Christmas is a hugely popular holiday celebrated by some 2 billion people worldwide. Even people in nations with little or no Christian history or tradition (Including China) are celebrating it in increasing numbers.
Christmas is so big that it plays a key role in the economies of many nations.
Why would anyone not want to celebrate Christmas like nearly everybody else?
1. Jesus wasn’t born on or near December 25.
Remember those shepherds who were “living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night”? (Luke 2:8). December weather around Bethlehem is often miserably cold, wet and rainy. No shepherd in his right mind would have kept his flocks outside at night at that time of year!
As an aside, the flocks raised near Bethlehem, which was near Jerusalem, were for sacrifice at the Jerusalem temple. Jesus, the Lamb of God sacrificed for mankind, was born in a manger at the city where the sacrificial lambs were raised.
The Complete Book of American Holidays tells us that Luke’s account of Christ’s birth “suggests that Jesus may have been born in summer or early fall. Since December is cold and rainy in Judea, it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night” (p. 309) rather than keeping them outdoors.
Also, Luke 2:1-4 tells us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because his parents came to that town to register in a Roman census. The Romans were well known as highly efficient administrators. It would have made no sense to have conducted a census in the dead of winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and traveling was difficult due to poor road conditions. Taking a census under such conditions would have been self-defeating!
2. The Christmas holiday is largely a recycled pagan celebration.
Consider the customs associated with Christmas. What do decorated evergreen trees, holly, mistletoe, yule logs, a jolly plump man in a fur-lined red suit, sleighs and flying reindeer have to do with the birth of Jesus Christ?
None of these things have anything to do with Him, but they have a lot to do with ancient pagan festivals.
How did December 25 come to be assigned as the supposed date of Jesus Christ’s birth? It is believed that the emperor Constantine adhered to Mithraism, a worship of the sun, up to the time of his conversion to Christianity. He was probably instrumental in seeing that the major feast of his old religion was carried over to his new faith” ( The Christmas Almanac, 1979, p. 17).
It’s difficult to determine the first time anyone celebrated Dec. 25 as Christmas, but historians generally agree that it was sometime during the fourth century—some 300 years after Christ’s death. And then a contrived date was chosen because it was already a popular pagan holiday celebrating the birth of the sun god!
Similarly, virtually all of the customs associated with Christmas are recycled from ancient pagan festivals honoring other gods.
3. God condemns using pagan customs to worship Him.
Since Christmas is supposedly a day to worship and celebrate God the Father and Jesus Christ, wouldn’t it be a good idea to look into the Bible to see what it says about how we should worship God?
The answer is quite clear. God gives specific instruction about using pagan practices to worship Him. Notice what He says in Deuteronomy 12:30-31a (NIV) “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”.
And lest some think this is simply an Old Testament command that no longer applies, the apostle Paul makes the same point in 2 Corinthians 6, where he addresses whether unbiblical religious customs and practices have any place in the worship of God’s people:
The apostle Paul told them in no uncertain terms to leave behind all these forms of worship and worship God in true holiness as He commands. Jesus likewise said His true followers “must worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:24)—not revel in recycled pagan customs and symbolism.
4. Christmas is worshiping God in vain.
Since Christmas is a jumble of ancient pagan customs invented by men, and a holiday found nowhere in the Bible, does God honor or accept such worship?
Jesus provides the answer in His stern rebuke of the religious teachers of His day, men who had substituted human traditions and teachings for God’s divine truths and commands: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites . . . ‘in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ . . . All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9).
In the 17th century Christmas was actually outlawed in England and some parts of the American colonies because of its unbiblical and pagan origins.
5. You can’t put Christ back into something He was never in.Putting Christ back in Christmas may sound like a nice sentiment, but it’s really only a misguided effort to try to justify a long-standing human tradition rather than what the Bible tells us we should do.
6. The Bible nowhere tells us to observe a holiday celebrating Jesus Christ’s birth—but it clearly does tell us to commemorate His death.
Notice what the apostle Paul, conveying the instructions of Jesus Himself, tells Christians: “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’
“In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes . . . Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:23-28).
And yes, many believers do what they consider a form of this today in taking communion or “the Lord’s supper.” They fail to realize, however, the full significance of these acts, or that what Paul is actually describing here is the Passover — which is what Jesus Himself called this observance (Matthew 26:18-19; Mark 14:14-16; Luke 22:8-13, 15).
The point is: Jesus expected His followers to commemorate His death – not His birth – by observing the Passover.
I’ve given you my reasons for not celebrating Christmas. What do you suppose God thinks of your reasons for continuing to observe it?
Santa-tizing: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up by Robin Main. Heavily documented from Scripture and ancient history.
Post on Nov 25, 2006 by Scott Ashley. The Top 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Celebrate Christmas. Edited for brevity.
When Was Jesus Really Born? Jonathan Cahn on the Jim Bakker Show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptlsXtTf6n0