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Torn Over Christmas? and a Freebie

Torn Over Christmas? and a Freebie

See free Bible Journaling Tip-Ins celebrating Christ’s birth at the bottom of this page.


How do you feel about Christmas?

Do you observe it differently now compared to the way you observed it when you were a child? Do you observe it at all? Did you know Christmas has pagan roots? Does that bother you?

Don’t get nervous. I’m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing this time of year. I can’t because I don’t have it all sorted out myself. I’m torn (click image for a larger view.)

How Can Christmas be Pagan?

Since the beginning of the church, there has been controversy over pagan customs. On one side were those who wanted to “Christianize’” the customs to win over the heathen, and on the other side were those who rejected anything having to do with paganism.

Some Christians observe Christmas as they always have with family traditions, Santa, etc., but with a focus on the Savior’s birth. Some avoid the Santa scene, try not to get wrapped up in materialism (pardon the pun) and focus on Christ.

Some have completely given up Christmas because of its pagan roots, or because the Puritans didn’t observe it, or the materialism, etc. Those who have given up Christmas usually face a lot of flack from friends and family.

Our home is divided. It’s rough. My husband wants to celebrate Christmas. I look forward to the end of December every year.


Our Christmas Evolution

Our Christmas in the Sixties

As a child we did what everyone else did in the sixties. Full-blown Santa is coming, tinsel-decorated tree, with a big-time focus on presents. We didn’t leave out Jesus but He wasn’t the focus. My mother would read the Christmas story in front of the nativity scene on Christmas Eve. Jesus got about 15 minutes of the holiday rush.

Our Christmas in the Seventies

When my first children were toddlers (over 30 years ago) we had a birthday cake for Jesus each year. Our traditional centerpiece was a Santa kneeling over the Baby Jesus in the manger. I also took my children to have their photo taken with Santa. Santa even came to our church to pass out presents.


Our Christmas in the Eighties

By the time my oldest children were school age we dumped all Santa décor and focused on Christ. (We also stopped all Easter bunny traditions that year).

We made Chrismoms (symbols of Christ) for the tree out of white and gold felt and sequins and hung them every year as we read Scripture verses for the symbol (door, crown, sheep, bread, etc).

We sent out “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” Christmas cards. I remember my mother was disappointed we didn’t accept Santa and reindeer presents. The tree and stockings were still a family tradition.

Our Christmas in the Early Nineties

About 15 years ago I learned about the Bible holidays and the pagan roots of Christmas and Easter. I wanted to give up Christmas and Easter. My children were horrified. All those holiday memories! Mom has lost her mind!

We went back and forth on the topic for a few years. I wanted to at least get rid of the tree (based on Jeremiah 10:1-5). We finally made the decision not to have Christmas. It was hard. My grandmother was crushed. (The shocked reactions from family and friends to homeschooling and homebirth decisions pale compared to reactions we got from giving up Christmas!)

When a Christian is raised to believe that devoted family traditions bring glory to God, then finds out about pagan history and God’s ways, it’s quite a blow. God’s ways should have been taught since childhood and are now being learned in adulthood. My motives were pure. I only wanted to do what I believed God wanted us to do.

Our Christmas from Late Nineties until Now

I remarried and my new husband did not want to give up Christmas (mainly because it is the only time his family gathers). I still don’t feel at peace with this decision but it is really not my call. So I make the best of it and focus on Christ. I feel God can use all things for His good.

I want to Celebrate the Birth of Christ!

See the post Bible Journaling Christ’s birth. 

I have no problem that celebrating Jesus’ birthday wasn’t commanded by God. Purim wasn’t commanded by God, but suggested by the Hebrews as an observance to remember a miracle of God.

I want to celebrate the birth of Christ as a miracle of God. The INCARNATION: the most wonderful miracle of all! I would just prefer not to merge the celebration with a pagan festival. It’s a compromise I don’t feel good about.

12 Things I like About Christmas

  1. Focus on Christ
  2. Families getting together (for some, the only time of the year)
  3. Church programs (giving to the needy, the elderly, plays, songs, etc., focusing on Christ)
  4. Nativity scenes
  5. Generosity
  6. Caroling
  7. The music (especially Handel’s Messiah)
  8. The lights
  9. Baking
  10. Homemade gifts and cards (especially from children)
  11. Goodies (fudge, cookies, nougat, and peppermint–yum)
  12. Creativity (crafts, gingerbread houses, decorations, Chrismoms, etc.)

12 Things I don’t like about Christmas

  1. Lack of focus on Christ
  2. Pagan roots
  3. Lonely people feeling lonelier
  4. Christians disagreeing
  5. Greed (coveting) see photo at top of this page!
  6. Materialism
  7. Shopping, shopping and more shopping
  8. Debt
  9. Family stress
  10. The good are rewarded philosophy that spills over in “saved by works” mentality
  11. Santa worship (idolatry)
  12. Political War on Christmas

God Wants us to Have Holidays (Holy Days)

God created us with a desire to have celebrations. He gave us instructions for observing seven holidays listed in Leviticus 23. The holidays contain more divine information of spiritual and prophetic value than any subject of scripture. Why aren’t we taught these marvelous lessons in church? The answer is found during the first through the fourth centuries.

Read What Happened to the Holidays for more information. I give you the link with a warning. Once you learn about God’s holidays (they are God’s holidays, not Jewish holidays) you will face controversies.

How does God feel about us ignoring the holidays He gave us and replacing them with other days? I’ll answer in a parable and let you decide.

A Parable

Once upon a time there was a little boy who loved his father very much. His father asked the boy to prepare and serve a special dinner on a particular day. The father wrote out all the specific instructions clearly and departed for awhile expecting these instructions to be executed.

While the father was gone the boy shared the instructions with a family friend. The family friend said, “I have a better idea. We had a party that was much more fun, let me tell you about it. We tell mythical stories, dress up in furry costumes and make beautiful decorations and have tasty treats.”

The friend gave all the details and suggested they change the dinner date to another day. The boy decided the party would be more fun than the dinner and felt his father would understand. The boy undertook the friend’s party plan.

Was the Father disappointed?

The father loved his precious son but was probably disappointed in his disobedience. To what degree would depend on two facts: 1. the age or maturity of the boy, and 2. the motivation of the boy.

God Looks on the Heart

Yes, I do believe the pagan holidays are offensive to God. I also believe He is merciful. . . God looks on the heart and views our motives.

Man looks to the outward appearance but God looks to the heart.”

The Reason for the Season

The attention of the whole world is called to acknowledge the birth of the Savior at this time of year, even if they don’t believe. Let us be careful not to get our focus off of what is important. If our desire is to celebrate or not to celebrate the birth of Jesus at this time of the year, then let that be done according to the purity of the heart and with integrity of conviction without judgment toward others.

God looks at the heart. Jesus taught against condemning one another—He taught the most important things:

  1. Love God.
  2. Love others.

This should be our focus. Too many are condemning others on either side.

Christmas is a merging of pagan and Christian religions—it is a fact. The ultimate would be to abandon all forms of pagan worship and teach our children the ancient paths—only God’s pure worship. Then our children won’t be faced with this holiday dilemma each year.

How do we get there from here? I think it’s going to take time. Josiah changed things (2 Ch 34:3-8). He got rid of the paganism that crept in—but over a period of time. If we commit to seeking God through His Word and teach our children His Word, we will grow spiritually and God will reveal His paths.

A Season of Peace?

With so much controversy, how does one have peace? Isaiah 26:3 says that if we keep our mind stayed (focused) upon God we will have perfect peace. Perfect peace was put in this verse when it actually says Shalom, Shalom.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

Let not your heart be troubled: John 14:1a

Bring peace to this season by focusing on Christ. Then celebrate Jesus in every season by loving one another.

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors. (Luke 2:14).

Hanukkah Resources



Free Hanukkah Stickers

Free Printable Hanukkah Planner Stickers & Messianic Resources


how to make a Hanukkah LapboookLet’s Make a Scrap-Lapbook: Hanukkah

If you want to learn about Hanukkah a crafty way see the Hanukkah Lapbook.

Celebrate Jesus, the Light of the World! This lap book kit includes over a dozen booklets to make a beautiful Hanukkak Scrap Lapbook. Designed to be a thematic unit lasting the 8 days of Hanukkah. Here are sample pages.

Hanukkah Lapbook Messianic



God's Lamp Man's Light Mysteries of the Menorah EXCELLENT book for MessianicsGod’s Lamp, Man’s Light: Mysteries of the Menorah 

One of my favorite books by by Dr. John Garr


A a masterful analysis of the menorah, the only biblical symbol that has the distinction of being designed by God himself. The only comprehensive study of the menorah in existence, this book is filled with valuable information about the history, design, and function of the menorah in both the Israelite sanctuary and in the earliest church.

God’s Lamp, Man’s Light presents vivid images of a rich biblically Hebraic tradition, including: Man’s Soul: God’s Torah, The Tree of Light and Life, Dedication Produces Light; Jesus, the Light of the Word, and Menorah Mystery Numbers. God’s Lamp, Man’s Light will help you understand the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. As you recognize the historical and spiritual truths represented by the symbols of the Hebrew Scriptures, your life and the lives of your family and community will enriched immeasurably.


John D. Garr, Ph.D., is founder and president of Hebraic Christian Global Community, an international, transdenominational, multiethnic networking organization that serves as a publishing and educational resource to the Christian church. An academician with a pastor’s heart, Dr. Garr both informs and inspires believers for biblically sound, Christocentric faith that is grounded in the Hebraic heritage of the faith of Jesus and the apostles.

A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays

Messianic Bible HolidaysHaving this book at your fingertips is like having a library on the Bible holidays!

The symbolism in the Bible is an absorbing subject! This book reveals Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection, all foretold in the spring holidays, and find out how to recognize His second coming by learning about the fall holidays!

This giant, 585 page telephone-size book gives an an extensive look at the nine annual holidays: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles, Hanukkah, Purim and the weekly holiday–the Sabbath!

“In 34 years of publishing Messianic Catalogs we have never seen such a creative contribution to the body of Messiah …” Manny and Sandra Brotman, founder of The Messianic Jewish Movement International

Dr. Marvin Wilson, Professor and Chairman of Biblical and Theological Studies at Gordon College, Wenham, MA and author of Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith said:

“I enthusiastically endorse this exceedingly creative project! This family guide is a Christian exploration of Biblical Holidays adaptable for all ages. This impressive work is visually attractive and sculpturally anchored. Here is a delightful educational tool serious students will appreciate, for it will provide them with a detailed understanding of one of the foundational instructional pillars of the earliest Jewish church. Explore wonderful basic foundational truths that are found in the only Bible the earliest church knew.”


Light Unit Study Pinterest Board

This Pinterest board links several science and spiritual studies on Light. It was created to use with Heart of Wisdom’s Light Unit Study but can be used alone or with other curricula. Hanukkah is a perfect time to study light.

Light Science videos, lessons and resources Bible focused

light unit studyLight Unit Study

Eighteen Four-Step, Internet-Linked Lessons

  1. The Light of the World
  2. Creation of Light
  3. History of Artificial Light
  4. Thomas Edison’s Light Bulb
  5. God’s Lamp: The Menorah
  6. Light and Shadows
  7. Vision of Light
  8. Reflection and Mirrors
  9. Refraction and Rainbows
  10. Lenses: Making Things Bigger and Better
  11. Cameras and Recording Light
  12. The Electromagnetic Spectrum
  13. Light and Color
  14. Particles, Waves, and Photons
  15. Light in Art
  16. Photosynthesis
  17. Laser Light
  18. Speed of Light



Download the Freebie here


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About Robin Sampson


  1. Lori Haynes

    Robin, I agree. I too believe it is very important to celebrate God in the ways that He gave us to do so. However, in my rather large family, only my sister and I even know that there is another way. I continue to seek God and makes changes little by little. I look forward to the day when God’s ways will take precedence over what we are used to, and His body will thrive and flourish with no distinction between Jew and Greek. God bless you and your family now and always.

