This post is inspired by Jelly Bean, who commented in one of my recent posts that Christmas isn’t a Christian holiday and expounded on her statement in her Facebook. (Finally, something not about me! I mean, the topic of this post.) You can read more about the reasons why here, link courtesy of JB.
Her remark probably referred to my mentioning that I’m not a Christian, which I added in case the reader was wondering because I was talking about doing Christmas shopping. The reason I added that disclaimer of sorts was as Jelly Bean inferred – that I think Christmas is a Christian celebration.
Now, a former classmate, who’s Christian, once gave a class presentation on why Christmas is not a Christian celebration and gave facts to back her statement, which I found convincing.
Yet, if that were the case, why are there still so many churches celebrating Christmas around the world?
Wikipedia says: “Christmas is an annual holiday celebrated on December 25 that marks and honors the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.”
So to me, that kinda proves my perspective that Christmas is indeed a Christian tradition. I mean, if Christmas isn’t Christian, churches wouldn’t be celebrating the day that honours the birth of Jesus, would they?
But Wikipedia goes on to add: “The date of celebration is not thought to be Jesus’ actual date of birth. It may have been chosen to coincide with the winter solstice, which the ancient Romans celebrated on December 25.”
Put that way, it doesn’t seem very Christianly anymore. 25 December is not Jesus’s real birth date, but it’s celebrated then because it also happened to be the winter solstice. It’s like your family celebrating your birthday one month earlier because it so happens that they feel celebratory one month before your birthday. Doesn’t sound like they’re celebrating it anymore, isn’t it?
Of course, all the other rituals associated with Christmas but are not very Christian in basis does not help in the image of Christmas being Christian either. Santa Claus, reindeers, mistletoes, Christmas tree decorating, carolling, exchanging gifts… they are traditional of Christmas, but I don’t how know Christian is, say, Santa Claus. 😉
I’m not a Christian, so I’m not entirely equipped to convince you how Christian is Christmas (or otherwise). However, I believe that the majority of people who knows what Christmas is has always associated the celebration with Christians, despite the commercialism of this holiday in today’s times. So does that make Christmas a Christian holiday, through its mere association?
This is how I see it: how Christian is your Christmas is, is simply how you celebrate it.
I believe there are Christians out there who celebrate Christmas for its true meaning, without the Santa Clauses and mistletoes. I also know of Christians who indulge in gift-giving, carolling and other traditional rituals associated with Christmastime. Are these Christians less ‘Christian’ for doing all this? Not necessarily; it all boils down to that simple phrase, “it’s the thought that counts” to me. If you celebrate Christmas with God in mind, then I believe your heart is in the right place. If you don’t celebrate Christmas with God in mind, I also believe your heart is in the right place. And if you celebrate Christmas without God in mind, I also believe you have your heart in the right place – just in a different direction. 🙂
I think there are two types of Christmas these days – the commercial one and the one I believe Christians celebrate in – those who do, that is. I like what my another former classmate, Sushi, said about Christmas. Despite Christmas being associated with Christians, many people of different faiths (or faithless) around the world celebrate it together. I don’t think any other holiday have that same effect – not counting New Year’s Eve and Day!