Christmas--Why Not?

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Christmas--Why Not?

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My family had a long tradition of celebrating Christmas Eve on Dec. 24 followed by a family day on Dec. 25. It seemed like the right thing to do, since it is always a good thing for families to get together and for children to share in joy and peace. It is always a delight to see the shining eyes of children who are receiving gifts to unwrap. These events endeared this celebration to our hearts.

“Am I doing something that Jesus would do and that He would support?”

One day, for a reason I cannot explain in physical terms, I was confronted with a strong desire to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ (which I thought I had been doing). I met a number of people who were having the same strange experience. We had never once questioned the warm and loving sharing that we thought the Christmas season brought to mankind—but we asked ourselves, “What does God think about this?” “Are we truly pleasing God?” “Am I doing something that Jesus would do and that He would support?” I have come to understand this as God calling me to repentance from sin (John 6:44).

I began to think of the songs we sang. “O Tannenbaum” (or “Oh Christmas Tree”) came to mind. I was singing to a tree as though it were alive and had some strange power. We decorated it and placed our gifts below the tree, as though the gifts and good feeling emanated from and through the tree.

I thought about the words to “Silent Night, Holy Night,” a truly beautiful piece of music. I wondered about shepherds being in the fields on an evening at the end of December, which is a very cold time of the year where I grew up.

I remembered the financial difficulty we had to be able to buy gifts for everyone in the family and to buy the kind of gifts our children had asked of Santa Claus. I began to wonder about Santa Claus and the lies that were told to the children about him and his reindeer. “Rudolph with your nose so bright” began to sound hollow to me.

I eventually learned that Christmas observance is not an honor to Jesus Christ and is not God’s will. As a result, I have not observed Christmas for the last 42 years, and I will never observe that holiday again.

My reasons

Here are some of the reasons I stopped observing Christmas:


Exodus 20:4-5 reveals that God does not want us to use images in the worship of God. And Jeremiah 10:1-5 clearly shows that trees have commonly been used in idolatrous ways. Sin is the breaking of God’s commandments (1 John 3:4). Idolatry is an affront to God. Deuteronomy 12:30-31 strongly commands us not to do so much as even ask how others worshipped their gods. Using anything that smacks of that which pagans use is sin.

Jesus Christ never sinned in His life (Hebrews 4:15). Our goal is to be like Him. We ought to shun anything that is sin and resist going against God’s will (Hebrews 12:1-4). Using a tree, fertility symbols and icons in worship to God is a sin.

Lying and deceitfulness are of Satan and not of God (John 8:44). God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). The Christmas stories about Santa Claus and the shepherds in the fields on Christmas Eve were false. I found out that Jerusalem has rain and cold that time of year and it sometimes snows in the region. Sheep are sheltered in the wintertime, not left out in inclement weather.

The Bible tells us it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). But people are largely motivated by a desire to get and the pressure to give—and give more than they can afford. The popularity of Christmas is largely the result of it being promoted by manufacturers and retailers—it’s the biggest shopping period of the year. As a result, Christmas fosters materialism, commercialism and personal financial difficulties.

I have known people who take the whole year to pay off their credit cards because of the shopping spree they had to go on to buy Christmas presents. I have heard people worry, fret and even complain about having to buy for this person and that person. I saw little joy in giving, and I saw children always expecting to receive. Giving gifts is a wonderful thing to do when it is done with joy, from the heart and for a good purpose. That can be done any time of the year.

In reading the Bible, I found that God had indeed given mankind many occasions to celebrate during the year. He called them “My feasts.” They are all listed in Leviticus 23. These are the feasts Jesus kept all of His life. I remembered that the New Testament had not yet been written in Jesus’ day. If I was to be like Jesus, I would love what He loved, follow the spiritual steps He took and shun that which was not of God. I have found that the Holy Days of God far surpass any celebration that man has devised.

Sin feels good, and that is deceitful. Just because something feels good—even if it involves doing “good” things—does not mean it should be done. Only God can define “good.” Sin easily ensnares us and is deceitful (Hebrews 12:1; 3:13). Sin contains pleasures, but they are temporary and passing (Hebrews 11:25).

People are quick to point out that children enjoy this time of year. It is true that if there were nothing to take its place, children would lose something of value. God intends humans to enjoy activities that bring joy to children and adults alike. He clearly defines what those activities might be—but using symbols of other religions or incorporating the idols of pagan religions into His worship service is strongly condemned.

In the giving of service and obedience, we can truly find the meaning of “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”

John 1:1-5; 1 Corinthians 10:4; and Philippians 2:5-8 are only a few scriptures that attest to the preexistence of Jesus Christ. Before He came in the form of a man, Jesus was the only being that was revealed to mankind as God (John 6:46). That tells us it was Jesus, before His incarnation, who wrote the Ten Commandments and thus defines sin for us all. It was He who defined sin and who came in the flesh to die in our place—for our sins.

The link and connection between Jesus Christ as revealed to us in the New Testament and God as revealed to Israel in the Old Testament is too important for us to negate in any way. Jesus Christ stated that He does not change—He is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews13:8; Malachi 3:6). That means His definition of sin and the reason He died remains constant. We have no right to redefine sin—we have only the obligation to show respect, love, honor and obedience to Him who defined sin and then died because mankind would not or could not live within the bounds He set.

As time has passed, I have come to understand and observe over and over again the blessings that come from carefully obeying God. Careful obedience is what God deserves, and careful obedience is what we need to give. In that giving of service and obedience, we can truly find the meaning of “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” It is God who is the greatest giver of all, and He gives to those who serve and love Him. Now it remains for us to choose to understand His commands and to live by them.


  • Aaron_Dominguez
    CHRISTMASS became legal (in the USA) in 1843 mostly because of Charles Dickens story, it did not become a national holiday until 1870. Sadly In 1890 the final U.S. state outlawing the celebration was expunged. Christ-mass, was its official name since the 11th century. Missa-Latin for Mass a shortened version of dis-MISSA-l, given explicitly at funerals. By 1652 in England after the execution of Catholic monarch King Charles I this holiday/festival was outlawed by the Puritan reformer Oliver Cromwell. After his death & the monarchy returned, King Charles II (a Roman Catholic) & he brought Christmass w/ him. In 1659 the North American British Colonies followed Cromwell’s example & outlawed the festival. Cotton Mather gave a sermon in 1712 warning his fellow colonialists. “Can you in your conscience think that your Holy Savior is honored by hard drinking, lewd reveling & by a mass fit for none but Bacchus or Saturn?” In the USA the “churches” claimed it was easier for children to learn the Bible by doing skits, & most popular of all is the nativity of Jesus. To put pressure on the parents acceptance, schools handed out peppermint shepherd staffs that today, we call CANDY CANES.
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