Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas
I know this is an emotional topic, but bear with me a moment…
I grew up in a middle class family in the South. One of our favorite family traditions was Christmas. We gave gifts, got to see family, and had tasty food. In my teenage years (probably 16-18), I began to feel an emptiness about this time of the year. It was quite puzzling to me, as I could not explain why I felt this way. So, I tried to do things to make that time of the year more special to me. I thought to myself, “Perhaps my practice of this day was not what it should be!”
I began to make that time of the year more about Jesus. I would read my word more, pray more, and intentionally try to focus more on God. Despite these efforts, my emptiness remained. I didn’t understand. By 21, the emptiness at that time of the year was even stronger. I was once again puzzled. I didn’t understand. I’m making it about Jesus, right? Normally this amount of focus and discipline would produce some sort of fruit.
About this time, a good friend of mine mentioned to me that Christmas was not in the Bible. I was shocked and angry. “Of Course it is!”, I exclaimed. So, I searched for myself. Obviously, I found the birth of Jesus in the Bible. However, I found no mention of celebrating it, the phrase “Christmas”, or any of the decorations usually involved with that time. My curiosity was peaked.
Then I met a mentor who used to be a heathen – meaning he attended no church and worshipped other gods (literally). He told me that before his conversion he actually put up a tree in his house to honor the sun god. He put ornaments on it, among which was a seven-headed dragon, to honor various gods. It blew my mind that people in America did such a thing. When he got saved, he stopped keeping Christmas because it was totally tied to things not of God. He informed me that the origin of Christmas was not found in the Bible.
I searched the matter out myself and found out that everything I was learning was true. Jesus definitely was not born in December and the celebration itself was not kept by the early church (first mention of doing it around 450 AD, give or take some years). The Catholic Church added it to increase offerings and church attendance (sounds familiar). December 25th has been celebrated since ancient times for the sun god. It all goes back to Nimrod.
After this I listened to a teaching by Perry Stone on when Jesus was born. Turns out, Jesus was born on the Feast of Trumpets in the fall! Now my head is spinning.
Now my emptiness made sense. I’ve learned since then that this is a sign of spiritual discontentment. God was trying to tell me that I can pour as much of myself into that time as I want to, but there would never be that true spiritual satisfaction I was looking for.
I know this is an emotional topic. After reading this, some will say “Well, that’s how we honor God” or “it’s for the children” or “that’s just our culture” or “God doesn’t care when or how we worship Him”. I will address each of these concerns in a very gentle manner, as I want to present a different viewpoint to you.
Let’s look at some Bible verses.
28 Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God. 29 The Lord your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, 30 and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” 31 You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
We can see that God expresses displeasure over worshipping Him the way other religions worship Him. Imagine telling your spouse “We are going to celebrate our anniversary on my high school ex’s anniversary date. I’m going to give you her favorite flowers and take you to her favorite restaurant. I’m going to wear her favorite perfume.” How would your spouse respond? Upset to say the least! The ultimate problem with our human arguments is that they are based on how we feel and not how God feels. Everything in our culture is based upon self. WE always look at what we want and how we feel. Put yourself in God’s shoes. We are saying that a day is all about Him when He never said that and we use symbols that honor other gods.
In Leviticus 19:19, God said, “Keep my decrees. “‘Do not mate different kinds of animals. ‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. “‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.” God’s purpose is giving this commandment is not to mix up the seed of the world with the seed of God. Garments can represent works (see Rev. 19:8). God does not want His works mixed with another’s works. Why? Because it causes confusion. In the Bible we are also told that God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33).
We have confusion at Christmas. Christians are buying all these gifts, putting up Santa Claus figurines, and talking about reindeer or Santa’s sleigh. We brag on the size and decorations of our trees. Then, we turn around and want to talk about Jesus. We have mixed not only the symbols from other religions but also the materialism of modern society. Children are taught to have confidence in a man with white hair, who dwells in the north, who is invisible, who judges works as good or evil, and who can be a lot of places at one time. He also rewards you according to your works. This sounds a lot like God. The problem is that Santa is not God. Now we are taught to put confidence in something that doesn’t even exist.
Paul said, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2). The pattern of worshipping on December 25th (and even the days around it) is found in other cultures. We have let culture define Christ instead of using Christ’s pure example to help us separate from culture.
People appeal to culture often. Our culture is approving of abortion and homosexuality. Culture approves of cursing and using profanity. Will we accept those too? I know those are stout examples, but my point in saying these things are to show you the slippery slope of claiming culture. It doesn’t work. Did you know it was not kept in America as a national holiday until the 1870s? Look it up; it’s true! So many Christians want to “get back to the founding fathers”. Well, many of the founding fathers didn’t celebrate or recognize this day.
How do we resolve this impasse? The answer is the Holy Days of Leviticus 23, which is all about Jesus! This was how my spiritual emptiness was resolved. I have celebrated them for 8 years now. There’s no competition. They are days set apart to God. This is the definition of Holy. Every symbol and act of celebration is revolved around Christ. This answers the last argument: “What about children?” Some people think that abandoning Christmas will impair their children.
First of all, I know parents that raised their children not to celebrate this day, and these children are just as healthy mentally and emotionally as other children. They have no bitter feelings about not doing anything on this day. Many of them are thankful their parents raised them to believe this way. The Holy Days answer the children question. We give gifts during the feasts of the Lord. This is celebrating something completely and totally devoted to God. This teaches children about celebrating, elevating, and commemorating things that are straight from the Bible. It takes time to make this transition – away from Christmas and into God’s festivals. It takes time how to honor God’s festivals. However, they leave the imprint of God on your family and memorialize God’s pure way of life.
The first argument when I provide this explanation is “Well Kelly, you don’t have any children; you have no idea how hard this will be for them”. No, I don’t have children. But I will share this with you – I’m 30 years old and still a virgin. Everything in culture points to sexualizing our bodies. The Lord helped me overcome this. There were challenges and tests, but God showed me how to overcome culture. It’s just like anything else we teach our children to do that’s based on the Bible. He will do the same for you.
Solomon said, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” (Psalm 127:1). If the Lord didn’t build it, it is built in vain. The Lord did not build or sanctify this day. It’s not based upon him. It was built by and for other gods. People wear themselves out every year for something that really is not about the Lord. The weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, and I am relieved from not honoring this day. This could be said of Halloween, Easter, and Valentine’s Day.
I have a free booklet on this subject that I want you to download and read if you are interested in learning more. I’ve heard many of the arguments people over the years, and I address them in the booklet. I also address how to live your life with this important knowledge – such as how to deal with your family during this time of the year as you make this transition.
God Bless and I pray for God to enlighten your eyes to this important issue.