  2. Very interesting discussion. We do celebate Christmas-actually we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We have never done the Santa thing. I always felt that was lying. We have always emphasized the birth of Jesus and what he has done for us all. We give gifts with the idea that Jesus provided for our Salvation as a free gift of love. We give gifts to each other because we love. We give very modestly and our children have great appreciation for what they receive. We gave up the commercialism of this time of year some time ago. I knew we had accomplished our heart goal with our children when, one year we had no money and were unable to purchase gifts or even the materials to make gifts. Our middle child owned two horses. She put a bow on one and gave it to her brother. That was sacrifice and love. That same brother wrapped up some of his precious belongings and art work for each of us.

    We do some of the “traditional” decorations just because I think they are pretty!!!!!!! I will usually go to some exhibit of lights or at least drive around the community and see the light displays. This is just a personal delight for me, my family does not care one way or the other. I would never spend the money to decorate this way, but if others want to, I do not mind enjoying what they have done!!!!!!

    I understand the points brought up in this discussion and respect each one to do as they feel right. I know we do a combination of what would be considered Holy and pagan, but am at peace in my heart with my decisions. That is not to say that this may change in the future as God grows and teaches me but for now this is where I am on the subject.

    One question I would add to the discussion: If we are celebrating Jesus’s birth, life, death, resurrection; does it matter what day of the year we celebrate???? I would consider Jesus’s birth a Holy day, so worthy of celebrations. Just a thought!!!

  3. Hi Robin,
    I was raised in a family where we celebrated Christmas..but as I got older in my teens the Lord kept putting in my heart about the jewish traditons, didn’t know why?
    A few years after I became born again, I started going to a Jewish Messianic Synagogue.. the Lord showed me the truth about different holiday’s. Actually Jesus was born during the high holy days which would have made it in Sept/Oct this holiday is pagan made by men. As I have explained to my children- when its Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln etc birthday people make a “BIG” deal about it?
    Why is it that Jesus doesn’t get the same recognition, he is the saviour of the world he died for all of us…it’s based on man’s greed, and ME ( pride) and now it’s being handed down to their children. We have a large family too, 7 children and soon to be 2 grandson’s…we plan to make a birthday cake and celebrate Jesus birthday. And give something to others whether it is a gift, or just doing something nice for someone because we love them. And also I found out “why” I have had the Jewish people in my heart – my grandparents on both side of my Mom’s families are full Jew…isn’t that cool?
    Merry CHRISTmas!!!

  4. Jami Waid

    My family and I have been in the Way (Hebrew Roots) for seven years now. God revealed this Way to us through a good friend. We had been christians our whole lives. It was very eye opening and life changing for us. It filled the hole in our hearts. The longing we had for more of God. Although we have endured a lot of persecution over the years, we know this is what God wants for our family. We have no regrets. I will admit that christmas was something that was hard for us to give up but only because we didn’t want our children to feel left out (at the time they were in public school). My husband and I were more than happy to give it up. We had become so frustrated with the materialism, greed, and commercialism of christmas. After that last christmas we decided to be done with it. We came to the conclusion that the state of our children’s hearts and their walk/relationship with God was much more important than continuing pagan practices. We practice all of the mandated feasts in the Torah and really enjoy it. It really gives us more of an appreciation for God and who HE truly is. For those who would like to celebrate Jesus’s (Yeshua’s) birthday consider these three things. Jesus was a Jew. He (more than likely) did not celebrate his own birthday while growing up. Second, in scripture Jesus (Yeshua) says to celebrate the One who sent him. Thirdly, it is believed that Jesus (Yeshua) was born at the time of Sukkot. I encourage everyone to seek God’s will for their lives through prayer and scripture. I do believe that God is merciful and looks at the heart. I also believe that He will hold us accountable for all that is revealed to us. Thank you Robin for the loving way you present these different subjects. May God bless you.

  5. Angela

    Thanks Robin for this thoughtful post. I have been grappling with this very issue. Our family has a big thing on Christmas Eve. I will probably bake for the gathering. My dd still wants the tree. So far we have not put up any decorations. We all enjoyed learning about Hannukah very much this year.

  6. Terri Layne

    Wow! I am so glad you addressed this, and in such a gracious way! I hope you let the others on the heartofwisdom yahoo group know about it.

    I too struggle with the commercialism, and get caught up in it too much. I strive to make the holy day as meaningful as possible, just as I’m sure you do, Robin. However, I somehow think totally abandoning the celebration of Christ’s birth would not be winsome to my children or to friends and family. Isn’t the point to not only honor God, but to be a light in the darkness to those who are perishing? (That’s only a rhetorical question 🙂

    I know there would be two schools of thought (total separation from the community aka Amish style, or “to the Jew I became as a a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law…..to the weak, I become weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. (I Cor 9:20, 22-23) in Pauline style. Paul also

    I agree with Ace Collins in Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas. In this book, he is very clear about the pagan origins of the Christmas holiday. He also recognizes that Christ is the ultimate gift-giver, and thus sets the example for us to follow.

    This is a perfect time of year to minister to those who are lonely, depressed, and sense the emptiness of the decorations, tinsel and greed, by introducing them to the gift of the One who came to give His all. Above all, grace.

    God bless you, Robin. I do understand your struggle and admire your courage and also your submissive attitude to your husband. May God bless your efforts to honor him (and Him!) in ministering to your family and others!
    Terri Layne

  7. Matt and I just were talking about this the other night. I loved reading through your “Christmas Evolution”. I think I would like to do our own too.
    We have not celebrated Christmas much as far as decorations, etc. for a few years, but it was more of a ‘feeling’ than knowing about the pagan roots. I just learned of all of that last year, and it was no surprise, but wondering what to do next is a topic we have yet to conquer.

    I blogged about it, and, yes… I think the Christian community is hardest of all to communicate things like this and homeschooling and home birth to. If they don’t do it or belive in it, it is an offense to them they don’t know how to handle. I don’t know that these are things to divide on, but it happens that way many times.

    Thank you for sharing all of these aspects. There are things we love about Christmas, and things we won’t celebrate too. We did Santa when I was a child, but never have as a parent. I was reading the OT out loud last week-just opened it and read- to Jeremiah 10. Everone was floored. So that solidified that. I think as we seek, He will show.

    We are right now just trying to establish what traditions we as a family will celebrate during this season.
    Blessings in your journey!

  8. Sherree

    Hi Robin, I am so grateful for the insight and genuine love you have for God and His original concepts of Holy Days. Christmas can be such a distressing time for some of us
    One of the Holy Days that I find mentioned in the Old Testament that is not included in the link you provide is the Shabbat or Sabbath. What are you’re thoughts as to keeping this day holy? As I read the link about the origins of Christmas and Easter from its pagan rituals I wondered about the Sabbath and its switch from Saturday to Sunday. If its in the Bible can you please point me to the place it says that we should keep Sunday instead of Saturday the way the Jewish people used to; you know from sunset Friday to Sunset Saturday. I have been asking this question for some time now, and from what I have studied it was a Roman Emporer who changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. Would you consider this day, then, to have pagan roots given that the change was made to encourage the ever growing Christian population to keep coming to the pagan festivals on the Sunday?
    I have had a couple of verses given to me but I am not convinced that Sunday is the day that Jesus wants us to remember. The fourth commandment says Remember the Sabbath Day, but its the one we always seem to forget. Could you share your thoughts on this topic too please?

  9. Thanks for your post! Very insightful. My children are young and our “traditions” are still evolving. We have never made a Huge deal of Christmas either (besides spending a lot of time with family!). We don’t bother with buying gifts for our kids (although extended family often does).

    This year we are in Mexico for Christmas (we are living here at the moment) so we, along with a small team of people, are building a house for a family who really needs it (they have 5 children and are living in a home mostly made of cardboard). We will be giving the home to the family on Christmas Eve. I hope that our children will be able to learn a lot from this experience and I believe it is something we will continue to do every year.

    The purpose of us setting up this project was so that other families who struggle with Christmas (materialism, etc) would have an alternative that would also be a way to teach their children about giving, generosity, social justice, the heart of God, and much more.

    However, although many people agree it is a great idea, when it came down to it, most of them did not want to give up the material aspect of the season. We hope this idea takes off after this experience and we will have more people and more projects for next year!

  10. I have been through the same questions as you. I decided not to have Christmas in my home. I do still go to my parent’s house for Christmas Eve to be with my family. My mom doesn’t have a tree anymore. It is just my family, my brother’s, and our parents. Once my parents pass away I won’t have any Christmas at all. I do however celebrate Hanukkah.
    This subject can be a sore one for some people. I wish you the best and blessings and shalom be upon you and yours.

  11. I too have been thinking about some of these same things and recently blogged about my own feelings on the subject.
    Christmas is not the only battlefield Christians can war with each other on and it is also not the only area the church has “borrowed” from the world (such as worship music vs. hymns (some of which were old drinking songs with the words changed. Or the KJ only school of thought)
    Love needs to be our guide is all things. God promises to give wisdom liberally to all who seek Him and Christmas is no exception.
    In the few years I have left I want Christmas to be special. The traditions we do celebrate I want to tie the hearts of my children to the real meaning of Christmas.
    I want the reason we avoid certain traditions(such as Santa) to point to Christ just as clearly as the one we celebrate.
    We are all at different places in our faith…but faith with no joy is not worth sharing with anyone and Christ’s birth is part of the gospel story. Whatever we feel God leading us to do we should do with a truly joyful heart…YES?

  12. Hi Robyn,
    I go through the exact same feelings that you have expressed.I love Christmas but since learning about pagan roots I can’t seem to get all excited about it anymore. This makes me very sad because I want to give wonderful memories to my kids. On the other hand I have thought about celebrating the bilical holidays of the old testament. The thing is that I have also seen that we are not under the law. We are now in a new covenant and this doesn’t include old testament observations. Here are some verses:

    “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16–17).

    “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years” (Galatians 4:9–10)

    I am not saying that it is wrong to obseve holidays but that I also don’t feel very free to do so after reading these verses. I have talked to good christian friends of mine about observing the biblical holidays and they have said to me that I would be going back to old testament covenant.
    I’m actually writing this comment because I would love to understand that it’s okay to celebrate biblical holidays since this is a desire of my heart and that I wouldn’t be “going back to the old covenant” if I did so.

    God bless:)

  13. What ever we do, do it in love.
    Whatever we blog let us be edifying and draw people to the light.


  14. Eren, it isn’t “going back to old covenant”. It is avoiding pagan culture. This is precisely what the chosen people were instructed to do. My main problem is this..the tree, some songs like O’Christmas Tree, Santa. I have friends who are regular Christians and I can deal with that. I just don’t have the tree at my house. I believe that Jesus/Yeshua was conceived during Hanukkah, and born during Sukkot. (Feast of Tabernacles) So if I were to have a birthday celebration for Him, it would be then. If people are celebrating His birth, fine. Mainly I haven’t cut myself off completely from it because of my small family, and friends, who still want to do Christmas. I told them the roots of it, then dropped the subject. My best friend insists on sharing presents with her family. I can do that as well. But that is where I draw the line. I turn down the ham and ham in beans etc… and they call me Jewish, even though technically I am not. So that is where I am on my spiritual journey. We must be careful to say why we do this, and not condemn others who have not been called to this yet, maybe they never will. I like the spirit of loving and giving during this time of year. That is such a positive quality about the holiday!

  15. Wow Tee, great comment! thanks much for pointing out it is possible to live your convictions and how important it is to be careful with others feeling.

    >>You can’t be lazy and just dump everything you know about the holiday on them …Especially with family members, it’s important to not be lazy and consider each person individually.<< Good points! Robin

  16. Hi Robin!

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us! As always your articles and blogs are just filled with wisdom and light!

