This is the first year that I have been a Christian on Christmas.
I never liked the way Christmas was celebrated before I became a Christian – not (as some would suppose) because I “hated Christians” or because I was envious of all the presents Christian children received.
I thoroughly disliked “Christmas” as celebrated in my country because I thought it was gaudy, self-centered and gluttonous, a massive public celebration of entitlement and conspicuous consumption. I knew that Christians believed that they were celebrating the birth of the Messiah, the Son of God who came to save the world from sin. But that almost made it worse. The conspicuous consumption and gaudiness of the holiday, along with constant and not-so-subtle suggestions that if I didn’t spend a lot of money I was hurting the economy and somehow unpatriotic, were appalling to me as ways one would choose to honor the birth of the Messiah, if that’s who one truly believed Jesus was.
So I approached my first Christmas as a Christian with trepidation. I didn’t know how I would feel about it, and didn’t know how I should feel about it, didn’t know how I should celebrate it, and was afraid that people who knew I’d accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior during the past year would expect me to participate in all kinds of gaudy activities now that I am a Christian.
So I turned to the Bible. What does the Bible say about celebrating Christmas?
” ”What the Bible says about celebrating Christmas
But it does say,
5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.Romans 14:5
I’m no theologian, but I think what this Chapter says (including some parts not quoted) is that it’s okay if I don’t celebrate Christmas so long as I am fully convinced in my own mind that I honor the Lord in what I do. I think it also says that I should not judge other Christians with different opinions about this subject.
I think I should be prepared to explain myself though. So here are the reasons I personally don’t choose to celebrate Christmas:
- Birthdays were rarely recorded or celebrated in Jesus’ time.
- It seems unlikely (many sources) that Jesus was actually born in December
- Nowhere does the Bible talk about annually celebrating the day of His birth
- I do rejoice in His life and His sacrifice for my salvation
- But I do that every day, not just on one particular day
- If I were to celebrate the day of His birth, I wouldn’t celebrate it the way my culture currently does
- Because I think it has come to include things that Jesus Himself wouldn’t want done in His name
- But I recognize the need not to judge others who think differently
- I am still working on that, and praying for guidance from the Holy Spirit to help me achieve it.
I’m grateful to Jesus for showing me the way not to dread this holiday.
And I thank Jesus every day for saving me from my own sins, of which there are many.