At this time of the year my children see most people celebrating the holiday known as "Christmas." We, on the other hand, do not celebrate the holiday. I remember being in the grocery line one year in December and an elderly woman looking at one of my children and asking them "What is Santa brining you this year?" My little 5 year old looked up and responded, "We don't believe in Santa Clause." The woman looked puzzled and then looked at me, the Father. I gently told her, "Ma'am, we do not celebrate Christmas." You would have thought I was dropping each of my children off of a cliff. She looked at me in a way that would make any person feel uncomfortable. Those of you that do not celebrate this holiday know one of the most popular responses from parents that do celebrate, "You are depriving your children." I hear it just about every year.
This short blog entry is not meant to detail the main reason or sub-reasons I do not celebrate the holiday. The facts about the origins of the winter holiday are available to anyone who wants to do a little "digging." The simple point I want to bring up is this. While people today believe that Christmas is a major holiday for the Christian church, the church which claims the Bible as her guide, it is an undeniable fact that neither Yeshua or the apostles of Yeshua celebrated the holiday that people now believe honors the Messiah.
Scholars date Yeshua's birth to around 2 B.C. (give or take). The next year when his birth rolled around, no one who knew him, not even his closest family, celebrated his birth. The Hebrews never even celebrated birthdays with parties, cakes, candles, wishing, etc. During the life of Yeshua, still no celebrating his birth. After Yeshua left the earth, the apostles or earliest followers of Yeshua never celebrated his birth. If it's so honorable to celebrate Christmas why do we not see the people who knew him face to face doing so in the 1st century A.D.?
Many people believe my family is "weird" because we do not celebrate Christmas. We stick out like a sore thumb at this time of year. However, had we lived as Hebrews in the 1st century - followers of Yeshua the Messiah - we would have fit right in. The only people celebrating anything similar to the holiday now known as Christmas were the Romans who celebrated Saturnalia. A festival held around the winter solstice in honor of the god of agriculture, Saturn.
Usually, when I initially tell someone that I do not celebrate Christmas they immediately ask, "You mean you do not believe in the birth of Christ?" This is because they associate the modern holiday with the birth of Messiah. I gently explain to them that the birth of Messiah has nothing to do with this holiday called Christmas. The name Christmas didn't even actually come about until around the 11th century A.D. The holiday we know today is a blending of ancient heathen customs and truth. Yahweh is not honored when we take the truth about the birth of His sinless Son and attach numerous customs to it that were originally used to honor false gods.
I realize some people reading this may celebrate Christmas; this may be an entirely new concept to many. I want you to know that I have not written this in hatred, but in love. I would simply ask you to study the origin of the customs that go on this time of year. Why do people decorate homes with greenery, including placing a tree in their home? Why do people celebrate this holiday in the winter, around and on December 25? Where do these customs come from. After studying the origins a few Scriptures to begin with are Leviticus 18:1-5 and Deuteronomy 12:28-32. You might also read the account found in Exodus 32. Never forget this simple point though: the earliest followers of Yeshua did not celebrate Yeshua's birth in any way as a holiday. They could have; Yeshua was born and I'm sure those who accepted Him for who He was were very excited and thankful for His birth. But they never celebrated His birth, much less on December 25, with an evergreen tree in their homes. Seek Yahweh earnestly in prayer, asking him always to lead you along the the pathway of Scriptural truth.
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.