How Can Anyone Miss Christmas?

How can anyone miss Christmas, given the amount of advertising, publicity and pumping up the holiday receives each year? Although many celebrate Christmas each year, most do not know what it is all about. In spite of all the media promotion of Christmas, the majority of people will miss it because it has become so obscured. Even Christians have become wrapped up in gift giving, trees, lights, and the “holiday spirit,” that we can miss the real meaning. Christmas is a time to focus on Jesus birth. Satan has so cluttered the Christian concept of Christmas with such needless paraphernalia that its true meaning is easily lost.

A Brief History of Christmas


No one knows when Jesus was born, but scholars speculate around Sep./Oct. during the Feast of Tabernacles. The term Christmas derives from two words Christ and mass (referring to the worship service of the Catholic church). In the Western world, the birthday of Jesus Christ has been celebrated on December 25 since AD 354. The birth of the ancient sun god Attis in Phrygia was celebrated on December 25, as was the birth of the Persian sun god, Mithras. Some Romans celebrated their dependence upon the sun’s yearly course in the heavens, they held feast around December when the days were shortest, and Saturnalia, a festival dedicated to Saturn, the god of peace and plenty, that ran from the 17th to 24th of December. Public gathering places were decorated with flowers. Also, gifts and candles were exchanged and the population, slaves and masters alike, celebrated the occasion with great enthusiasm. Some legends claim that the Christian “Christmas” celebration was invented to compete against the pagan celebrations of December. The 25th was not only sacred to the Romans but also the Persians whose religion Mithraism was one of Christianity’s main rivals at that time. The Church was eventually successful in taking the merriment, lights, and gifts from the Saturnalia festival and bringing them to the celebration of Christmas. This is where most believe the idea of exchanging presents came from. Celebrating Christmas has been controversial since its inception. Since numerous festivities found their roots in pagan practices, they were greatly frowned upon by conservatives within the Church.

The real question that must be addressed is what was the intent of the church in choosing this date. Many say the church was trying to Christianize these popular pagan celebrations. Maybe it was chosen to point to the triumph that Christ’s birth represented over the pagan traditions of the Roman Empire. In essence, they were establishing a rival celebration. Yes, many today get caught up in the “holiday spirit”, but many have all but forgotten the pagan gods of Rome. At least millions of people on planet Earth celebrate the Christ of Christmas.

Are Christmas trees a form of idolatry?


This question is asked out of the scripture in Jeremiah 10:2-4. At first, this may seem to be referring to our custom of decorating Christmas trees. When interpreting scripture we have to look at three distinct areas: observation, interpretation, and application. When considering the first question, which is observation, certain questions must be formulated. To name a few, whom is it talking to? When was it written? Why was it written? However, a closer look at the passage reveals that God is in reality condemning the creation of permanent wooden idols carved from the trees of the forest. You will see that in the next verse (v.5) God ridicules these idols because they cannot walk or talk. Furthermore, this passage was written thousands of years before the “Christmas tree” was formed. Actually, Christmas trees come from combining two Christian symbols. The Paradise tree was decorated with apples to symbolize the tree of life in the Garden. The other symbol was a triangular shelf that contained Christmas figurines and was adorned by the star that represented the one followed by the Magi. By the 16th century, these two symbols had been merged into the modern-day Christmas tree. Not only does this have a spiritual meaning, but also it provides a great witnessing tool for believers. In addition, certain accounts claim that Martin Luther introduced the Christmas tree lighted with candles.

Should Christians celebrate it?


Scripture does not specifically command believers to celebrate Christmas, or not. For there are no prescribed “Holy days” the church must observe. Celebrating Christmas is not a question of right or wrong since, Romans 14:5-6 provides us liberty to decide whether to observe special days or not. Certainly, don’t judge anyone for choosing to celebrate Christmas for Colossians 2:16 says, “Therefore don’t let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to religious festival . . .” According to these verses, a Christian can rightfully set aside any day, including Christmas, as a day for the Lord. Every day for the believer should be a day set aside for the Lord. Regardless of the pagan background of so many December traditions, days of the week, and whether or not Jesus was born on December 25th, our goal is still to turn the eyes of all men upon the true Creator and Christ of Christmas. Christmas is a time to focus on His birth. Without Him making His tabernacle (dwelling) on Earth, there would be no death, burial, and resurrection. By becoming a human being, dying on the cross for our sins, and rising from the dead, Jesus Christ overcame sin, death, and the grave. Jesus was born to give us the greatest gift of all – the gift of salvation, a gift that truly keeps on for-giving. The Christmas season and celebration presents the church with a wonderful opportunity to preach the gospel, that men can be made righteous and have peace with God through faith in His Son, Jesus the Christ. If you have been missing the reality of Christmas in your life, know that if you receive the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in His name, Christmas will become real to you. It can happen today; and it is between you and God (2 Corinthians 6:1-2; Romans 10:8-11).

© 2002 Robert L. Wagner. All Rights Reserved.

