Christianity Clarified Hot Topics What Christians Really Believe

Why Do You Celebrate Christmas?

Vintage planked wood with lights
Written by Lesa

If you don’t believe in Jesus,
should you celebrate Christmas?

I ask this question with all possible compassion and humility and I don’t know what the correct answer may be.

What is Christmas to you? A day with family? Family is good. Presents? It’s always fun to receive thoughtful gifts. But is that it? Is that what Christmas is really all about?

Our culture is increasingly filled with people who celebrate Christmas for their own reasons and with those who don’t allow Christians to celebrate it openly–even though it’s a religious holiday. If people don’t celebrate Christmas as the observed birthday of Jesus Christ, should they celebrate it at all? I don’t celebrate holidays if I don’t believe in the event/reason for which the holiday was created (i.e. Columbus Day – why is this still a thing?), so, why should Christmas be any different?

News stories regarding Christmas complaints are consistently present this time of year. One person complains about a Christmas Tree being displayed and it gets taken down so that no one is “offended.” That’s only one of far too many examples; simply Google “Christmas Outrage” and prepare to be entertained. It’s pretty amazing.

Why does it seem like the only religion about which people complain is Christianity? If someone had a dreidel or menorah on a table, would non-Jewish people complain?

Christmas IS a religious holiday. Completely. It’s about the Son of God, Jesus, coming to earth as a human baby, born in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago. Jesus came to save us from our sins and to bring us eternal life with Him in Heaven. That’s what Christmas is all about. Even Linus from “Peanuts” knows this. It’s not about presents or anything else that the world has made it out to be; it’s about our Savior’s marvelous birth and life.

To those who want the “religious symbols” taken away from Christmas and those who are offended by the Nativity scenes and other displays, I gently ask this question: why do you even celebrate Christmas if you don’t understand/appreciate the true meaning? It would be like someone celebrating/participating in Ramadan simply because they wanted to diet and Ramadan includes fasting from sunrise to sundown. Why is it so offensive to you that a religion is publicly celebrating an important day?

Making a holiday into something that it’s not (Christmas only being about presents, Easter only being about ham and the Easter Bunny) is absurd, and I think it’s ridiculous to ignore the reason for which these holidays were established.

If “Christmas symbols” – like angels and nativity scenes, and apparently now even Christmas trees – offend you, then maybe you shouldn’t celebrate. BUT, don’t prevent someone else from celebrating the birth of their Lord and Savior.

It seems that our country has gone to the extreme to be “free from religion” and it’s to the point where the First Amendment isn’t really being respected. The Constitution of the United States of America grants all of us the freedom OF religion, and the right to practice it freely. We, as Christians, are granted the right to publicly celebrate Christmas for its true meaning.

Instead of being outraged and offended this Christmas, maybe talk to a friend or family member who celebrates the birth of Jesus and learn more about Him. Learn why His birth was so significant that we still rejoice in it in 2016. You might be surprised at what you learn.

We’ll be exploring this very topic at Transcend Church on Christmas Eve and we’d love to have you join us to learn about the true meaning of Christmas. Details here!

Christmas Eve

Thanks for reading, we would love it if you'd share your thoughts in the comments below Transcend Church Harrisburg Also, come check out the Church behind this site at 1801 State St. Harrisburg.

1 Comment

  • May I gently and respectfully take issue with one or two of your points? I have worked as a counselor/psychologist in school districts in three different states and the topic of Christmas is heated because people feel passionate about their children.
    First many of the symbols associated with Christmas have nothing to do with the birth of Christ. Only one of the gospels even tells the story of the birth. The Romans set the date of Christmas to coincide with Saturnalia, a Roman pagan festival which included feasting, gifts, and decorated trees. There is a lot of strong historical study to back this although iChristmas may also have been tied to a civil holiday called sol invecta, celebrated by the cult of Mithras also legitimized by the Romans. I didn’t mean to go off on this; my point is that the many symbols we think of as Christian have more ancient roots having nothing to do with the birth of Christ.
    More importantly an enormous responsibility comes with being Christian in this country and especially in this time. There are far more people who identify as Christians than as Jews or Muslims, Buddhists or agnostics. There is a responsibility to respect the minorities among us who do not hold the power that Christians hold. Does this mean we should be careful about having Christian symbols in public schools. Of course! Muslim and Jewish families pay taxes as well. Should their children be shamed or ridiculed or blamed because a tree is decorated at school? I dread this time of year because I regularly see young children shunned or blamed by both other kids AND by staff and other parents. “It is your fault we can’t have a Christmas tree” is common. How very Christian. What a terrible thing to do to a child.
    And lastly, gently, please rethink your statement about Christianity being the only religion that is complained about. Synagogues are frequently torched or covered with graffiti. Muslim women who choose to cover their heads are verbally and physically attacked. Young children of different faiths are frequently bullied by other children and, shamefully, teachers (who often identify as Christians) sometimes turn their heads. Minority groups and religions are often the target of ghastly hate crimes. This is far more serious than being complained about. As Christians we carry a burden of responsibility to protect and shield those who have less. We are not doing a very good job.
    Thank you for considering.

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