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Why should christians not celebrate christmas

Why should Christians not celebrate Christmas?

by Bibi Babatunde-Ikotun

Hi all, long time no blog entry. This multi-media content creator thing is a lot of work. Between creating content on Youtube, Instagram and TikTok, I'm hardly able to create written content. Also, a lot of you prefer video or audio content anyways and you're happy with what I've been churning out recently. For those that are still fond of reading, this is dedicated to you.

Scroll down to watch the video, if that's what you prefer.

So the question today is, why should Christians not celebrate Christmas?

The first time I heard "Christmas is a pagan celebration" was in year 3 in university. I was so upset by the idea that a fellow believer will speak so poorly about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I mean, we mortals often have our loved ones gather around to celebrate us annually. Why can't we have a gathering centred around the birth of the most important person ever? These are the thoughts that cross my mind anytime I think about the pagan history of our beloved Christmas celebration.

So I did a little bit of research and I'd like to share some of the points that jumped out to me:

  • Everywhere around the world, there were celebrations around the end of December for so many reasons: 
    • Winter solstice festival: This is the celebration of the shortest day and longest night of the year. The traditional symbols are Fire and light. 
    • Saturnalia festival: This is a holiday about the planet Saturn, the god of agriculture. Typically, it was a weeklong celebration in the days leading up to the winter solstice.
    • Mithra's birthday: Mithra was an ancient Persian god of light and was celebrated on December 25. This was recorded as the most sacred day of the year for some people. 
  • In early Christianity, only easter was celebrated but not Christmas. However Pope Julius I chose December 25 in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. There are theories that believe the early Church chose the same date for Christmas to supplant pagan rituals, though many Christian scholars dispute this.
  • Christmas was first called the Feast of the Nativity, and it was exported to Egypt and was in England by the end of the sixth century. In 1645, the Puritans cancelled Christmas however it was reinstated.
  • In the 19th century, Americans re-invented Christmas and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centred day of peace and nostalgia.

Thought: If indeed Christmas was chosen on the same date to supplant pagan practices, I really don't blame the early church leaders for doing that. 

So what don't I like about the way it is celebrated?

  • Santa Claus and lies: Why do we have to participate in lying to our children about a mythical being that rewards you with gifts because you were good all year long? It is very contradictory to scripture and we end up modelling lying to the kids?  This idea of "If you do good, you'll get gifts" goes against the idea of Christ. God isn't rewarding us with salvation because we worked for it, everything about God is focused on His grace and we receive it through faith.

Did you know that Santa Klaus was based on Saint Nicolas a Turkish monk who gave all his wealth away and took care of sick children? 

  • Consumerism and capitalism: When it comes to Christmas, there is this craze to buy buy buy. Companies invest billions in advertising and marketing to buy a bunch of things we and our children don't need in the grand spectrum of things.  We neglect what really matters, that the best gift you can give to someone is Christ! That gift of salvation that is eternal life will never lose its power or value for eternity.
A Canada survey of more than 1,000 Canadian adults found that more than 30 million Canadians (82 percent) plan on spending an estimated $20.5 billion (an average of $675 per shopper) on gifts this holiday season
  • Parties and celebrations: A lot of Christmas celebrations miss Christ as the centre. Where is the celebrant you claim to celebrate at these parties? If Jesus worked on earth, is this a party that will reflect his value? Don't even get me started on "Jesus partied with sinners", yes he did but he went there with a purpose to get them saved not to get drunk and participate in things that are not Christ-like. P.S. There's no expectation for unbelievers to celebrate Christ in Christmas, this is why you must preach the gospel.

Does this mean that I believe Christmas should be cancelled because of its root? No!

I believe that beautiful things can come out of unusual places and what matter is how it is celebrated. It is also helpful to inform the little ones that this date is simply a date to commemorate the date of our lord and saviour not necessarily the real date of His birth. Historians predict that Jesus was born sometime in the spring because of the shepherds watching their flock but who knows?

How to celebrate Christmas as a Christian

Please note, these are my personal ways to celebrate the special day called Christmas. I'm not saying is the best and only way to celebrate but feel free to take some ideas from me. I have friends that don't celebrate Christmas because to them it's a pagan holiday which is understandable. But for me, what the enemy made for evil has been turned around for good.

  • Meditate on the love of God: You can choose bible verses about the love of God and meditate on it daily from Dec 1 to Dec 31st. Check out this post on Scriptures to help you meditate on God’s unconditional love.
  • Evangelize/Witness: Let people know that God is not angry with them. The only thing they need to do is believe in Jesus who is the reason for the season. Santa Claus comes once a year but Jesus is able to live in their heart forever. Check out this post on How to overcome the fear of evangelism.
  • Host a worship session in your home or a christ centred carol: Use this season to sing songs of worship to God for how awesome He is. He decided to come and dwell amongst men because He loved us so much. He died a sinner's death for us to live. Thank Him for this act and magnify His name. Check out this post on Christmas songs focused on Christ.
  • Give a Christmas exhortation to your family: Help them remember that your gathering is not without a purpose. Christ is the reason for the season. Tell them about how God is intentional about them and this is seen through the birth of Jesus. The truth that he factored in generations yet unborn into His master plan is mind-blowing.
  • Ask everyone their favourite thing about Jesus and how they know Him: This will help put the focus on Christ since it's His "birthday" anyways and that's what you do at people's birthdays.
  • Give to a charity or someone around you that is in need: You are buying presents already, you might as well give to someone that can't give you back. This aligns with Jesus's word to give to people that can't repay you because your motives are clear.

Every day is Christmas for the believer in Christ. That God loved the world so fiercely and chose to become a human being in other to reconcile us back to himself. This is a truth the believer must meditate on daily, especially during the holiday period.

So please answer this question:

Why should Christians not celebrate Christmas (Video)


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