    We personally as a family do not (and have not for the past 10 years or so) participate in ANY of the customary/traditional holidays that most people/Christians observe and instead we joyfully and gratefully Observe God’s Holy Days from His Holy Word exclusively. We have a house filled with young children that understand, agree and are gratful with our decision to “opt-out” of the frenzied holiday times–and there is absoultely NO guilt, sadness nor regret from our young children or from us as their parents.
    We’ve simply explained that EVERYDAY is Christmas, Thanksgiving and a time of focusing and worshipping/celebrating Jesus/Yeshua! We let them know that we will buy them gifts and toys and things when we are led to of The Lord…not when society/the traditions of man dictates we should. Everyday is Thanksgivings and we don’t wait one day per year to “recognize” this. God has just given our children and us the Grace and Mercy to live this way–with Joy and Gladness and completely stress/guilt-free!

    That being said, we take serious heed and Obey with Fear and Trembling Our Lord’s Command that we do NOT/are NOT to judge others in regards to holidays or anything–(that they choose to celebrate/honor traditional holidays because we know and understand/believe/have the Holy Fear of God knowing that as/when/if we judge others (thinking ourselves more “spiritual or wise” instead of weak and humble, we ourselves will be judged in the exact measure and way that we judge). We judge ourselves and our conscience and do not participate–KNOWING that the Revelation Abba Father has given us is unpopular and look to The Lord to have his High and Holy Way in us and to give us the Grace to Follow Him and not lean to our own understandings and way and to not disobey Him by compromising our convictions in this matter of holidays.

    We look forward to people asking us why we do not/will not participate in popular holidays and explain in love and Fear of the Lord Why. In ALL of the years that God has used our “opting-out” of traditional Christian and/or popular holidays…I can count on one hand the people/Christians that have NOT congratulated us on our choice to “just say no” to the “pressures/stress/commericialism of Christmas and other popular holidays–and every single person who has asked us why we won’t/don’t “celebrate” traditional holidays has left us with a smile and nod of agreement and in admiration of God in us. Also 99% of them have said they “wished” that they could/would just say no too…but have stated that the “pressure” (fear of man/tradition of men-and children :o) keeps them from saying NO as well. ONLY About 1% of the people who have questioned us as to “Why don’t you “celebrate” holidays” have said that they “enjoy it”. ALL of the other 99% of folks have said/told us that “traditional holidays are a grievious, commercial/materialistic/ and stressful time for everyone and they actually hate it and look forward to the “holiday” being OVER with. That’s just our experience for the past 10 years or so.

    I found this article “Living room xmas conversation excerpts” on the web…and it speaks volumes to us and I hope whoever reads this will be equally as blessed to.

    Tee :o)

    Living room xmas conversation excerpts
    Taken from the Web


    Approaching the subject of the holiday with anyone first of all requires using God’s wisdom. Different situations require different approaches, different solutions. There are no pat answers. However, this does not mean situational ethics that reek with compromise. It does mean walking in the Spirit and speaking in accordance with the level of relationship you may have with a person, the critical (or non-critical) issues that are at stake in their life and the overall direction of your relationship with that person. You can’t be lazy and just dump everything you know about the holiday on them like it’s just some doctrine you believe.

    Especially with family members, it’s important to not be lazy and consider each person individually. With families, there seems to be a wider door of opportunity. Take advantage of your best open doors. A soul is a soul; but remember who your mothers and brothers are.

    Realize also that we can work against the work of God in someone’s life by bringing up some doctrine without really dealing with the heart issues, the things that ultimately are the only real issue. December 25 isn’t the issue. Giving gifts and having some enjoyable time is not the issue. The motives and intentions of men’s hearts is the issue. So to get at those things, we must not speak just what we know, but the Word which divides between soul and spirit. Consideration, discernment, prayer, fasting, searching the scriptures: whatever it takes to speak His Word.

    For example, a parent that you’ve discussed some serious truths with and the choices are clear. Bringing up the whole holiday issue could be a major distraction. Although exchanging gifts may be out of the question, pressing into that issue may also be as well. If other key heart issues are settled, the holiday issue may eventually fall by the wayside anyway. Another example would be someone talking to you in the elevator. They say, “So, have you got all your gift shopping done?” It might be right to say, “Actually, I don’t celebrate holidays that originated in worship of demon-gods. Maybe you should reconsider it too. Well, this is my floor. Happy Holidays!” And then go on your way. Whether during holidays or not, simple declarations are very possible. Listen for God’s Voice, His unique and penetrating word, but also, don’t be afraid to just speak the truth in love and humility. Depend upon God for supernatural wisdom in each circumstance (e.g. “whose face is on this coin?” …they won’t forget it.)

    Another example could be a ‘Christian co-worker’ whose life doesn’t match his talk. And during the holiday season, Jesus’ Name is on his lips often. “O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord,” you hear him singing in the hall. This could be an opportunity to finally break through to his heart by pressing in to the hypocrisy of the season and his own life.

    Another example has to do with your own heart. Maybe not celebrating the holiday sounded like a good idea since you really don’t like spending money on others anyway and the malls are so crowded this time of year and… you get the point. Don’t let the accusation of being a scrooge intimidate you into compromising your convictions but don’t let it be true either. A shower of gifts might be right… in February with orange wrapping. It can be December, but be sure to let them know that it’s out of care for them and not because of the date on the calendar that you’ve sent the gifts (plain paper is still a good idea). It all may serve to soften hearts and open doors for an opportunity, so once again, don’t be lazy.

    Another important point is unity in approaching families, unbelievers… First, do we agree on how God views this (e.g. “Christmas”)? From this, ask God for a wisdom that results in unity in this thing at hand.


    Do the “roots” or origins of something have any meaning or consequence to us? Of course they do. Would you put a butcher knife on your kitchen counter for daily use that you knew had been used to brutally massacre fifteen people? “Well, that’s not what I plan to use it for – no matter what someone else may have used it for! I’m not effected by that. My heart is right.” Actually, that is not what a normal person’s view of things would be. In the real estate business, there is even a name for property that is unsaleable because a violent crime had been committed there. People do not say, “What difference does it make to me what the origins of this house and previous use of this house has been. That’s not what I intend to do with it! I intend to use it for good purposes.” Realistically, everyone does care what the roots or origins of things are. Unless it is to their advantage to ignore that issue.

    Jesus said that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. The history of December 25 is clear and indisputable. Rome controlled the world. Romans worshipped many gods and twice a year celebrated two major festivals, one in spring and one in winter. When Constantine converted to Christianity, most of his subjects did too, at least for political correctness. But because their conversions were mostly external, most Romans still wanted their festivals to their gods. These were wicked festivals, honoring demons and filled with every evil deed. So to appease his subjects (how many poor, poor decisions are made to appease), Constantine renamed and “christianized” the holidays. The festival of Sol Novus – The day of birth of the sun god Mithras. It occurred on Dec. 25th. Pagans were rebelling against Constantines strong recommendation for everyone to become “Christians,” so he began to accommodate the pagans by allowing them to keep their holidays and festivals. The spring pagan festival, which was for the goddess of fertility, became easter, the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Consequently, during this holiday we have bunnies and eggs, symbolizing fertility, not Christ’s resurrection.

    Adopted customs from the Winter Solstice were put into practice with “Christ” mas. Consequently, during this holiday we have trees, mistletoe and lights, things that have nothing to do with the birth of Christ. Simon the zealot was killed in Persia after refusing to worship Mithras, the sun god, whose birth was celebrated Dec. 25. Many brothers and sisters were put to death over these newly named pagan holidays because they refused to give sacrifice and worship to the pagan gods. The Puritans in England and New England tried to abolish “Christ” mas, but the move was unpopular and “Christ” mas survived.

    Most scholars actually suspect His birth was in October. But what would the holiday be without snow (I’m dreaming of a white…). If it were really to honor Him and not to replace a pagan festival, then it could be moved. But don’t hold your breath, because it’s not for Him.

    The significance of all this becomes increasingly clear. For example, you wouldn’t eat beef that was raised on nuclear waste. If you’re used to eating nuclear waste, that is, if you’re a pagan, celebrating a pagan holiday is normal. But if you claim to be a Christian, then you should know that the unseen world is more real than even the effects of something polluted by nuclear waste is in the seen world. Just because a holiday’s name has changed, that doesn’t change its spiritual architecture. Remember, this was a holiday for demon-gods. Jesus isn’t honored by this time of year; He’s blasphemed. Essentially it’s a pagan holiday with His name on it. Putting Jesus’ name on something that is impure and wicked causes the spiritual senses to be dulled and lulls them to sleep. It makes it even harder to reach others for Christ the other 11 months of the year because Jesus is associated with “Christmas time;” because they see Him as a cute little baby in a manger instead of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.


    The result of the above is obvious. I saw a sign the other day that said in reference to this season, “Love, joy and peace are in the air.” Bzzzt. Wrong answer. Materialism, gluttony, selfishness, suicide, greed, pride, self-righteousness, family idolatry, hypocrisy with strangers and family members and all the like are in the air, in abundance. The demonic power of “Christ” mas includes a seduction of the flesh which is warm, fuzzy and intoxicating. It strokes every sense of the flesh with smells, sights, sounds, and a “spirit” in the air – literally. Or it totally depresses them. Suicide is higher this time of year than any other time. “No one even cares for me at “Christ” mas time,” is a common thought. During this time of year, “Christian” people are supposed to be glad that at least once a year people’s attention is on Jesus. The facts are, people are probably more concentrated on themselves during this time than any other time. References to Jesus, the nativity, the virgin birth and singing all these beautiful songs about Him, seems to only allow people to feel more justified in their sin and more callused to those truths and words later. It blinds and hypnotizes them.

    Many people feel justified or appease their conscience by putting a manger scene in front of their tree or donating food or money to the Salvation Army; going caroling or going to a “Christ” mas Eve service. Some people are sincere about wanting to celebrate Jesus’ birthday and believe that others can be reached with the gospel during this time of year. But for the one person who might come to know Jesus as a result of something he heard during this season, there will be thousands of others who will be further and further away from knowing who Jesus really is and what that means for their lives.

    The fruit shows itself to be very related to roots. Hypocrisy and shallowness of heart produces hypocrisy and shallowness of heart. Take exchanging gifts for example. Is it really gift giving or is it possession exchanging? If someone gives something, how often would there be a person who honestly doesn’t want something back. Very rarely. Greed and self-centeredness are bred into children. This holiday does not draw people to an exalted Christ. It mocks Him and pulls people away from Him. Just as the soldiers mocked Jesus when they crucified Him. They put a robe on Him, a crown of thorns on His head and said, “Behold the King of the Jews.” Today, scripture says, that rebellious sin crucifies Him again. And in the middle of rebellious sin, people sing, “Silent night, HOLY night.” In reality, it’s children of satan singing songs about Jesus. God sees it as blasphemy because their hearts are far from Him. The Father is not pleased; He is angry. And we will be too if we see His Son and the name of His Son the way He does. One of the things most important to Him to say to His People when He first revealed Himself on Mt. Sinai was, “DO NOT use my name in vain!!!” Wouldn’t you say that a choir or a group of intoxicated “carolers” singing joyously about “baby Jesus” and the “HOLY night” to a group of folks that also have little or no intention of obeying Jesus in their personal lives – wouldn’t THAT qualify as using His name in vain, the most grotesque form of hypocrisy? Bad news, and not, it would seem, something we can join in with and fellowship with in the name of “keeping peace” or “I don’t PERSONALLY abuse it, so it’s OK for me.”

  17. Hi again Robin!

    Can you delete my comment #15. I “tried” (in vain–duh) to edit my comment #15, so that people reading my comments can know/see that of the some of the first portion of my post was from me–my personal comments, and the 2nd part is an article I found on the web (“Living room xmas conversation excerpts”) and is NOT mine/written by me. But is free to copy and distribute/share.

    The “Living room xmas conversation excerpts” was taken from an article I found on the Web. Again, I did *try* to edit it/fix it, but it turned into another post (number 17), which I’d like to keep here :o) Is anyone REALLY confused now?

