Celebrating the Christmas "Holy Day"

Have you ever stopped to think what Christmas is really all about? For Christians, is it about the birth of Jesus Christ? I don't think so. Most of the celebrations that I see have nothing to do with the birth of Christ.

If I were to decide that I wanted to celebrate the birth of Christ, what would I base my decision to celebrate on? Considering the Biblical nature of Jesus Christ, doesn't it make sense that it should be a Biblical decision? I have not encountered any scripture in the Bible that leads me to believe that I should celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The Mosaic feasts are clearly spelled out. Based on that, I believe that when GOD wants His people to celebrate something as a remembrance, He lets us know. Why isn't there a specification for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ IF that is what GOD would have me do?

Assuming I got past the first quandary, I believe I would have to toss aside the beginning of the Gospel of John.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us , (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 1:1 - 17 KJV

According to these verses, Jesus Christ is the Word. The Word was with GOD in the beginning, and He made everything that was made. Time is a physical property. It is affected by mass, acceleration and gravity. Being a physical property, it was made. Following this chain of logic, Jesus Christ is outside the realm of time, but to keep it simple, lets just agree that He created time. If He created time, He predates it. With this background, I believe you see my dilemma here - A birthday is a celebration of a particular spot in time. The birthday in question is the birth of Someone, who predates time. If that sounds bizarre, listen to what my Greek Interlinear Bible says (A Greek Interlinear Bible is a word for word translation of the Bible in Greek, versus our more common thought for thought English translations) -

In beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word

John 1:1 Marshall Greek Interlinear Bible

I have a hard time with the concept of the birth of GOD.

OK, suppose I got past these problems, by saying I am celebrating the physical birth of Jesus Christ, realizing that Jesus Christ existed long before Mary. Why would I choose December 25th as the date? If you lean toward believing that Jesus Christ was born on that date, read CHRISTMAS TIME. As a synopsis, I have been in Jerusalem as well as Bethlehem in January. It was hailing and snowing when I was there.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Luke 2:7 - 8 KJV

This clearly states shepherds had their flocks in open fields at night when Jesus Christ was born. Shepherds don't typically have their flocks in open fields during that time of the year. Here is another person's opinion on the same subject. It comes from a book entitled The Two Babylons. The Two Babylons was written by Alexander Hislop during the 1800's. It makes for interesting reading, but here is a snippet regarding the weather in Israel during that time of the year -

"the cold of the night, from December to February, is very piercing, and it was not the custom for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields later than about the end of October."

I don't know the exact date, but if I were to try and guess the date of His birth, I would not choose December 25th. Aside from the date being incorrect, among pagan societies of the past, December 25th has been a time of celebration in honor of their various "gods". For the Babylonians, it was a celebration of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven. For the Egyptians, it was a celebration of the birth of the son of Isis. For the Romans, it was the Winter solstice, the celebration of the birthday of the sun (Constantine was a member of the sun-god cult before converting to Christianity). Why is this time so popular for all these pagan groups? December 25th occurs about the time of the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. The shortening of the days was taken as a sign that the Sun was dying. After the Solstice, the days get longer (the amount of sunlight observed during a 24-hour period increases). The pagans believed this meant the sun was getting stronger. Aside from the previously listed pagan "gods", do your own research on the birthdays of the following pagan deities: Attis, Frey, Thor, Dionysus, Osiris, Adonis, Mithra, and Cernunnos. I find the legend of Mithra to be especially interesting. Mithra was allegedly born on December 25, of a virgin. His birth was witnessed by shepherds and magicians [magi]. Mithra raised the dead and healed the sick and cast out demons. He returned to heaven at the spring equinox and before doing so had a last supper of mizd (a piece of bread marked with a cross) with his 12 disciples (these 12 represented the 12 signs of the zodiac). Any of that sound familiar?

It just doesn't make a lot of sense to choose to celebrate the birth of Christ on a date that I know to be incorrect, and have that date be in the middle of a time that is typically reserved for pagan celebrations.

Besides the problems I have previously outlined, there are a number of pagan traditions that are practiced as part of the traditional Christmas celebration.

