we’ve found celebrating these Feasts to be MUCH more fulfilling and meaningful than Christmas and Easter. (Let it be known, we don’t opt out of extended family holiday stuff, we just don’t celebrate in our little family.)

    So there’s my 2 cents. Or 4 dollars. Whatever. Blessings on your family as you follow our Savior in the Way He leads you. 🙂

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  10. I also want to thank you for asking these tough questions. I feel that, in many Christian circles, you’d be a black sheep at best for even questioning the validity of celebrating Christmas. I’m excited to read your upcoming posts. We have toned down everything these last years. I hung stockings that I had sewn that have a cross of nativity scene on them, and usually a Scripture reference. We have a Jesse tree that we made ornaments for that I modified slightly to suit my taste. We have concluded that gift giving will be limited, and will be for our relatives (we go to our families homes, who, for the most part, are not Christian, but do celebrate the day, and participate in their gift exchange). We want to be certain that we don’t give the impression to our kids that God wants us to celebrate Him by gifting ourselves materially. I really struggle with these things, and have for years! But, until I came across your blog, had thought I was alone 🙂 I too wish we were neighbors!

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  11. Very interesting. You mentioned something about Sunday in this article, did you know Sunday also has its origins in paganism, and that Christians originally used to celebrate Saturday as Gods special day? Another thing to add to the investigation list! 🙂 I’m guessing you already know about Easter?

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    1. Yes. 🙂 Saturday is actually the Sabbath day, and I believe that Christians began meeting on Sunday since Christ rose on the first day. Actually, I believe the early church met almost every day.

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  12. I found out about the pagan orgins of Christmas in highschool.Back then I was a pagan.Since coming back to Christ I’ve had a huge internal struggle with celebrating Christmas.It’s been kind of easy to avoid since my dad died last year.My grandpa wants nothing to do with it now and my mom lives about 2 hours away and we don’t do much there either.Hubby doesn’t care much about it either so this year there will be no tree,and probably very few gifts.Mainly just what family members give my daughter.

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    1. Hey Nicole! I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your boldness and your search for the truth in scriptures! I find myself questioning some of the very same things and just want the simplicity that God’s word demands. There are so many things that we have embraced without questioning why, where, and who they may have originated from even down to the way we worship. The Bible is God’s inspired word and He made it simple… As God is not the author of confusion ,1 Corinthians 14:33. It’s up to us to read and study God’s word and take it for what He commands us to do. It’s so important to know whether it’s of God or of mans interpretation. It’s nice to know there are other diligently seeking mothers out there. As for Christmas , we don’t not celebrate it as Christ’s birthday because of the silence of the scriptures regarding it. We do have a tree. There really is not much detail given for his birth. The real emphasis found is on his death and resurrection and what HE did for us, I corinthians 15: 1-4. Not on man made dates. Good discussion. 🙂

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  13. Hi Nicole. Thank you so much for this series. I respect anyone who is even willing to research this topic. Due to my husband’s convictions (and eventually mine as I came to them grudgingly) we cut back on Christmas a lot after having our first child. Reducing gifts, no Christmas tree and no Santa. These changes alone caused some resentment amongst our relatives. We do Christmas cards with a gospel message, very minimal gifts and read of Jesus’s birth through the month of December. BUT, seeing the world be opposed with gifts and presents and what this holiday is just makes me sad. It really has nothing to do with Jesus to most people. I have wondered if I would have a better testimony if I didn’t partake at all? I don’t know. I will be honest and say this has been an area of conviction for a long time (as in a couple of years). But, each year we eek by and our family grows and I enjoy traditions, so I hang on (for now). But, I know the roots of this day and that it wasn’t even allowed to be celebrated when our country was founded.

    Thank you again for even being willing to explore this topic. I know of NO person in real life who even questions it. I have had people look at me like I have two heads when I say we don’t do a tree and even when I give them the scripture (same as yours above) for why. I don’t care if they have a tree, why do they care if I do?

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  14. Definitely something we need to think about. We don’t do Santa, partying, or lots of presents. (extended family buys a lot of gifts) We try to focus on Jesus birth, but apparently we need to try harder. My 5 year old told me that Christmas is about presents, as far as she is concerned! I suppose it’s normal for small children to be selfish, but I want to teach her the opposite of materialism and self gratification. It is disappointing that with each passing year, Christmas becomes more commercialized. Thanksgiving is overlooked, Walmart already has Christmas stuff out:(
    a few presents from your loved ones is nice, but spending time with loved ones and at church is what is becoming increasingly important to me.

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  15. Thank you for sharing this, as my husband and I have been struggling with this for a couple years. We have not put up a Christmas Tree for two years now and did not exchange presents with one another (it was just the two of us). This past July, I gave birth to my first child, and am struggling with all of the pagan holidays. My husband was not raised with the holidays so it’s very easy for him, but unfortunately I was, and it’s difficult. My husband told me how difficult it was to be in school and not to be part of the holiday parties because children would ask him why he doesn’t celebrate Santa, Easter Bunny, etc…and he was always the center of unwanted attention or neglected. I think it may be a bit different with schools now as they are “sensitive” to celebrating anything that they think is related to religion. Either way…I’m looking forward to your series and also will join you all in prayer as we struggle with this topic and also dealing with friends/family on our decisions.

    Many blessings….

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  16. Hello. I’m not sure if you have received any of my comments. I was wondering if you have an email where you can be reached?

    Also, I’ve clicked on where I would like to receive posts to my email, but I have not received any.

    Hope this comment makes it through.

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  17. Thank you for this post. I feel as though I could have written something similar. I grew up with no pagan holidays so it isn’t that hard for me. That being said, others near and dear to us partake of Christmas and most if not all the other holidays as well. It is hard for me to be quiet with they talk about it in front of my 4 year old when they know how we feel on this matter. It feels as if they have no respect for us. I just don’t know what to do at this point other than to study and pray. Any ideas?

    I look forward to the series as well.

    Ashley

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  18. I totally agree with your posts and we do not celebrate any of the eight witch sabbaths either in the name of Christ. I have written several articles on both Biblical Connection and Political Connection regarding this subject. Keep up the great work! You are just another person of several, including our family, that the Spirit has convicted in recent years regarding this topic. 🙂

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  19. Nicole,

    First, I would like to say thank you! I know that this post & the others were not an easy task to share, however, you did it in a VERY loving & Christ like way!

    My family of 6 stopped participating in Halloween, Easter, Christmas, Valentines & more over 6 years ago. In the beginning it was difficult to even say those words! My husband & I discovered the ‘truth’ on the night of Thanksgiving 2007. We were heartbroken that we had been deceived by our families! We immediately confessed, repented & turned away from what the Holy Spirit revealed to us! It hasn’t been an easy thing as the years have passed, but God continues to be faithful, blessing us & giving us His powerful strength to carry on & share when given the chance!

    Every year since, I seek encouragement through other ‘like-minded’ believers. I do this because there is such a small % of believers that don’t celebrate or participate. God’s timing is always perfect!

    We’ve questioned ourselves over & over again! This post has been God’s way of saying, we’re doing the righteous thing & honoring Him!

    Thank you again…..God’s blessings!

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