    Lastly, if you could delete this post (asking you to pls. delete comment #15) I’d appreciate it so very much. So Sorry for the confusion and {{{{Hugs}}}} to you!

    Tee :o)

  18. Hi- it’s Eren again:)
    I posted about the fact that some of my christian friends say that observing the biblical feasts is going back to old testament covenant. They say this based on those verse I wrote up there.
    Could any of you help me with logical answers as to why observing biblical holidays is not going back to the old covenant and a balanced interpretation of these verses?
    “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years” (Galatians 4:9–10)

    Their interpretation is that each of the feasts is a shadow of Christ therefore we should not celebrate the feasts but only celebrate Christ.
    I truly would like some help here:)
    In Christ,

  19. Wow, so much wisdom, thank you!
    We have been on this journey now since 2002, and every year it seems that we have the need to think and rethink our stand as a family on Christmas…..There is a world out there searching and hurting for salvation in Messiah….We in the body of Messiah should look for the things which will bind us together and not divide us. As hard as it is to knowing the origins of this holiday we chose as a family to be a light to those who are hurting and lonely this Christmas….They will know us by our love to one another….look for the good in it and not focus so much on the bad.
    I love this post and if you don’t mind I am linking it to my blog.
    Thank you again for sharing from the heart.
    Because of Him,

  20. I too have been thinking.
    I always feel bad for the lonely people at Christmas time.

  21. Eren, that is not something that can be done easily. How about when did God do away with His feast and holy days? He NEVER did. Is God wishy-washy? Nope. Read Zech 14 about observing Sukkot in the end of days. That is for GENTILES too. If you don’t do that feast plagues like no rain will come upon you. That is just one point. In the end of days gentiles will grab the fringe of a Jew (tzit-zit) and want to go to God’s holy mountain to learn more. If they knew all there was, why do that? Some people will never listen, because they aren’t ready. Also I like to say I want to worship as the early believers did. They went to synagogue and kept Shabbat. They ate clean food. Some may say that is going back, but that is because they don’t understand the bible, or are not ready to accept the truth concerning instructions…instructions are what regular Christians call LAW. They equate Law with something that is a burden. Law wasn’t a burden. The burden was the man-made fences put around Torah. Have they read any of Heart of Wisdom’s books? How about sending them to Brad Scott’s website? Just thoughts, hope it helped.

  22. Eren,
    Here are some articles to help



    Holiday Parable

    Controversies or Why All The Fuss?

    What Happen to the Holy Days?

    Why Celebrate?

    Celebrating the Holiday

  23. Vienna


    Thank you for posting your thoughts and evidence on Christmas. It really made me go deep and think about why I continue to celebrate it. I did not experience relief when I read your essay. In fact I got a little depressed after thinking about what you had to say. It made quite a bit of sense, but after much prayer and soul searching I think I have a resolve in my own heart about the Christmas issue.
    Have you ever heard, “Sometimes we give too much credit to the devil”? When it comes to Christmas I think we give too much credit to the pagans. In my own heart and of my own opinion I would venture to say that God isn’t even displeased with Christmas. I will even go out on a limb to say He may even get excited and have joy over it. It promotes praises, hearts full of joy, giving, loving, and as we know in the Spirit ‘against such things there is no law.’

    I can say without hesitancy I love Christmas! I just can’t help myself. When all the hooha about not saying “Merry Christmas” came about I got depressed. When I read the Time article on Christmas being based on a pagan winter solstice celebration, and that Christians should be more excited about celebrating Easter (another pagan day), or the Resurrection, I didn’t get any happier.

    I like to think on Thesselonians 5:15 “always be joyful, pray without ceasing, and be thankful in all circumstance.” Being quite unsettled and sad, I asked God what He thought. (Whoa! What a concept. Ask God what He thinks and wait for an answer!) “Are you really disappointed with us for celebrating this as a holiday LORD?” You might think this a silly thing to ask the God of everything, but since I heard the story of Joshua’s experience with the Gibeonites, I try to remember that nothing is too silly to ask God.

    Now I’ll tell you what came together in my mind and heart. I went to an AGLOW meeting last week and it was on the 2ND to last night of Hanukkah. They had a menorah with the candles lit. (They are very respectful of Jewish customs around here. I’ve met a few Messianic Jews.) The lady who had brought it made a point that Hanukkah is the time of conception. I’ve never heard of that, and I won’t dispute it because I know nothing about Hanukkah or most of the Jewish holy days we don’t celebrate. (I’m saving up for your Biblical Holidays.) Several times I’ve heard that Jesus was not born in winter, but probably summer which makes sense because when the angels made the announcement to the shepherds they were out in the fields with their flocks. There is no grass for grazing in the winter hence it was probably summer.

    Now I don’t usually watch the television ministries, but I happened upon Billye Brim who was on a Kenneth Copeland broadcast this week. She got my attention because she was going to explain how she thinks the early church got it right to celebrate the Lord’s coming to the earth in December. She was very excited about it. Well, I love joyful news so I thought I’d watch. She said that there is an ancient church holiday, I think it was called the feast of angels, that was forgotten about for a time that was celebrated around December 25Th or 29Th. It has nothing to do with pagan celebrations. It commemorates the angels who brought the word to the virgin who would carry the child and the announcement of his birth to the earth. From that date it is exactly 9 months until Roshashana, the Feast of Tabernacles, September 29 at that time period, that they believe Jesus was born. Now this lady has studied and learned Hebrew from Jewish people. She, Billye Brim, says they will teach you to look into what prophesies mean by examining the meaning of the original Hebrew words. Like in Isaiah it says the child shall be called Emanuel, God with us. She said in Hebrew it means Em= us, anu= tabernacle, El= God. That’s why they think Jesus was born in September because that is also the time of the feast of Tabernacles. (I’m sure you know all this, I’m just telling you how my thoughts came about.)

    That got me excited, but I was still perplexed as to why I enjoy Christmas so much. Then I got to thinking about the excitement, happiness, wonder, and pleasure that comes from just hearing that a baby is coming. Not born yet. Just coming. Then I had my answer. Jesus being conceived was his foot first stepping upon the earth, and the heart of He creation rejoices in that. How the earth must have sighed with pleasure at feeling his presence again after so long an absence. Just hearing that He is here sends me over the moon. It’s a deep place in me beyond my reason. And I believe He was just as excited to come. I think that is why we should celebrate Christmas. His very conception sent shock waves through the universe. All those packages under the tree are like little babies waiting to be born. Matthew 9:14-15 says, “Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them and then they will fast.” This is my new Christmas scripture. I love Christmas because it is the starting point of when He came and dwelt among us. He was happy, and joyful to come.

    Which leads me to my second thought, and question I asked the LORD. I was thinking about Jesus having to come out of perfection and step into this crumbling world. He was only here for 33 years. Then the Holy Spirit came, but he’s been here for over 2000 years. I asked Him how he felt about being away from Jesus and the Father for that long. His reply, “It is My Joy to be with you.” I cried. I didn’t realize just how much we mean to Him. He really, really loves us. I mean he even likes us! He likes being with us! He gets a kick out of us trying to give back something to Him to express what an honor it is to have Him in our lives. Doesn’t it tickle you when your kids do the same?

    As for me and my house, we are celebrating Christmas. And I can’t wait to tell anyone who asks why.

  24. Vienna, yes on comment 14 I said I believe Jesus/Yeshua was born during Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles and conceived during Hanukkah. Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights. (He is the Light of the world, and that surely makes sense!) Just as He was born in Bethleham which is House of Bread in Hebrew. It all starts to come together when I learn a little Hebrew. (I am still a newby in this, but am learning as I can.)
    I have never heard of the feast of angels. I do know that the Jeremiah 10:1-5 still pertains. (Robin put that out earlier in the thread) The tree also has other meanings.
    Read about Nimrod and the evergreen tree. Also read the feast of Saturnalia.
    If you feel led to continue with Christmas, I am not condemning you.
    I am just showing what made me stop. Those are some of the strongest arguments against it I know of.

  25. Many scholars believe Jesus was born during the Feast of Tabernacles. Matthew Henry states:

    It is supposed by many that our blessed Saviour was born much about the time of this holiday; then He left his mansions of light above to tabernacle among us (John 1:14), and he dwelt in booths. And the worship of God under the New Testament is prophesied of under the notion of keeping the feast of tabernacles,…for full article see


  26. I have never read anything like this before – the way you presented the pros and cons, I love it. I know (a little though) that Christmas has pagan roots but like what you said it’s hard to do away with something that’s been there for years, that’s been there when you opened your eyes -it’s hard to junk a tradition. But I love it when you said we should focus more on the true meaning of Christmas…despite the commercialism etc.. that has eroded this tradition. Thanks for this insightful post. Happy Holidays.

  27. Robin has a wonderful online booklet that I have not read until now on this. I just saw it from a reference above. Robin really does her homework on her writings. 🙂 I came into this thread from an email I received on the subject. I had not seen the booklet until the comment previous to this one.

  28. Vienna

    We have this very dilemma in our family. To celebrate Christmas or not.

    My husband’s mother and step-father are both devout bible believing, studying teaching, people. They are very balanced, and I love to talk to them about these issues. The thing is his step father hates Christmas with passion. He sites all the reasons mentioned here as to why none of us should be celebrating it. He even forbade his wife to celebrate Christmas at all. She politely refused, but seeing his adamence about it she asked him if they could both pray about the matter and seek to see what the LORD had to say about it. (My husband’s mother loves Christmas with a passion that rivals her husband’s.) She said if the LORD said it would be better to ban the day from their home she would submit to her husband and agree with the decision. She said over the next few weeks she kept hearing little things like even though Christmas was fraught with materialism and pagan aspects it should be celebrated because it is the one time we can proclaim Jesus with liberality. People are going to hear about Jesus this time of year, and we need to keep reaching out to them about the good news. Her husband heard the same things she was hearing, and as far as I know he didn’t receive anything that agreed with his point of view, but he steadfastly refused to believe those were God’s answer to their query. I don’t know how many years it has been, but I think he’s still waiting. As of this writing they are still doing Christmas at their house.
    The situation does remind me of what Jesus said about John and Himself. John came neither eating nor drinking and they said he had a demon. Jesus came eating and drinking and they said He was a drunkard and a glutton. I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes you can’t make anyone happy. I would agree with Paul who said walk carefully so that you don’t cause someone else to stumble. One person has the freedom in their heart to eat and drink anything, and another thinks it is sin to eat and drink certain foods. Still another avoids these same drinks and foods for health reasons. The same can be said for esteeming some days above others.

    For me, Christmas has never been celebrated as a pagan holiday. So I don’t associate it with other gods or pagan traditions. That might be a very basic and uneduacated way to look at it, but I’ve always associated it with the New Covenant because that was my experience in childhood. Christmas was one of two times a year my family went to church. It was my first taste that God is good. So I have freedom in my heart to celebrate it. In fact, I had no idea it had anything to do with paganism until I started a true relationship with Jesus and met other Christians! Someone else might not have that kind of an experience and maybe they shouldn’t celebrate it because thoughts about it leads them away from the goodnes of God.
    Should we judge everything we do by the history of the thing or our own experience with it? Like, for example, given that the Democratic Party’s steadfast refusal to end slavery was a factor leading to a civil war, and the its own splintering into the Republican party, why on earth would a person of African-American descent ever want to be a Democrat? Why is there even a Democratic party with that kind of history behind it? I mean, we know that slavery is wrong without a doubt. I think the answer may be that party is not the same as it was a hundred years ago. It changed, and perhaps the Lord allowed it to exist because it had a change of heart.
    Is the issue of Christmas that extreme? Is it being celebrated the same way it was 100 or even a thousand years ago? Do the symbols have the same meanings they had way back in time? Is God allowing it to remain because the holiday had a change of heart?
    Hmm. That’s something to think about.