4 Replies to “How Can Anyone Miss Christmas?”

  1. Scripture does not specifically command believers to celebrate Christmas, or not. For there are no prescribed “Holy days” the church must observe. Celebrating Christmas is not a question of right or wrong since, Romans 14:5-6 provides us liberty to decide whether to observe special days or not. Certainly, don’t judge anyone for choosing to celebrate Christmas for Colossians 2:16 says, “Therefore don’t let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to religious festival . . .” According to these verses, a Christian can rightfully set aside any day, including Christmas, as a day for the Lord. Every day for the believer should be a day set aside for the Lord.

    For there are no prescribed “Holy days” the church must observe.” This is not true. The First Five Books of The Bible, aka The Torah, tells believers exactly what they are supposed to observe. They give a play by play of every Holy Day, both feast and fast. They ALSO tell you to stay away from pagan observances.

    The Second Testament (referred to as the New Testament, AS IF it replaced the “Old”, which it did NOT, they are ONE BOOK and must be taken as such or else you get the wrong idea. I think my question at this point would be, exactly how can you take the second without regarding the first? How can you read the sequel and disregard the first book?

    If you watch the second movie, without the first movie, and disregard the first movie COMPLETELY, you are more than likely to get the second movie wrong, because MOST of what they’re doing in the second movie got its base from the first movie. Books are the same and the Bible is no different a book.

    If you ONLY focus on the second book, what you lose is the Hebraic understanding that was set forth in the Torah and then solidified through the rest of the books in the first book.

    When you look at it this way, please understand the following —

    The Torah already laid out the holy days for the believers in The Most High.

    The Messiah observed all of these holy days, and did not commit a sin and we are supposed to try our best to be like him.

    Those verses that you mention — Romans 14:5-6 and Colossians 2:16 is NOT in reference to any pagan holy days. They are in reference to biblical holy days and do NOT imply that you can therefore replace biblical holy days with pagan ones. They are not considered holy days by this Book.

    That being said — SURE, EVERY day should be a righteous day for a believer. But if you ARE going to set apart a day for the celebration of The Birth of The Anointed One, why MUST it be a day that pagans give to THEIR deities? Why NOT do it during the Feast of Tabernacles — an awesome week, by the way? What is the DRAW to that day? Would anyone want to be in disobedience by participating in pagan worship?

    1. Praise God for your knowledge and/or familiarity with the “Feast Days” of our Lord. I must admit this familiarity falls short in “Christendom” and it is always refreshing to dialogue about them.

      I think an important element to consider is the first 2 verses of Leviticus 23, it reads “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”

      I think it is important to consider that Yahweh spoke to Moses to speak to Israel…and they were to observe. Unless you are saying that the Church is Israel (which is “replacement theology”) this was not the commandment for the church. Is it valuable to observe and know? (Absolutely – I hope to write a book one day concerning these festivals, but a good read is The Feast Of Our Lord by Zola Levitt, a Jewish or Messianic Jew) This also falls along the lines of circumcision, tithes, etc. If we are commanded as believers to observe The Feasts, then shouldn’t we also be observing circumcision, etc? The Book of Galatians clears this up for us teaching that the OT (although important and is foundational) was for the Jewish people and for a temporary time, until Jesus came (Gal. 3:24)

      I would also like you to consider the First Christian Council in Jerusalem by Hebrew believers regarding what to “command” the Gentiles to observe. James replied that his judgment was to not trouble the Gentiles, but to abstain from things polluted by idols, abstain from sexual immorality, what had been strangled and from blood. Nothing in that says to observe the feast days (Acts 15)

      Lastly, “therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food or drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ” Once we find Jesus we no longer need to follow a shadow, since Christ is the fulfillment of these “shadows” (Matt. 5:17; Rom. 8:3-4)

      Blessings to you lady in your journey!!!!

      1. I know I’m late — it’s been a while.
        I’m not replacing anyone or anything.
        I am saying that once you believe in the Most High and believe in His Son, you become a part of His House and just as a child that has been adopted, you follow the rules of the house and do NOT have a separate name from the biological children, nor do you bave a separate set of rules from the biological children.
        As for Galatians and circumcision, there was a reason he told them no. It was more like, not right now. What the Jews wanted was for those people to immediately circumcise themselves and, if you know anything about circumcision, to just up and do that is a difficult choice to make for any man lol.
        And the last verse you quote, let no one pass judgment on you re: food and drink and festivals — I’m sure that he was not talking about unclean meats and unclean, pagan festivals.
        Pork was never considered food or drink, and pagan festivals are not sabbaths or festivals unto The Most High.
        Because you have to understand ALL of what goes on in Christmas is pagan, including the date itself — that date was the birthday for many pagan gods and we want to celebrate the birth of the Messiah on that very same day?? What? Why?? Why not choose another day if it’s so important? Why not choose a more accurate day, like sometime during sukkot?
        Why hold on to something that you know very well is pagan all through it’s roots and try to attribute it to The Most High’s Son?

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