The Legend of Tammuz

Tammuz was the son of Nimrod and his queen, Semiramis. Tammuz was identified with the Babylonian sun god and worshipped following the winter solstice, on about December 22-23. During winter, the amount of light during the day becomes less and less. The day with the least amount of daylight is the winter solstice. This occurs about December 22-23. Tammuz was thought to have died during the winter solstice, and was memorialized by burning a log in the fireplace. (The Chaldean word for infant is Yule.) The alleged "rebirth" of Tammuz was celebrated by replacing the log with a trimmed tree the next morning. Yule logs and Christmas trees. Does that sound familiar? In the Bible narratives concerning the birth of Christ, is the bringing of trees into one's home mentioned anywhere? If you look up the word yule in the dictionary, it states "the feast of the nativity of Jesus Christ". What feast? In the four gospels, there is no mention of a "feast of the nativity of Jesus Christ".


What's wrong with mistletoe? Nothing, it's just another plant. However, associating mistletoe with eternal life, miraculous healing, and virility is probably not Biblically sound. The following comes from a book entitled The Handbook of Christian Feast and Customs by Francis Weiser.

The Mistletoe was a sacred plant in the pagan religion of the Druids in Britain. It was believed to have all sorts of miraculous qualities: the power of healing diseases, making poisons harmless, giving fertility to humans and animals, protecting from witchcraft, banning evil spirits, bringing good luck and great blessings. In fact, it was considered so sacred that even enemies who happened to meet beneath a Mistletoe in the forest would lay down their arms, exchange a friendly greeting, and keep a truce until the following day. From this old custom grew the practice of suspending Mistletoe over a doorway or in a room as a token of good will and peace to all comers.

In ancient times, the Druids held a special ceremony five days after the new moon following the Winter Solstice, in which they cut the boughs of the Mistletoe from the sacred Oak tree with a golden sickle. It was important that branches did not touch the ground and become contaminated. Then the priests divided up the boughs into sprigs and distributed them among the people who believed the Mistletoe protected them from storms and evil spirits.

The custom of kissing under mistletoe came from Rome. Romans thought mistletoe was a symbol of fertility, and kissed under it.


Holly is one of the most common symbols associated with Christmas. Today holly invokes images of wreaths, although it had religious significance long before Christmas became popular. In ancient Rome, holly was associated with Saturn - the sun god / god of agriculture. The Druids also used holly in their religious customs. It was common to place holly around homes during the winter. This was supposed to be a kind gesture to tiny fairies that supposedly inhabited the forests. The basic belief was that fairies could come to the homes of people and use the holly as a shelter against the cold.

The Druids were fascinated holly's ability to remain green throughout harsh winters. It was customary for Druids to wear holly in their hair while they went into the forests to watch the priests collecting mistletoe. The holly berries were supposed to represent the sacred menstrual blood of their Goddess.

Lastly, holly was used for protection. Pagans would place holly around the doors and windows of their homes. It was believed that holly would stop evil spirits from gaining entrance into their homes.


Before the birth of Jesus Christ, it was a popular Roman tradition to go caroling. The Romans had a winter festival season called Saturnalia, in honor of their god Saturn. This happened every year during the winter solstice. This was called Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. As part of this celebration, singers and dancers traveled from house to house entertaining people.


So there you have it - my reasons for not celebrating Christmas. I haven't mentioned flying reindeer, elves, factories on the north pole, or a guy with eternal life who wears a red suit and makes the rounds on December 25th. Those are all things some people tell their children for one reason or another. I don't celebrate because

  • The Bible doesn't instruct me to celebrate the birth of Christ
  • Jesus Christ was probably not born on December 25th.
  • There are probably better choices than December 25th to pick as a "holy day".
  • The current activities associated with Christmas are not Biblical in nature.

It also has a lot to do with people of the past using the exact same non-Biblical accoutrements of the current Christmas holiday to provide shelter to fairies, positioning themselves to receive miraculous healing/increase virility, protect their homes from evil spirits, and singing of the glories of Saturnalia.

Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

Jeremiah 10:1 - 4 KJV

Too bad Jeremiah isn't talking about Christmas trees in this verse. It would have made a great closing statement.