  29. My wife sent me your blog and got me to join. Thank you for your insight – and for everyones’ posts.

    I don’t know how to keep this short, but I’ll try.

    We too grew up with Christmas. Your reference to Josiah hit took my breath away. Over the last few years, God has been “bringing us out” of the pagan customs ever so graciously. We homeschool, so studying our herbraic roots in Christ was our natural first step. God opened up the biblical feasts to us. And instituted friday night/saturday sabbath. Again, we don’t keep it as a legalism, but as a joy of having a meal together as a family and focusing on the relationships.

    And this year, as a husband and wife, have agreed not to “do” christmas in our house. It’s been more of an ongoing dilaogue that has just happened rather then “we won’t do this or that.” It’s all been real great for us.

    Alas, we have family that “does” christmas to the hilt. We’re excited to share with them what we’ve been learning, but not in a “thou shalt not” way. We plan on participating with them, but not adopting their customs.

    It’s so exciting! Our only concern has been where to find fellowship. We’d love to fellowship with other folks, especially those who have been keeping the biblical feasts longer than we have, but we don’t know of too many in our area. There is a big 7th day adventist group near-by, but I’m not called to yet another organized religion. Everyone else around us insists that the Lord’s Day is on Sunday, and thinks we’ve joined a cult. LOL!

    Any thoughts on where/how to find fellowhip nearby?

    Oh, so I was planning on going to work on Tuesday, but my boss emphatically said, “No one will be here,” – meaning “Don’t come in.” So, I guess I’ll joyfully get paid for doing some much needed work around the house – and spending time with my family.

  30. I have been researching this topic for the last several weeks and am overwhelmed with the pagan customs surrounding everything we Christians celebrate. My heart aches and my head is spinning. I don’t know what to do about Christmas as we are now in November and it’s fast approaching. We are basically following what man has told us to do, not God, and that bothers me. christians as a whole do that anyway as churches follow the latest worship fad and follow who they think is the leading Christian because he has a big church and has written books.

    Psalm 14:12 keeps coming to mind where it says “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” I don’t like to take verses out of context but it seems we are continually doing what we think is right and then we end up confused and weary as is my state of mind right now! Other Christians look at me like I am crazy or that I am becoming a heathen when I talk about this with them. I am met with great opposition and defensive arguments. I will just have to continue to pray and seek God’s desire for my life and that of my family but at the moment my heart is heavy and burdened by how we have altered so much of what God intended for our lives and relationship with Him. Seems like this should be a simple thing but it’s not!

  31. Thank you SO much for this research Robin!

    Sisterlisas last blog post..From the Learning Room

  32. Used this post as a guest blogger Robin…full credit and links back to you. 😎

    Susans last blog post..satan’s meeting

  33. Hey Robin! I commented last year, and it’s good to be able to see again what I wrote.

    I came here tonight for some encouragement, mostly, and to share a mini-revelation.

    This year, more than others, I am actually feeling angry toward the paganism of the whole thing. I wholly believe that God wants us to be celebrating feasts. Even the term holiday, or “holy” day is bothering me. The older I become in Christ, the more I realize our earthliness. God created us as earthen vessels, perfected in Him in Spirit. The biblical feast days are rooted in real life earthly things, not tinsel and twinkling lights and glitter. I guess the argument can be made that Christmas has a lot of earthly things too, like gold and silver.

    So what’s bothering me most right now, is that we just sat through 2 half-hout “children’s christmas” shows – Shrek the Halls and The Grinch. The story hasn’t changed – there’s always one who is non-christmas. He is always portrayed as miserly and, in the case of the Grinch, even stole. Of course, there’s always the end, when the miser/scrooge/grinch has the BIG change of heart and joins in on all the celebration. The funny thing is that through the transformation, the individual’s revelation leads them to believe that “it’s not about the tree, the presents, etc.” And the next scene is this person joining in the giving of presents, singing around the tree, etc. Go figure!

    What made me angry is the realization that this particular “christmas” story of miser to joyous could very easily be interpreted as anti-semetic!

    Okay, I’m not Jewish by birth, but if I were, and gre up not celebrating christmas, I would feel as though I were a horrible person with all the guilt surrounding those who do not participate.

    Maybe it’s a stretch, but I really felt grief for all the Jewish people out there who don’t celebrate.

    Anyone else have a similar revelation or was it just me? Bah-humbug!

  34. Gerry, I do understand what you mean. However it’s still the most giving time of year and as Christians we are to be giving. There are plenty of other nonculture Christmas ways that we can be joyous and not humbug. Homeless shelters need food and small children need coats. (see if there is a local coats for kids program in your area. it’s nation wide) The giving is down this year due to the economy. If we save on not buying culture related items we can certainly do what we can to help those whom God commands we help, the needy.

    Robin, I keep getting this message when I try to come to yor site today:
    “A username and password are being requested by http://www.blenza.com. The site says: “Restricted Area”

    Sisterlisas last blog post..Make a Small Child Happy This Month

  35. Vienna

    Guess what I found out! Talk about a duh moment. I was looking up federal holidays, and found Christmas on the list. President Grant established it to honor Jesus’ birthday in 1870. So that means Jews can celebrate Christmas too. 😀 That is too cool. It’s law! Just like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. By the way, has anyone else commented about that?

  36. I can see how many conservative, right-wing christians (of which I am for the most part) would think it great to force a law on Jews to celebrate Christmas, but it feels too much like the Crusades to me. Bill O’reilly stated last night on his show that it was established by Grant because Jesus was a “great philosopher”. (He was commenting in regards to the whole atheist movement thing going on in Wasington State.)

    I don’t know that Christ is best honored by taking one day out of the year to make it all about gift-giving. Frankly, I kind of support the idea of “Christmas” being turned into the “Winter Festival” or whatever, so that the Truth could then be revealed about Christ and his people.

    That said, I do feel that it’s important to celebrate not so much Christ’s birth, but the fat that God redeemed us. I also feel that the better/best time to celebrate this is during Sukkot, the time of remebering that God dwells with us, and probably closer to the real birth date of Christ.

    Incidentally, birthdays in general were celebrated by pagans as part of the fertility thing. That’s not to say that the pregnancy and birth isn’t a joyous thing altogether, and should be treated as such – just that I don’t know that annually celebrating one’s birth is all that important. (My mother would shudder reading this…)

    Anyway, I don’t have any answers, per se, just a lot of thoughts right now. We’ve stopped “celebrating” Christmas, and struggle through celebrating festivals we don’t fully understand because we didn’t grow up in a tradition of it, but they’re so much more meaningful to us.

    Thanks for letting me work through this on this site… And thank you everyone for the dialogue.

    A few interesting facts:
    1. Federal law cannot compel state, municipal or other local governments to observe or recognize federal holidays in any way (U.S. Const., Amend. X effectively reserves holiday creation policy to the governments of the several states).

    2. Father Christmas, who predates the Santa Claus character, was first recorded in the 15th century, but was associated with holiday merrymaking and drunkenness. Harper, Douglas, Christ, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001.

  37. We’ve struggled through this issue for a few years now and have come up on the side of not doing it – mostly because there is no command and/or example of it in the word of God.

    Throughout the old testament when God wanted his people to celebrate or remember something He made it abundantly clear – set aside THIS day and celebrate this way, etc. There was never any question that this day should be set aside.

    Yet no where in the new testament does Jesus model or instruct us to set a day (let alone an entire season) aside to worship His birth. He does tell us to remember Him each time we celebrate communion. There’s is no evidence of the early church celebrating it either, yet they did celebrate the O.T. feasts.

    But it’s hard, I’ll admit. The good parts of this time of the year are tied to the emotion that comes from all the fluff, etc. It’s hard to give that up and yet I just couldn’t keep doing the same things over and over again because “that’s what we’ve always done”.

    The hardest part for me right now is watching as our church enthusiastically engage in the celebration of the season and other holidays put on the calendar by man but tosses out the ones that God establishes in His word. That and gracefully bowing out without creating a spirit of division.

  38. QuietMom – THANK YOU!!!! That’s really been our sentiments exactly…

    We no longer attend a church, though, so we’re not so concerned about the division thing. If it’s a grace-based church, and they practice what they preach, then healthy discussion and debate over this issue and others should never be seen as a “spirit of division” and should be welcomed. But that’s just my opinion.

    Seriously, thank you for your post.

  39. We’ve always done Christmas, but never Santa. And we keep it to only three gifts: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. The gold is something the kids want; the myrrh is something the kids need; and the frankincense is something that nurtures their spirit. So we don’t go overboard.

    And we do a chocolate baby Jesus birthday cake. Because Jesus likes chocolate. Or why would He have made it?

    When I was in kindergarten I told all my friends in an evangelistic frenzy that Santa wasn’t real. My mother and I were almost run out of town.

    I know the season has pagan roots, but with the way we celebrate it, we remind our unsaved family members what Christmas is all about. To me it’s an evangelism opportunity, and that’s how we use it!

    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

  40. Wow!
    I have been struggling with this very issue for the last several years. It’s a little comforting to know I’m not the only one. 🙂
    What is hurtful is that so many Christians attack and put down people who do not celebrate Christmas, even though it is a man-made tradition.

    Rom 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

    Rom 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth [it] unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [it]. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

    Thank you so much for the article.

  41. For years my husband and I have struggled over the issue. We never did the Santa thing and we always made sure the focus was on Jesus, but it still wasn’t right…something was wrong. This year, because of several things, we decided not to decorate or do anything special. With six adult children and thirteen grandchildren, it’s hard because it’s expected of us. This is where we feel we need to make the separation. We are semi-retired, living on a limited income, busy with ministry activities, and in love with our family. So, why should we feel the pressure to conform? This year we won’t. We’ll get together with family and friends and not make an issue of it with them, but as far as huge gift-giving and parties and decorations and stuff, no. What the Lord has impressed on us for the past several years is this:

    1. God was very specific about the festivals and celebrations He ordained in His Word. If His only begotten Son’s birthday was to be celebrated as such, there would have been specific instructions.

    2. We should celebrate Christ’s birth, life, death, resurrection, and soon-appearing EVERY DAY of EVERY YEAR, not just seasonally. If we decided to sing, “Joy to the Word” in August, then we’ll sing it! If we want to give a gift in honor of Christ in June, we’ll give it. We also determined that the light of Christ dwelling within us and shining through us should be present throughout the year.

    Aside from the pagan origins of Christmas and the fact that commercialism has robbed the focus away from the Truth, Christmas is very much a beleiver’s lifestyle as we celebrate Him day by day.

    No one ever said separating from the world’s pressures to conform would be easy. But, we’re taking a stand and whether people (including family and friends) understand it or not doesn’t matter. We’re not here to please them or to be accepted by them. We’re here to honor our Father who gave His Son as a sacrifice to all. I sometimes think we’re in love with the thought of the picture of a precious little baby born in Bethlehem when, in fact, God’s emphasis was obviously on the mission and ministry of Jesus. Jesus Christ, the adult who, though tempted in every way as we are, lived a sinless life, died a horrible death, spilled His blood to atone for our sins, rose again from the dead conquering death hell and the grave, and ascended into heave where He now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.

    Let’s celebrate Him every day by conforming to His will, being transformed by the renewing of our minds, and bearing His light and life to the world!

  42. Interesting. We are in the same place we were when I left my comment last year, except that my husband has actually come to the same conclusion. Last year he was undecided. He is still wanting to give gifts this year, but won’t make the decision! I told him it is up to him. I think the Scriptures keep coming back to him, and it is a war with the traditions of childhood, which I understand. Who doesn’t love a warm fireplace, twinkling lights and gifts??

