Many people are often surprised to hear that some Christians do not celebrate Christmas. Being one who formerly celebrated Christmas (for the first 22 years of my life), I will presently set forth the reasons that I have renounced Christmas for the sake of anyone who cares to know.

I build my case upon the word of God as recorded in the King James Bible which is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). Therefore I esteem all [God's] precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. (Psa. 119:128) I didn’t know much about the Bible when I was growing up, except that it was hard to read, I didn’t understand much of it and most of it seemed like fairy tales. Years later I began to earnestly study it after being convinced by some friends that God’s word is truth and that we can know and understand it. If I liked my life before that point, I should have shut my ears and run away from those people, for as I discovered, God’s word would sit in judgment upon me: teaching me doctrine, reproving me, correcting me and instructing me in righteousness. By the grace of God, as I approached the study of the Bible with the attitude that it is truth and that it can be known, I began to learn and understand many things. As Solomon put it, “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” (Pro. 2:1-5) It takes diligent work, but it can be done.

One of the many things that I learned is that when it comes to worshipping God, “they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (Joh. 4:24). Since his word is truth, if I am not worshipping him in accord with his word, I am not worshipping him at all (1 Sam. 15:22-23, 1 Cor. 10:20). But what does all this have to do with celebrating Christmas?

When looking to the word of God, something is conspicuously missing concerning Christmas: it is not mentioned even once. The word “Christmas” does not appear in the Bible anywhere. From this we can deduce that God never commanded any of his people to celebrate Christmas, at least not by name. In fact, nowhere in scripture is there any record of any Christians commemorating the birthday of Jesus Christ with any kind of celebration whatsoever. It is certainly true that when Jesus was born there was great joy and glorying in God, for a multitude of the heavenly host appeared to the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flock by night saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luk. 2:8-14) And after the shepherds saw the Lord they returned to the fields glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luk. 2:20) But this was the day of his birth (Luk. 2:11), and not one of the customs that attend Christmas is mentioned; neither Jesus nor any apostle ever gave the saints direction to commemorate Christ’s birthday with gift-giving, decorated green trees, holly, mistletoe, yule logs, etc.: each of these things predate the birth of Christ (any number of historical sources prove this). Clearly then – no mention being made in the scriptures either implicitly or explicitly that Christians should commemorate the birthday of Jesus Christ in a winter celebration – such a practice is the tradition of men.

Turning to history then, let’s examine the origins of this tradition of men. Concerning the date of December 25, Encyclopedia Britannica says, “This was the date of a pagan festival in Rome, chosen in A.D. 274 by the emperor Aurelian as the birthday of the unconquered sun (natalis solis invicti), which at the winter solstice begins again to show an increase of light. At some point before A.D. 336 the church at Rome established the commemoration of the birthday of Christ, the sun of righteousness, on this same date.” The same article says, “Christmas on Dec. 25 is first known to have been celebrated in Rome in the second quarter of the 4th century, when it commemorated the birth of Christ.” So the first known celebration of Christmas was not until the fourth century and its date is connected with that of the pagan festival of the birthday of the unconquered sun. Is this connection merely a coincidence? The article continues, “Its observance as the birthday of the Saviour is attended with secular customs often drawn from pagan sources; indeed, both Christmas and Epiphany, which falls 12 days later on Jan. 6, are transformed pagan celebrations of the winter solstice, and so closely linked that their origins cannot be discussed separately.” Apparently the dates for Christmas and the pagan festival of the birthday of the unconquered sun are not coincidental. History shows that Christmas is a transformed pagan celebration of the winter solstice.

Now we can turn again to God’s word to examine what he has to say about mixing pagan practices into his worship. Deut 12:29-32 says (emphasis mine):

    29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. 32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

God strictly forbids worshipping him as the heathen worshipped their gods. He says it is abomination and he hates it! Also notice a very important command in verse 32, “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” We’ve already noted that there is no command in scripture for Christians to commemorate the birthday of Jesus Christ in any way whatsoever. Therefore celebrating Christmas is adding to God’s commands. Not only that, it is also expressly disobeying God’s command to abstain from worshipping him as the heathen do, for it is a transformed pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Lest you should think this was only an Old Testament commandment, please read 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1. The temple of God has no agreement with idols. Christians today are no more permitted to mix pagan practices with the worship of God than Israel was under the old covenant.

At this point we can see that, because Christmas is a transformed pagan celebration, it is strictly forbidden for Christians. “But why?” you may ask. “It’s such a joyful time of the year. Besides, it’s not a pagan holiday anymore – we celebrate it now to worship God.” That is just it! God said DON’T DO THAT! He hates to be worshipped as the heathen worshipped their gods, and that is exactly what people do when they try to worship God by celebrating Christmas. It makes no difference if you mean well in your heart – it is abomination to God and he hates it. Just because we think something is okay does not mean God does. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isa. 55:9) And when he pointedly tells us not to worship him as the heathen worshipped their gods because such worship is abomination to him, we cannot please him by so doing, for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6) and “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17) and “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom 14:23). Celebrating Christmas is a transgression of God’s law which is sin, “for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 Joh. 3:4)

What joy is there in adopting the practices of heathen who burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods? Remember, Christmas didn’t come from the Bible: it came from the same religions that practice child sacrifice and other horrors (Deu 12:30).

