Should Christians celebrate Christmas?

By Jeff and Anne Strong

I grew up in a Christian home celebrating Christmas the usual American way. Then after my wild years, when God brought me back to Him, my husband and I studied allot about many things, and Christmas was one of those subjects. We learned about how many of the pagan traditions slipped into the Christian church, which really changed our whole view of Christmas. Sad to say, we went a little overboard – for two years we didn’t even celebrate Christmas at all. Our church had a Christmas tree the week of Christmas and we wouldn’t even go to church that week because of it. We made it a point not to go to visit our families on Christmas Day and we told them about how they shouldn’t be celebrating Christmas either, while we looked down upon them for doing so. We were very judgmental and our attitudes were not right at all, but God was patient with us and has since then shown us a better way to act.

Some very conservative Christians will tell you to completely shun Christmas because of its pagan roots dating back before the birth of Christ, but we really believe that this is one of those issues where it is up to the individual to decide as to whether or not they want to celebrate this holiday. While it is true that Jesus was not born on December 25th and that it was originally a pagan holiday, there is nothing wrong with honoring or remembering His birth around this time of year. We think it is a good idea to focus on the gift of salvation that the Lord has given through His Son, and during the season of Christmas a lot of people’s minds are more open to Jesus, so it’s a great time to share your faith and demonstrate the love of Christ through loving deeds (This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should spend a lot of money on gifts. The best gifts are for the people that are truly in need, instead of buying something that will only be used on selfish pleasure). Pray and ask God what He wants you to do and don’t focus on what other people are doing.

Although much of Christmas is not “Christian”, I believe that there can be a Christian way to celebrate this holiday which can bring glory to God. In our world today, there is a great deal of money spent on Christmas for unneeded items – decorations, electric bills increased by excessive lights, over giving, junk food, and so on. If you want to celebrate this holiday, then we suggest that you leave the pagan traditions behind and try to celebrate Christmas in as simple a manner as possible, and yet make it an enjoyable and spiritual time for everyone.

This summer I listened to a great tape entitled “Happy Holidays” by the Water’s Family which was very inspiring. They gave some great holiday ideas for people that want to honor the birth of Jesus in a way that pleases God and leaves out the worldly customs. My husband and I are going to try out some of these ideas this year, and instead of disregarding the holiday altogether we are going to celebrate it to the glory of God with the loving and caring attitude that the Lord Jesus has instilled in our hearts! Since we really don’t have any extra money to spend on gifts for our family (who really aren’t in need anyway), we are going to have a Christmas tree at a local shelter where we can hang gifts that we will send to the homeless who really have a need. I’ve been planning this since summer and am excited about it, although it will be a new experience, as we actually have not had a Christmas tree in about 4 years. I’m just going to use very simple, natural decorations for the tree, probably string popcorn.

Especially if you have children, find ways to make Christmas an unselfish holiday for them. Find a needy family to buy gifts for, make fruit baskets for friends and neighbors, visit a nursing home, donate to a homeless shelter, make the story of Jesus birth really special (and talk about the rest of His life and ministry, too), make home made decorations that depict scenes from the Bible instead of Santa Clause or the reindeer, in place of “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” sing the carols that glorify God such as “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World”. The main idea is finding a balance in Christmas. I don’t recommend doing away with it all together, as it often makes you miserable and gives people the wrong idea, but seek guidance from God on how to make it simple, spiritual, and enjoyable.

There’s nothing wrong with giving gifts as long as it doesn’t lead to the developing of a selfish character. From our own childhood experiences, we know that Christmas definitely makes kids greedy and teaches them that they have to be good or they won’t get what they want. So in giving gifts to your children, let them also experience the joy in giving to others especially those in need (If they are already in the habit of getting a lot for Christmas, you may not want to cut their presents off completely or they might misunderstand your intentions).

The best way to celebrate Christmas is to let people see Jesus in you! There is a lot out there that can distract us from the Savior during Christmas time, but with God’s help we can celebrate the birth of Jesus to His Glory and Honor. So for me and my house, we will celebrate Christmas as simply as possible and try to keep our focus on walking closer to Jesus in this busy season. Even though Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas day, the fact remains that He was born and He’s alive in our hearts today. Christmas is just as good as any other day to remember the gift of Jesus and it’s a great time to share Him with others, since most of the world thinks of this day as His birthday. I pray that this will help you. May God guide you always! Psalm 32:8


The Bible says that God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die for our sins, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) That’s something to celebrate.  It also says that if you confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) pray something like this:

      Jesus, please forgive me for my sin. I know that you died for me and that you have a plan for my life. Please teach me your ways and help me to live my life for you, free from the fears of this world and the next. Grateful for all that life brings my way. I want to start a new life with you. Amen

Congratulations, if you have prayed this prayer the Bible says, “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Cr 5:17)

If you’ve prayed this prayer for the first time or are renewing your commitment to the Lord, please let us know so that we can pray for you as you start your new life in Christ.


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