    I feel that we are all on a journey with the LORD in our relationships, and when Believers celebrate christmas, well, that is not for me to worry about [unless I am asked by them]. As a whole, I know what the WORD says, and I do believe it is for all Believers – as well as the OT is too – but, as for judging their hearts because they celebrate christmas (or practice any thing that may be contrary to the WORD for that matter)is their journey/relationship and not mine.
    I do not refrain from stating what we practice and why, though, as you have done here. What is heartbreaking is the comments I find that don’t just state a belief, but they refer to ‘other believers’ who are missing out on spreading the love because they don’t celebrate christmas. It is a shame to think that christmas is the only time to support the homeless, the naked, the poor and unsaved. It is not. We need to celebrate Jesus and love through him all year. We need to share the gospel all year. It is great to celebrate His Resurrection, and though I agree that there is no real need to celebrate his birth, I am thankful for His birth. I prefer to remember that His birth was only necessary for His death, which was necessary for MY SIN.

    So, in reality, if I want to celebrate christmas, I suppose I could go tell everyone that I am a sinner and that I am thankful that Jesus was born to die for my sins so I won’t burn for eternity in hell. I just don’t see how giving my children christmas gifts shows them that Jesus came to die for their sins too.
    I think serving in a food line at a mission or giving to the poor and needy, etc. is a much better way to lead them to that understanding. This year, they are sending their christmas money to a couple of families in need. We have served for thanksgiving at a mission, but not in recent years, and we always give wherever we can. All year.
    I love my brothers and sisters in Christ. I love them. I don’t mind if they send christmas cards. I don’t mind if they put up a tree. I do have a problem with lying to children about santa, but really, I love my friends.

    And, isn’t every season about love? And isn’t Jesus the reason for every season?

    Thanks for your research.
    blessings!! and love~

  43. Robin, I could have written this post! I can hardly believe how near exactly we have “evolved” in our attention to Christmas. However, we are not celebrating it. We generally try to ignore it. It is so much more peaceful this way. We don’t travel during the winter anyway, so our family knows we won’t be coming and no one would venture to come here because of the weather (we are currently in a blizzard!). The men will be home from work, so we will have a special dinner something like Sunday dinner. But, there will be no tree or gifts. We thought about switching to New Years Day, but then found out the Romans celebrated Saturnalia and gave gifts on that day! *sigh* Some time around the first of the year, we send out our family letter and usually give gifts of wisdom (religious books, Bibles, Scripture-based gifts, etc.). I suppose we still don’t know what to do with Christmas. May the Lord give us all wisdom and love for one another.

  44. Robyn,

    Thank you so much for spending the time to write down what the Holy Spirit has given you to say. I have been very torn what to do the last half decade. I have taken Santa out for sure. I barely have a tree. Now what ever I have put on the tree needs to tell the story of Jesus. I really appreciated the anology you gave. I am REALLY going to start celebrating the HOLYdays this year. I can’t wait. I have your book and will be studing it after Christmas. Thank you for living the life God has called you to do. So many are blessed by what you do.

    Blessings and ((HUGS)) my SSiC
    In Him<

  45. Christmas is always celebrated differently by different families from different countries around the world. Here in the Philippines, the nine days of going to Church in the dawn (Simbang Gabi) before Dec 25 is an unbreakable tradition. Noche Buena is also a tradition. I just went to the church by the way two hours ago and it was full. It means people still celebrate Christmas for Jesus.

  46. Hello! My husband and I have recently decided not to celebrate Christmas and are preparing to inform our family and friends in the next several weeks. (we have to do this soon because many of them start preparing as early as Sept.) My dilemma is how to break it to my 7 year old. We have a 12 yr old son who understands and has come to appreciate and even agree with our stance. Our little girl, however, will be crushed. She loves to celebrate Jesus’ “birthday” and sings Joy to the World year round. In essence, everyday is Christmas to her with the big finale on Dec 25th and starting over again on the 26th. She doesn’t have a good understanding of paganism and I’m afraid would just get confused. Any suggestions as to how we should approach this so she will comprehend? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you to everyone who commented on this article for the wisdom you have offered thus far!

    God Bless,

  47. Nedina

    Too many Christmas stories on TV, directed to our impressionable children, give Santa the glory, which rightfully belongs to our Lord and Savior, for answering wishes/prayers and the healing of relationships.

  48. Trishia

    Beautifully said, Robin…I couldn’t agree with you more!

  49. Robin,
    I appreciate you…I have been following you for years now. Anyway, on a personal note, I think you might be interested in this blog. I read it from time to time and I think of you when I read it….I know you do a lot of research and really thought that this one would be a great add to your list. I don’t know him personally—I just think of all that you have opened my eyes up to and it is in sync with what he has to say as well 🙂
    (you will like his article on Christmas that was posted yesterday)

  50. Robin,
    I enjoy your style of writing – so simple and to the point. Easy to read.

    I also enjoyed your personal testimony of where you’ve been, and where you are at with the Christmas holiday.

    Were not “doing” Christmas for the first time ever. No tree, no lights, no present, nothing. And we don’t know enough about Hanakkuh to replace it – so I’ll be looking forward to reading more about it through you.

  51. Wonderfully thoughtful, balanced perspective Robin. As always, thank you for sharing! Happy Hanukkah to you and yours!
    .-= beth@brew*crew´s last blog ..Hanukkah in our Home =-.

  52. Robin,
    What a wonderfully balanced point of view about Christmas!

    It’s a pity that more “Christians” aren’t as tolerant of others’ beliefs.

    .-= Jillian´s last blog ..The Touch of the Masters Hand =-.

  53. Nice listing. The best part people will love and appreciate is the free time they have to spend with the friends and family members.

  54. This is just what I needed to read right now – thank you…

    I grew up LOVING Christmas – Santa was a part, but we always knew he was just a fairy tale and that it was really about Christ, and family.

    My husband grew up in the southern hemisphere. Christmas was a picnic on the beach, with alcohol flowing freely. It just wasn’t a good experience for him, and combine that with the pagan roots, and he’d like to obliterate the whole thing.

    So I’m sad each Christmas, wanting to celebrate, loving the excitement when my 3yo daughter sees Christmas trees and lights (NOT OURS), thoroughly enjoying the music, yet trying to tone things down to almost nothing at home. It’s comforting in a way to see others go through similar issues.

    I was reading about how the Advent was originally a time to focus on Christ’s second coming – not his birth – and it was “celebrated” through prayer and fasting. Now I’m not big on Catholic traditions, but this seems to fit for me. So I’ve set aside the next 40 days (starting today) as a “fast” of simplicity. I’m not sure exactly what it will entail, but I want to declutter things (internal & external) and focus on the really meaningful. No holiday baking storms – just trying to get my menu planning in order and healthy meals on the table (something I struggle with); less time on the computer – that sort of thing. Philippians 4:8 is my motto.

  55. Eren,
    I understand the argument that you have heard regarding the new covenant. God has lead us to the study of our hebraic roots which has been a wonderful blessing in our christian walk. There are a few pivotal points that most christians are unaware of or have forgotten about. First of all; the Torah (first 5 books of the OT) is the foundation for the NT. Without it would be “building the house upon sand”. We cannot disregard it just because we don’t understand it all or can’t apply all of it to our modern lives. Jesus did not “nail it to the cross” he fulfilled it in the flesh. He never broke the Torah and He did participate in the Lord’s feasts or Holy days. He taught the people to follow the greatest commandment; “love God with all heart….and love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt 22:38 In the Ten Commandments the first 4 tell us how to love our Father and the last 6 tell us how to love our neighbor. He did not come to make a new religion, he came that we could have a renewed covenant with our Father through His sacrifice. Throughout history people have broken their covenant with the Almighty. In his grace and mercy He sent His son to once again give us the chance to come into covenant with Him. Check out Jeremiah 31:31-33. It isn’t a brand new thing, its a renewal.
    Secondly (pertaining to the Col. and Gal. verses in your comment), most don’t understand that the Jewish religion (Rabbinic tradition) has added much to God’s word. This is called the oral law or talmud. This is much of what Paul is referring to when he is blasting the Pharisees about the law. He is talking about the oral law of the Rabbi. Because he was previously a Pharisee, Paul new the oral law inside and out.
    Also keep in mind that the gentiles came to christianity with their “baggage” of pagan sun god worship which included rituals, laws, special days, months, seasons and years. Without a knowledge of the OT the NT is often misinterpreted.
    Regarding Christmas, we have many of the same struggles as the others in this thread. And we are learning how to make wonderful memories with our family while participating in the biblical holy days.
    Blessings, Carey

  56. I am in a similar boat. I used to love the Christmas and Easter holidays till I learned about the pagan roots this year. Now, my heart is just not in it. I am much more excited and happy about the many holy days described in the Bible! However, my husband and kids are not ready to give up Christmas and Easter just yet. Thank you so much for sharing! Blessings!

  57. Jacqui Robertson

    Hi Robin,
    We did the same. We got saved about 8 years ago. We gave up xmas when we found out that it was all pagan. My children were crushed. MK was 5 years old and we told her santa did not exist. She is 10 now (and she is jealous of all the things that others have ???) but we have not done xmas. We have dinner with family – but not on xmas day. We celebrate Christmas in September when everyone does feast of tabernacles because we believe that Jesus was born and Tabernacled amongst us. But it has been hard. The world draws our children so well. As they grow up they are drawn away. But I know and trust that GOD will draw them back… All in his time.

  58. Shelby

    Our family has been learning about and doing the Feasts of the Lord for about 6 months. We have also been keeping the Sabbath on Saturday. It has been such a blessing! We do as you stated…from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. We prepare our food ahead of time so that no one has to work to cook food. (Just heat things up in the microwave). The Bible says “not to kindle a fire in your home” (for cooking purposes).
    You are correct about it being changed to Sunday by the Roman Emporer Constantine because he worshipped the sun and so he required that everyone worship the sun on Sunday. We all look forward to the Sabbath each week…a day of complete rest and family time and reading the Scriptures together. Because we also do not buy or sell on the Sabbath, it takes dedication in our society to keep the Sabbath holy, because it seems that everything gets scheduled on Saturdays in our culture. So we pray about it, and decide what events we will attend or not attend.
    We learned earlier this year about the pagan roots of Christmas and were convicted by the Holy Spirit that we would not “do Christmas.” We are not going to decorate or buy gifts for anyone, and I tell you, now that the christmas season is here, we feel that a tremendous burden has been lifted from our shoulders. No more shopping for gifts, no more countless christmas gatherings for school, sports teams, school clubs, etc. Yahweh is so good to us! Blessings to you and I hope my comments have helped in some way. 🙂

  59. Eren,

    The Galatians were pagan, gentiles, not Hebrews,so when Paul was speaking of observing days, months, seasons, and years…he was speaking of pagan observances, not the other way around.

    In love,

  60. Katharine Trauger

    Hi. I am not very good at navigating the Internet and somehow have arrived at all the responses to your post, but do not know how to find the original. Nevertheless, it was easy to guess about what you said and irresistible to keep from adding some.
    Our family has not celebrated Christmas, at all, AT ALL, for 25 years. When we broke the news to our children, they grasped it, entirely and graciously. Our tiny daughter said, of the lights in town, “Pretty to the eyes, but not pretty to Jesus.” It helped that they knew the description of Lucifer, that he was the most beautiful and glittery…
    As our children grew and went out from us, sometimes they came back and asked us to explain it again, so they’d be sure to get it all right, so they could explain to their friends. No prob.
    We did and do set out an empty manger every year, right by the front door, with only a handful of straw in it, and a small banner draped over it that reads: “He is not here; He is risen. Why seek ye the living among the dead?” And we hang three huge nails with red satin ribbon tied to them from our front door. Sorta snarky, but you’d be surprised who even sees it and who does not, and the converstations we get the privilege of participating in.
    God has actually honored our faithfulness about it by giving us opportunities to minister to people who’d lost loved ones just before November, and did not feel like doing Christmas. We gave them a house that was just a simple house full of love, not a house for worshiping demons. They went on, still celebrators in heart, but they had a sanctuary here, when they needed it. I have loved that.
    It always breaks my heart when I think of people being so fooled into thinking they are somehow helping Jesus celebrate His birthday. If Jesus where a human like us and needed self-agrandizement of the type we love to receive on our birthdays, would He actually LIKE it that we celebrated by spending less and less time with Him? That is what we do. Even in church, at least in the US, I see, we skip church, skip Bible study, skip Sunday School, to party on, and say we honor Jesus. Hmm. We spend less time honoring Him, in order to help Him celebrate something that was only the beginning of His purpose, NOT His purpose, itself.
    And the stuff we make up!!! Yes, there were angels, yes there was a star, but (sighs) the angels did not sing and the star did not have a kite tail. Oh well, it’s all for fun, right. Don’t spoil the kiddos’ fun, right?
    Oh. I thought it was for Jesus. Hmm.
    All that was intro. I also wanted to add something to the general comment:
    Sheep usually give birth in spring. When they do, then shepherds stay out in the pastures with them to avoid dragging them back and forth to the fold while they’re liable to begin labor. However, there is a second lambing season, a small one, for the second fertile time some sheep may have. Those sheep give birth in October. So, our choices are: April or October. Shepherds abide in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night in April and in October. Since Jesus was the second lamb, the second Adam, I vote for the second lambing time. Like my opinion would change the flow.
    My favorite observation: To those signs that say, “You have to have Christ to have Christmas,” I say, “No. You have to have mass to have Christ-mass.” And mass, as far as I can figure, is saying prayers for the dead so they can get into heaven.
    Thanks, Robin, whoeveryouare, for bringing this all out into the open.
    The end.

