Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

Some Christians say Christians should not celebrate Christmas since it is not found in the Bible. But Jesus himself celebrated Habakkuk which is not found in the bible and not nearly as important. It is from the Talmud, man's traditions, that the Menorah is lit for eight days in remembrance of the miracle god did. However I think Christmas is in the bible. The first Christmas celebration was at the birth of Christ. “Christ” and “mas” = Christ-celebration.

“And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:14 “Glory to God in the highest,And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
-Luke 2 12-14

“Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
-Luke 2.20

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
-Matthew 2 10-11

But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:“Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
-Hebrews 1.6

When Jesus was born the angels of heaven celebrated while praising God saying they bring news of great joy v 10. The shepherds Glorified God and the wise men rejoiced with great joy. All who love Jesus and gods free gift he gave mankind should find the son of gods entrance into humanity a reason to celebrate. Celebrating the long awaited savior who was promised of old.

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

-Genesis 3.15

14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel
-Isiah 7.14

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

-Isiah 9.6

Celebrating the birth of the messiah also celebrates his work on the cross and the reason he was sent into the world. At his birth Jesus is wrapped in swaddling cloths, he is once more in the tomb and resurrection. The wise men bring him gifts of frankincense and myrrh, two burial spices to the baby born to die on the cross [also see Philippians 2 5-8].

“Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
-Luke 2.10-11

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
-Matthew 1.21

December 25th?

One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
-Romans 14.5

Some don't think we should celebrate Christmas because Jesus was not born on Dec 25th. But when is a day not to celebrate or honor god? When does it become a wrong to do so? Rarely is my family able to celebrate our birthdays on the actual day when it falls during the week. We usually wait for the weekend so the kids can have an entire day for their celebration. As early as 221 church fathers such as Sextus Africanus mention December 24th as the day of Christmas.

Some say we should not celebrate Christmas because it derives from a pagan festival called Saturaliaran. However this is not so, that festival was celebrated December 17-23. Even if it were true, what is wrong with tacking something wrong such as a pagan holiday, and transforming it to become something to honor God? Sunday was a ancient pagan holiday to worship the sun. Does that conclude Christians cannot go to church on that day?

“Weather Christmas happens to occur at the same time or close to the same time as a pagan holiday is irrelevant. There is nothing inherently wrong with celebrating a christian holiday at the same time as pagans celebrate.”
-Boddie Hodge The War on Christmas Master Books

Just because a pagan does something on a certain day does not make the day there. Sometimes in our modern society Christians are put on the defensive and think pagans or secular society can determine us or what we can or cannot do and we forget.

The earth is the Lord’s,
-Psalm 24.1

Did Jeremiah Condemn Christmas Trees ?

“Thus says the Lord:“Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.4 They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple.

-Jeremiah 10 2-5

Some argue Christians should not use Christmas trees based on Jeremiah 10 2-5. However it should be clear that this passage is not about Christmas trees as it was written 2,000 years before Christ. More than that it is clear from its context and surrounding chapters, Jeremiah is condemning the creation of idols to worship. This idol is shaped by a craftsman v3. v 5 says they cannot speak, v8 says but they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; a wooden idol is a worthless doctrine." v 9-11 speak of God as the creator vs false idols. V 14-15 speak of worthless idols and images that are only objects of mockery. Passages in Isaiah 40 19-20 and 44 14-17 both speak of idols made from trees and decorated and both Isaiah and Jeremiah declare how foolish this is.

"Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, 'Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.' But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god
-Isaiah 44 14-17

"But they are altogether stupid and foolish in their discipline of delusion—their idol is wood! Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; Violet and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skilled men. But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation"
-Jeremiah 10 8-10

Origin of the Christmas Tree

It is said the first Christmas tree originated in the 7th century by an English missionary named Winfrid who would become Saint- Boniface. He used a tree's triangular shape to teach the trinity. Legend says he came upon a group of pagans ready to sacrifice to an oak tree in worship. So angered the missionary swung his ax and in one stroke cut down the tree. Later a fir tree eventually grew from the stump of the oak. The missionary claimed it was a symbol of Jesus victory over paganism and death.

Is it ok to use a Christmas Tree?

It is true that pagans misuse trees in the past. They also misuse marriage, music, science, sex, and many other things but that does not give them a monopoly on those objects. God is the created of the trees and all creation that he declared “good.” [Genesis 1] Psalm 24 still holds true today.

The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it
-psalm 24.1

God loves trees and decorating them with fruit and beautiful leaves and flowers. Trees play a vital role in the bible from genesis to revelations. God himself uses trees to decorate his house.

“The walls of his temple were frescoed with images of trees, the lamp stand in his tabernacle was an almond tree and guess what he placed on the branches of the tree in his house? Lights!!....beautiful green trees decorated with fruit in his house. That's Gods idea not the druids.”
-Kirk Cameron Saving Christmas

Many today use their Christmas tree as a symbol of Gods greatest gift to us that was given on a tree.

“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed.”
-1 peter 2.24

Origin of the Decorations on the Christmas Tree

In medieval Europe plays were performed throughout the year based on various biblical characters. December 24th was declared Adam and Eve's day with the setting in the garden of Eden. The center of the show was a decorated evergreen tree with fruit to represent the tree in the original garden. German families began to decorate in their houses trees evergreen trees with fruit and called them “paradise trees.” As time passed they added decorations. Adding gingerbread cookies, nuts, candy and the most important ornaments were tiny round wafers of bread hidden among the forbidden fruit [decorations on the paradise tree]. These thin biscuits represented the body of Christ that was broken on the cross for our sins and through witch we gain eternal life.

Later a Indiana candy maker wanted to make a candy for Christmas. He took the previous cane of sugar and added a large red stripe as a symbol for the blood of Christ on the cross. Than smaller red stripes were added for the lashes Jesus received and the promise that “by his stripes we are healed” Isa 53.5. The white color was to remind children that Jesus lived without sin. Peppermint flavor was added to remind of hyssop, the old testament plant used in sacrifices for Jesus sacrifice. The hardness of the candy represents Jesus the rock of our salvation. The bent candy was a shepherds staff, the first to hear the Christmas message to “taste and see the lord if good.” Psalm 34.8. Other decorations have biblical symbolism. For example the star on top of the tree represented the star of Bethlehem that led the magi to Christ as a child.

Gifts Under the Tree

God gives gifts at the base of trees. Abraham was given the gift of his son at oaks of Mamre. The gift of salvation was given at the base of a tree the cross. Christmas is all about God the great gift giver sending a gift to mankind [Isaiah 9.6 Luke 2 11-12] Gifts are given at Christmas in remembrance of gods gift to us in his son. When we are given a undeserved gift [the baby Jesus savior of the world] it makes you want to do the same by giving gifts. The wise men were so excited, they gave Jesus gifts.

Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas

The legend of Santa has transformed from the historical saint Nicholas a bishop in modern day turkey who was known for his kindness to the poor and as a giver of gifts to children in secret. He wore long red robes and legend says he once dropped money as a gift down the chimney to two sisters. He is also known for his actions at the council of Nicea that set orthodox christian doctrine that all Christians agree upon this day. Some at the council denied the full divinity of Jesus and Nicholas debated and embarrassed his opponents with words and scripture usage and even struck one of the “heretics” on the cheek and was removed from his position as bishop for his aggressive actions. He was later reinstated because of his popularity and sainted as a defender of the faith and trinity.