Is Christmas Biblical?

“Celebrate annually the coming of Christ. Make it a time of beauty, family, and tradition. Put up lights and a tree. Watch many movies. Gorge yourself on treats. Be happy every day of the season. In so doing, you will glorify the Lord.”

– 1 Snickerdoodle 3 (AKA not in the Bible!)

The Bible never tells us to celebrate Christmas. In fact, Scripture warns us about traditions like celebrating holidays. “For the sake of your tradition (you have) made void the word of God” (Matthew 15:6). In another verse, the Bible references “hollow traditions.”

How many of those do we have?

Christmas is full of traditions that have very little to do with God. Few of us can connect Christmas trees to Christ. Fewer the concept of decorating gingerbread houses or dressing up in fancy outfits to attend parties blaring music about Rudolph and Santa.

Does that mean celebrating Christmas is unbiblical?

Probably not.

God offers plenty of examples of commanding, embracing, and rejoicing over celebrations.

Whether or not the celebration of Christmas is biblical has a lot to do with how and why we celebrate –and even more to do with what’s in our hearts.

jesus-didnt-have-one-of-these-should-we

Some of the main hallmarks of traditional Christmases are Biblical, but we must be careful.

  1. The Spirit of Giving

God loves a cheerful giver” –2 Corinthians 9:7

Gifts are one of the first things that most people think of when they think of Christmas. In Scripture, we find the ultimate example of giving. Christ, in coming to save us, gave Himself up for us. God, in sending Christ, gave His only son to save us.

All throughout Scripture we find examples of giving. God gives good gifts. Christ gives peace and joy. We are encouraged to give with the understanding that all that we are and all that we have is Christ’s. It’s a joy to give of His plenty and in His love!

The Risk: For many, Christmas gifts are about getting. For many others, gifts are stressful, accompanied by the frustration of selection and people-pleasing. Over-spending also undermines the “cheerful” part of what makes this part of Christmas at all Biblical.

  1. The Celebration of Christ’s Coming

“Celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness” –Psalm 145:7

Christmas, when it comes down to it, is a celebration of Christ’s coming! This whole time of festivity and adornment and gathering is in His name. It is to be a time of praising Him and beholding in wonder all that He has done, is doing, and will do.

Some of us praise Him with lights that shine like He does. Others by baking cookies as sweet as His kindness while enjoying the company of people He’s given them. Make the connection between these joyful traditions and the joy of our Savior.

The Risk: Christ often gets only an “honorable mention” around the massive celebration of His birth. Much of the celebrating- many decorations, traditions, songs, etc., have nothing to do with Him. That’s fine. Not everything we do needs to be deeply impactful. But we must be careful not to miss the point. That means prioritizing accordingly and not focusing on the world’s offerings above our awe of the Lord.

  1. The Gathering of Loved Ones

“Love one another with brotherly affection” Romans 12:10

The true Gospel of Scripture is as personal as it is corporate. We are all loved by Christ, and we are all precious to Christ. There is no division in the body of Christ, but the unity of love. Christmas is a time of gathering with loved ones to praise Him with those in the body and point those who are not to the One eager to welcome them with open arms and make them new.

The Risk: All too many a Christmas gathering is obligatory and exclusive. Many of us take the social aspect of Christmas for granted, settling for fun, comfortable, and casual. We neglect to realize the significance of sharing His love with those who are familiar and unfamiliar. We must not turn from God’s desire for us to make the most of every opportunity and to build one another up.


Of all times of the year to be living for Christ’s glory, Christmas offers a special opportunity to rejoice in and serve the Lord.

Celebrating Christmas Biblically means celebrating it as those sustained, filled, and loved by the One we celebrate. Watch out for the easy pitfalls that turn the celebration into less than it truly is.

Lord- let us mind our hearts while we celebrate yours! 

This post may also be shared on: #MomentsofHope #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #Heart Ecnouragement, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

 

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11 thoughts on “Is Christmas Biblical?

  1. Karen

    A very balanced post on the celebration of Christmas. I too think that Christ has been lost in the traditions. It is shameful that many churches have been lured away from the meaning as well and choose not hold services on Christmas Day b/c is falls on Sunday this year. The justification is often pleasant sounding about making staff people ‘work’ on Christmas, but what message does that send to unbelievers and believers as well… that the traditions of food, and festivites and present opening are more important than worshiping Jesus. very sad. thanks for the post.

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  2. You have some great points here, Bethany. Whether or not we can celebrate Christmas “biblically”, we can definitely choose to celebrate it godly. God didn’t include everything in the Bible that we should do or should not do, but by grace we can include him in everything we do. Thanks for sharing this.

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  3. Thoughtful post, Bethany, grounded with spiritual reality. It’s true – we’re often caught in the current of a worldly-style celebration. You’ve offered good encouragement to keep our eyes on the Prize amid the season’s celebration.

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  4. I agree. Sometimes the same actions can be good or bad depending on your motivation. Christians need to evaluate the ways others celebrate with love. It is hard to tell what others motivation is. And being rude isn’t how we encourage others to grow. I see this in the Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas debate. Sometimes I used Happy Holidays to refer to all of the Holidays (Thanksgiving through New Years). And when I do, I do not think I am disrespect Jesus. I still love Him. But sometimes, people do disrespect Jesus by refusing to acknowledge Christ in Christmas. It a heart issue.

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    1. That’s a great way to phrase it, Kendra! Yes, I’ve (done) and encountered the same thing. It’s so important for us to not put ourselves in the place of judge- especially when it comes to something as grace-filled as Christmas!! God alone knows our hearts.

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  5. Love your wisdom and guidance to not let our celebrating get so out of hand that it robs us of the heart of Christmas. There can be so much pressure and expectation around the holiday that leaves folks feeling overwhelmed and unable to live up. Peace in our homes and hearts seems a much better platform for any celebration. Thanks for your encouragement and insight today, Bethany.

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  6. This is so good..and helpful. Each year I realize I’m like a Scrooge..I just can’t seem to get into the Christmas spirit..you have helped me realize it’s the world’s idea of the Christmas spirit I cannot join in..but when I return to the glory of Christ’s birth and what it means in our lives, and move from the spirit of God’s word, Christmas takes on a whole new meaning. Great post! Thank you! B

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    1. So glad to hear that 🙂 I have totally felt like a “scrooge” about Christmas before, and other times felt like I was Santa until Christmas was over and it was like “well…that’s done.” The world’s idea of Christmas spirit is always going to leave us wanting for something. I hope this year the Spirit of God fills you in the celebrations you choose to partake in!

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