  61. Hi Eren,

    You’ve received lots of responses, so I’ll be brief.

    1. The feasts as a shadow of Christ. This sounds like a reference to Colossians 2:16. There we read that the feasts are shadows of things to come — but the substance is Christ. So it’s Jesus himself who is the substance of the feasts. And they forshadow what is still to come — they are not shadows of the past, but of the future. Zechariah 14 teaches about how the nations will come up to Jerusalem to worship at the Feast of Tabernacles during the Millenium. And of course Jesus will be there — he is the substance of the feast. He gives it meaning.

    2. The reference to weak and beggarly elements in Galatians — I don’t really think Paul is referring to what Leviticus 23 calls “the feasts of the LORD.” How could the Galatians be returning to the feasts of the LORD? Were they Jews? Did they ever celebrate them?

  62. We stopped celebrating Christmas a few years ago but somethings have been changing my mind. Back in 2006 we learned about the error of the Name of Messiah and that Jesus was not His original name. Of course that led us to a path that caused us to learn a lot but also, ironically my belief started to fail, I was in spiritual arrest…I began reading Robyn’s Biblical Feasts book and other books and her love of Yah and dedication to living the calling so obviously declared to her. After years of solitude and loneliness I am thinking it is not the way that reflects joy and love. It hit me when we went to visit family in France and they had a cute Christmas tree up for the grand kids. My daughter, according to what we told her, scolded grandma and grandpa and told them it is evil and wrong and they should take it down now! I was horrified at realizing that this was the message she got from our explanations because we did not realize how things can translate to children. this did not bring love nor edify the body of Messiah. It caused hate and division and judgement. All qualities that are nothing to be proud of.

    We cannot be perfect no matter what we hear people tell us. There is one individual in the “messianic” movement on Facebook that encourages these kind of behaviors. This person has called the people following this person’s online congregation to go and harass people on the personal Facebook page until they give up their pagan ways. This person was saying that the individuals needed to be “pushed…given a nudge in the right direction” until they become more spiritually correct in their actions. At this moment I realized that some people in these extreme movements are workers of Satan more than those who put up a Christmas tree and sing some carols about the birth of Yahshua together. Never did I see Yahshua or His Disciples walking around judging people because of the errors they make, but in love they repent of sin and turn their way to Him in LOVE and not by force, guilt or fear. Paul did not judge and condemn the Greeks for their statues but informed them of the Name and the Truth of the “unknown God”.

    The judgment of one another and the fear of if we are doing pagan things or not should not be the focus. Yahshua said that we cannot judge or we are hypocrites so I was a hypocrite and I am so ashamed for it and plan to apologize to my parents-in-law. My daughter has admitted that she wants to celebrate Christmas and we are going to this year. But we’re going to make presents for each other and use as a time to focus on Yahweh and the miracles he did for us.

    Paganism is all around us and if we let the fear of it take control of our lives then we will walk in constant fear because it is truly everywhere. Pagans are country dwellers…that is the meaning. Gentiles are non-Jews. Yahweh used to ‘wink’ at those ways and now we know the truth and no longer sacrifice to different gods but give sacrifice of song…praise and thanks to the True God. If you think about it, there are pagan symbols everywhere and yet if you don’t fear it and you only focus on Messiah, those symbols have no power over you or effect on you. But when we fear something that is what we let have power over us. That is why we should fear Yah, God, He has our deepest reverence and awe and the human errors, I believe will all be corrected properly when He returns to rule as promised.

    Thanks for letting me share my thoughts on this topic. After all, we should not judge each other in feasts or Sabbaths, etc. Don’t refuse to eat certain food unless sacrificed to an idol…I know Christmas may have some timing issues with paganism but I don’t think any of us are sacrificing our Christmas ham/turkey or whatever to a false god….thank you Yah, HalleluYah for our freedom.

  63. I wanted to clarify that reading Robyn’s books and doing some studies with my kids has helped us to get away from such an extreme influence in our life. Her work has been a blessing and like so many other people we are very grateful for her work!

  64. Well said Amanda. Love first!

  65. I see that you promote the biblical holidays, but you also promote pagan ones too. Isn’t that going to send mixed signals to people. It was a little shocking to me to see that you were promoting Christmas when it is clearly a pagan holiday. I was under the impression that this was a Messianic web site. That is a little confusing to me. That is alot like mixing.

  66. Sharon

    I agree 100%. The word of God is the standard! What we think, what we prefer, what we have always done means nothing in the big scope of humanity, THE WORD OF GOD IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS!

    Thank you for this great post!

  67. There is no doubt about what God is trying to tell us in Ezekiel 8 and 9. The Jews were honoring false Gods. Believe you me, they were not purposefully trying to anger God. In fact they most likely did not know they were going against him – just like Christians today. However, if you see the punishment that happens in Ezekiel 9, you will see that God does not compromise on what he has commanded us to do. The only people who were saved in Ezek 9 were those who were mourning for the horrible practices of honoring other traditions, not God’s traditions as given by Moses. We will suffer persecution if we follow him, just like all the people in the Bible did.
    Duet 12:8
    Ye shall not do after all [the things] that we do here this day, every man whatsoever [is] right in his own eyes.
    Don’t do what is “right” in your own eyes. I will honor him in the way he desires to be honored and on those specific days for a very specific reason (prophetic)!

    And look at what Jesus did:
    John 10:22 – 23
    And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

    Chanukkah – Jesus remembered Chanukkah.

    Learn not the way of the heathen! Jeremiah 10

    God bless and don’t listen to what the world says.

  68. Cathy Geary

    I like your approach. I have wrestled with different aspects of this over the years. Like you, I never told my children there was a Santa or even referred to him as real. At some point I think all of them asked me, point blank, and when I told them that “Santa” was fashioned after a man who really did live a long time ago, told them the story, they often did not want to believe me. One daughter said, “Oh, not real, huh, Explain the flying reindeer! LOL

    I avoided having Santa decorations or Santa cards, always tried to focus on the gospel message. We have had a tree most years.

    I love the “magic” atmosphere of Christmas and the music and the cheerfulness. It became different when we underwent several financial crisis, almost back to back over the last 10 yrs. I am not sorry we did because it has helped me to see the whole thing through the eyes of those who are less fortunate.

    Back to the “pagan” roots. I recently read an article by an atheist whose intent was to defend most traditions as non-christian. He was telling the stories with a slant I had never heard, mainly because I had always heard it form the Christian pointing out the pagan roots perspective. He was saying much the same thing, but pointing out that these “son being raised up from a virgin” stories were in many cultures and had nothing to do with Christianity – it hit me – just like flood stories are in every culture – many other cultures had contact with Hebrew people and had their stories passed down, but slightly changed. The tree story appears to me to be very closely connected with biblical prophecy with some of the facts out of order. That tree symbolized the son who had died but was to rise again – my goodness, that mythical son was Jesus and the tree was the one He died on. I really think those early missionaries were looking for God stories in other cultures and capturing them – there are just too many similarities for it to be a coincidence. We have dozens of stories of missionaries entering never reached villages only to find they have been waiting for “a man to come bringing a book that would tell them the way to eternal life” for generations. Just because another ancient culture had an incomplete picture of the eternal son does not mean we should curse them for it. We take what they have, just like Paul did with Aquilla and Priscilla, and we add to it to make it true and complete.

  69. Cathy Geary

    and we must realize that until about 150 yrs ago, Christmas was most certainly NOT celebrated like it is now. It did not become commercialized at all till near the beginning of the Twentieth Century and has gotten progressively worse.

  70. Robin, you did a great job with this post. You have given a lot of Christians food for thought. It is time that we heed the voice of the Holy Spirit, as in Revelations 18 and come out of her so that we do not partake in receiving her plagues (spelled out in Revelations which leads me to believe that God will not Matt 24:39 take up a bride that still partakes of the harlot on seven hills. He will take up the bride that is free from the harlot (sold out for Him)). So, I see God moving with his Holy Spirit over the land to call his bride to be ready. Those who have studied a Jewish engagement and wedding know that there are friends that go ahead of the bridegroom to holler out that he is coming (I believe the Holy Spirit is doing that-hollering out for his spotless bride, those who has set apart from the harlot, to be ready, he is indeed coming). I hope all who read this remember the parable you mentioned. But, there is one other story I would like to include, and that is the story of Saul. Do you remember why Saul’s kingdom was taken from him, and his lineage destroyed? Saul offered disobedience to God on the alter (but I am doing this for you, God). God rejected it. God also rejected Cain’s offering because it was an offering of disobedience. Who are we to tell God how he is to be worshiped? Let us learn from these examples and remember what God says about Revelations, come out of her. It is time. The Bridegroom is coming! Get ready.

  71. What a graceful post! I spent my entire childhood not celebrating Christmas in any shape or form.

    When my children were born, we decided to celebrate the holiday, as my husband did celebrate Christmas growing up.

    We have a tree. Not because it’s an idol, or we symbolize it. Simply because it’s pretty and I like the smell.

    We do not pretend Santa is real. We watch The Polar Express, Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer and other Christmasy shows.

    We give each other gifts, spend the days with our families and send cards.

    It doesn’t harm us. We are not replacing it as an idol. To me, when I take Christmas (a secular event) and try to make it about Christ, I am twisting Christ into something he is not.

    When I take Santa and make him into a real person, I am twisting who God is.

    Everything about our culture is pagan, we are Gentiles. When I realized this, it freed me from the angst of what to do. I am in this world, but not of it. It’s not about what I do on a given day. It’s what is in my heart.

    Am I being true to who I am, and who God is? Am I observing every day the commandments given by Jesus, “Love the Lord thy God” and “Love thy Neighbor as thyself”? Am I spending time on my relationship with him or am I spending time on my brother’s relationship with him?

    For me, celebrating Christmas as Americans do today, does not make me pagan, anymore than celebrating the 4th of July makes me American.

    That being said, Robin, this blog is the most balanced and graceful post about Christmas I have read. Thank you!

  72. Bobbie

    Robin, I am so glad you shared the steps G-d took you through. So often we think we can motivate and teach others and that is all it takes. But the truth is G-d deals with each of us individually at the place He has us. I love how your journey has evolved. Thank you for sharing it. I also thank you for sharing your obedience to your husband as that plays a huge part in how this time line works.