Consider the Christmas practice of cutting down green trees and decorating them with silver and gold and other ornaments. What does God have to say about this kind of practice? Surprisingly enough, it is mentioned in the Bible in the first four verses of Jeremiah chapter ten (emphasis mine)

    1Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: 2Thus 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. 3For 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 ax. 4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

Immediately after stating that the customs of the people are vain, notice the one custom he identifies as an example – cutting down a tree out of the forest and decking it with silver and gold and fastening it in place. This practice is identified by God himself as a custom of the people (i.e. the heathen, v. 2). As we’ve already seen, worshipping God as the heathen do is abomination unto God and we are not to do it. He says, “Learn not the way of the heathen.” I ask you, can you honestly say in good conscience that you have kept this commandment of God if you have a decorated tree standing in your house and God himself says it originated from the heathen?

What about Santa Claus? Obviously Santa Claus is not in the Bible, yet who doesn’t know about Santa Claus? This is another tradition of men. Is it harmless? Consider these things about this fictitious character: 1) he knows everything 2) he can be in many places at once 3) he has white hair (Dan. 7:9) 4) he is a judge of works 5) his throne is in the north (Ps. 48:1-2). These are all characteristics of God and at least the first two cannot rightfully be said about any man. Do you think God appreciates people lying to little children, telling them about a fictitious mockery of God named Santa Claus? Certainly not. Lying is of the devil (John 8:44) and we are only aiding his cause when we tell our children about the traditional Santa Claus. I recently heard of an eight year old who found out that Santa Claus is not real and he said in effect to his parents, “How can I believe anything else you tell me?” That boy seems to have more wisdom than most parents today. If you lie to your children about Santa Claus, why should they believe you when you tell them about God? Why would they believe the record of God’s word concerning a global flood in the days of Noah, or of God’s deliverance of faithful Daniel from the den of lions, or of Moses and the Israelites from the Egyptians through the midst of the sea on dry land? It is you that lie to your children, not God. You cause them to stumble, you cause them to doubt God because when you should be an example of truthfulness, you lie. Why would you do such a thing? Can you just not bear the thought of taking Christmas away from your children? Who would want to take from children a custom that teaches them things like lying is ok, greed is good, gain is godliness, and we don’t need to worry too much about what God says, after all his word cannot be trusted? I speak foolishly, and you do foolishly if you lead your children to believe in Santa Claus.

Note the words of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning the traditions of men (emphasis mine): “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition…Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” (Mark 7:7-9,13) The record is clear on this point: when we celebrate Christmas we are rejecting the commandment of God in favor of our own tradition, making the word of God void and our worship is vain.

I don’t know about you, but when I learned these things about Christmas, I could no longer in good conscience have any part of it. The lack of any evidence in Scripture that it is ordained or even approved of God and the overwhelming evidence that it is on the contrary abhorred by him moved me to renounce it with all haste. I’ve learned since then that you don’t make too many people happy by abandoning such a long-standing and ubiquitous tradition of men. People prefer to ignore what God thinks of it for the sake of keeping the peace with family, friends and brethren. If you find yourself in this position, please ask yourself who you are seeking to please, God or man? If you prefer to please men more than God, then continue in the celebration of Christmas. If instead you seek to please God rather than men, forsake Christmas. Consider Paul’s words, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10) Consider the word of Peter and the other apostles, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) Even if you have lived many years and celebrated it every one of them, it is not too late to do what you know is right. Saul of Tarsus lived many years doing many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, even shutting up in prison many saints and calling for their death (Acts 26:9-11) until God spoke to him and called him to be a minister of the very faith he spent his life so vigorously despising (Acts 26:12-18) and went on to be among the very chiefest apostles (2 Cor. 11:5,2 Cor. 12:11), even Paul the apostle. It’s never too late to repent and obey God.

In summary, we have seen that Christmas is a transformed pagan celebration of worshipping false gods that is nowhere commanded in the Bible for Christians to observe. On the contrary, worshipping God as the heathen do is strictly forbidden. The tradition of decking trees with silver and gold and other array is also identified as a heathen practice and is therefore forbidden. Santa Claus is a mockery of God and a lie. So both God’s word and secular history confirm that Christmas and it’s associated customs are abominable in the sight of God and certainly not Christian. It is for these simple reasons that above ten years ago I renounced Christmas and have never looked back. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecc. 12:13) Do you fear God? Do you keep his commandments?