  73. Katy Waldrop

    Well this was refreshing! Thanks for sharing! Since we’ve been married, my husband (and now our 4 children) and I have not celebrated Christmas. In the beginning is was very hard and we received a lot of trouble about it. These past few years our family has begun to accept that we don’t do Christmas, and still love us anyway! 😉 On my side of the family though it has caused quite the earthquake. 🙁 I hate that this is something for us to have lost fellowship over, but I know our Father will work it out for good according to his purposes. And on a funny note, when my youngest sees a Santa picture he calls him “glasses”, since the first picture he saw the Santa was wearing glasses! Trying to figure out a polite response for my children to give when asked by someone if Santa’s gonna visit them this year- blank stare has tended to seem a little rude, but they really have no idea what they are talking about!

  74. Hi! Just as we DON’T do Halloween but instead of staying in we do take the opportunity to go and pass out tracts that night… We DON’T celebrate Christmas but will take the opportunity to share and celebrate what God has done and to focus on helping others (Volunteer at a soup kitchen, etc.)! I guess our way to deal with these non-God ordained “holy-days” is to light a candle rather than curse the darkness!! I think this approach is edifying for our family and others because we don’t sit around grumbling & complaining (nooooo!) but instead attempt to be proactive and honor God by showing a better way. It’s can’t just be about us continuing the traditions we’ve learned. That our are families have always done things a certain way and now it’s comfortable for us is not good enough. Our practices flow out to the world and in some ways inform how others think and feel about the true and living God! Realizing this gives me pause and causes me to want to stick even closer to God’s word and His ways. I think about the need to be very careful about what practices we teach our children to love, adore and hold dear since they will probably teach them to our grandchildren and it continues from there (until He comes!). We are teaching our children to be disciples of Messiah, not of this world! Our children don’t miss anything of real and lasting value by not celebrating secular “holy-days” like Halloween or Christmas. Ironically, our older daughter has expressed feeling kinda badly that a lot of children are missing out on the fun and Godly excitement of Purim and the wonder and joy of Passover and Chanukah! 😉 God bless & love to you all as we grow up together in Him!

  75. I would love it if you could repost or point to this blog on The Homeschool Channel.

  76. Kathy A

    Thank you very much for sharing this with us all, Robin! Shalom, Shalom!

  77. I LOVE this! What a blessing you are to help us find our ways. Since putting Daniel in Christian school we’ve been forced to confront our position on this. Can we expect a six-year-old to explain to his teacher that Christmas is pagan? We’ve decided to use it as another opportunity to focus on the birth of Yeshua and the good stuff you point out.

  78. This was a wonderful and gracious post. You have been put in a difficult position and can only do what you can do.
    When we gave up Christmas 5 years ago, we received a LOT of flack from family initially. I told them the basics on why we weren’t doing Christmas, and they’ve been very respectful of that. I think much of that has to do with the fact that we respect where THEY are at too. If they ask something specific, I give an answer, but we don’t need to “pound it into to them” so to speak. From glory to glory!

  79. I would never have thought to create something pretty out of bread tags (or milk tags if you get bagged milk). I could imagine how colourful a whole jar would be filled with them or how one could create a mosaic piece of framed art!

  80. Mi piace come innocuo oggetto di uso quotidiano può sembrare così cool! Soprattutto come i colori e il layout.

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  90. i Can see your point but i think i will stick to what ive got

  91. Robin, thanks so much for sharing your heart that appears to be in a struggle to do what is right with genuine desire to please GOD. I have written numerous articles on this subject. The facts are easy. The relationships and ridicule are not. I leave you with these verses.

    “And he that doubts is damned if he eat, because he eats not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” [Rom 14:23]

    “He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” [Mat 10:37]

    “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God gives thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.” [Deut 18:9]

  92. Erin, No. 19:

    You would love reading yadayah.com and introtogod.org http://yadayah.com/Yada_Yahweh_Invitations_to_Meet_God_Qara.YHWH

    We have just recently tried walking in God’s instructions, but that is the only way we are going to come to really know Him.
    “Walk out of Babylon” / “Walk to My Presence and become perfect”

  93. I copied this from my yadayah forum:

    “Our children are finally at an age where I think we can start implementing family traditions around the Feasts without their losing the overall meaning and message behind the Feasts. One of the things I decided to do for this Feast cycle is to do more long-term preparation for the Feasts. I have to admit that all the Feasts in 2013 kind of snuck up on me and that was sad and a failure on my part. I also realize that in my effort to shun all things “religious” I was taking too much of a hands-off approach to the Feasts. I didn’t want my kids to look at them as “replacements” for the pagan holidays, but I can’t imagine the Children of Israel sitting around thinking “ho hum here comes Trumpets, blah, blah, blah”. If these Feasts are such a big deal for Yahowah that he wants them observed perpetually, then they need to be a big deal for our family, so my husband and I are changing our approach. Now, to be fair, this is an ever-changing journey for us so, please, no tomatoes if next year I have a completely different story to tell!

    Many of you all know that I home school my kids, so teaching is just always a part of everything that we do. I am a big fan of integrating all the different learning styles and multiple intelligences into our learning, so that is what I am doing with our learning about and celebrating the Feasts. So, while we are going to be doing a lot of “stuff” the goal isn’t to integrate religious traditions into the Feasts, but to make learning about the Feast a whole brain experience for my kids.

    So, the learning styles are: Visual/Verbal – written word based learning; Visual – picture based learning; Auditory – learning through hearing; Kinesthetic – learning through doing and using the body
    Multiple Intelligences are: Linguistic – word smart; Logical/Mathematical – number smart; Spatial – picture smart; Kinesthetic – body smart; Musical – music/artistic smart; Interpersonal – people smart; Intrapersonal – self smart; and naturalistic – nature smart

    My goal is to integrate as many of these learning styles/intelligences into our observation of the Feasts as possible. It is funny because as I have been studying various points Yahowah put in the Torah, He utilized these exact same learning styles/intelligences all throughout the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms (that is another post though). I plan to cycle through this for the entire Georgian calendar year with the cycles looking like this:

    Introduction to the Seven Feasts: What are the seven Feasts, why do when observe them, when do we observe them, why are they the only holidays that we observe?
    Study and Preparation for Passover, Unleavened Bread First Fruits
    Observation of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits
    Mini Reflection of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits
    Study and Preparation for Seven Sevens
    Observance of Seven Sevens
    Reflection of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Seven Sevens
    Study and Preparation for Trumpets, Reconciliations, and Shelters
    Observance of Trumpets, Reconciliations, and Shelters
    Reflection of Trumpets, Reconciliations, and Shelters

    I will post things on this thread as I put them together so that if others would like to join in they are welcome. One thing to be clear about is that I am less concerned about observing the Feasts “right” than I am concerned about observing the Feasts. So, we may be off by a day or two (or ten), my family may interpret passages from our lack of knowledge better than our knowledge, and many of the things that we do may not sit right with you or your family. We understand we are not perfect. My goal in sharing wasn’t to encourage people to do it as we do, but to share some of the things we are doing so that if others were interested it would be an easy place to pull resources.

    Another thing that I have to be clear about is that while I abhor pagan customs and rituals, the pagans do not own the concept of family traditions and making memories. I believe Yahowah wanted the Feasts to be festive times of joy as opposed to solemn religious occasions. My kids actually helped me see this a year and a half ago when we observed our first Unleavened Bread. They actually really enjoyed the challenge of not consuming leaven – they made it fun. While I was looking at it through the lens of “duty” and I will even say from a religious mindset, my kids looked at it as a game. You know what; I have decided to embrace their point of view. They seem to truly have the right idea about these things and seem to have a much more natural relationship with Yahowah – so on this matter I am allowing my kids to take the reins – if they want to decorate our tent for Sukkot with lights and bells and whistles then that is what we are going to do. If they want to make candy-coated matzah or go to a farm to pet a baby lamb – that is what we will do. Just to give you an idea of our household, we have also started to kick off Sabbath with family karaoke competitions – we really just want to have fun and show the kids that while religion is oppressive, relationship is freeing and natural and beautiful and enjoyable and it should be desirable. Having seen amazing images of the cosmos through pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope and seen schools of exotic fish from snorkeling in the Caribbean I realize that Yahowah is imaginative, creative, has a wonderful eye for color and beauty and even has quite a sense of humor – that is the Yahowah I want my children to know and love.”

  94. What Santa are you looking at?

    Saint Nicholas – He believed he to could do all things through Christ Jesus. Does not God work through his people? Did not Paul call believers of our Lord Jesus Christ Saints? If any thing, a wonderful Christian testimony is being messed with. He has a testimony. Christians are saints from the lowest to the highest – God still sees us the same. St Nick a.k.a. Santa gave a father money so his 3 daughters would have a dowry and not be sold. Nice gesture don’t you think? Helping others! This true story spread fast and without printed books – This is why Santa is in so many countries. God does work through people – that’s not just a saying. Here is a you tube clip –

    Saint Nicholas (Myra)


    Well just thought you might like to know that there really was a living Christian person called Saint Nicholas aka Santa Claus

    Remember: You pray FOR the saints not to the saints.
    And guess what — you are one of the saints.

    There are 34 verses in the KJV (OT) regarding saints
    There are 61 verses in the KJV (NT) regarding saints – Pray for the saints – not to a saint
    King James Bible online.org

  95. While reading some opinions it was stated how people hated the world. Just to let you know, God loves the world. John 3:16.

    If you are hating the world you are hating yourself. You are in this world. Read John 17:15

    Thank you

  96. I grew up atheist and knew the so-called ‘christian holidays’ were not ‘christian’ at all but rather pagan. Pretty much my whole family, except grandparents, was atheist and they all had no problem celebrating xmas (or Easter for that matter) … it had nothing to do with Christ and they knew it. Family, gifts, fun, vacation time, tradition, etc.

    I continued on with these traditions but was very careful to keep Christ out of them because 1) I was atheist and 2) I knew he didn’t belong there anyway. (I believe there was a man named Jesus who was a really good guy but that’s about as far as my beliefs went).

    Eventually, through homeschooling actually, I started hanging out with a bunch of professing chrisitans. I learned that many of them tried to ‘keep Christ in christmas’. I saw no harm in that at first so I tried to do the same. However as time went by I started reading the bible and began to question that logic (keeping Christ in christmas). We are told to come out and be separate, not conform to the ways of this world, be holy in all manner of living, not to practice the ways of the heathen, and so on. How does this line up with celebrating xmas? How can we keep the ways of this world and call it holy and set apart? So I dropped the worldly and pagan traditions but still read ‘the story of Jesus’ on xmas day. My grandma was very upset and said my children were going to hell because we did not have a xmas tree. I asked her to please show me in the scriptures where that is true. Of course she could not produce anything. She was not upset for a godly reason but rather for a fleshly reason.

    Anyway, for the last several years we no longer recognize xmas in any way whatsoever. It’s just another day. Even reading the ‘story of Jesus’ on that day is just silly in my opinion. He was not born on that day and even reading about his birth on december 25 is still acknowledging a day the world / paganism set up. It has nothing to do with God and everything to do with the world. With this kind of thinking we can justify all sorts of things but that does not make it right.

    We must be careful. Time is running out.

  97. Lillian

    We have had this discussion between my daughter and daughter-in-law. My daughter-in-law was raised with the teachings that Christmas is from pagan worship and we shouldn’t do it as it is dishonoring to God. It prompted my daughter to look at it closely as she has two young children herself to think about and what traditions and holidays to celebrate. She found these two articles to study over. Here are the links to them. http://www.equip.org/article/should-christians-celebrate-christmas and https://bible.org/article/should-christians-celebrate-christmas
    It needs to be an agreement between husband and wife how or whether the holidays are celebrated. Whatever we do, it needs to be glorifying and honoring Christ and what He has done for us.

  98. Just came upon this site. As a pastor leading a denominational church into the celebration of all the Lord’s Feasts and completely getting rid of Easter and Christmas in the church setting as well as our Christian bookstore has been a difficult but rewarding journey over the past 7 years.
    I appreciate all I have found on this site. Good balance and strong bible foundation.
    Thank you!
    I look forward to spending more time here.

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