Christmas: I say, “Keep the good, reject the bad.”
1. The Christmas Tree – Rather than allowing it to be remembered and used as a pagan idol of fertility and nature worship (Jeremiah 10:2-5), simply allow it to be used as a symbol of celebration of winter, of Christmas, of family get togethers (marked by genuine kindness), of generosity with gifts beneath it, of happiness with lights and ornaments upon it, of the star of Bethlehem with a star on top of it (or an angel), and the birth of Christ (with a nativity below it), knowing that God’s gift of salvation through Jesus is the foundation of charity and generosity which we celebrate at Christmas time. A Christmas tree is what you make of it. The pagans used evergreen trees in their homes, but they had faith in them as having magic power. Normal Christians operate under no such premise, so I believe Jeremiah does not speak to them.
2. Christmas Foods – As mentioned in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, your family can pig out (within reason) and celebrate the year’s rest from labors, which is a healthy thing to do, (considering the Sabbath rest we observe every Sunday,) under this Christmas break, we take a more extended sabbatical so to speak, and eat Christmas foods, such as “turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch.”
3. Christmas Carols – I prefer the traditional English carols from Great Britain. These are holy holiday hymns that stir your faith and offer a great point of contact for evangelistic outreach, something no doubt, that the Salvation Army takes advantage of to this day.
With all that being said, I believe anything related to Santa Claus should be removed from Christmas. Santa plays little to no role in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Rather, the holiday is seen as a time to celebrate love, family, and generosity, and with the incorporation of Christmas carols, the birth of Christ and God’s authority over family life. I say, remove all of the Santa Claus (or should I say Satan claws), mistletoe, and all of the useless magical paganism, and you’re still left with a decent holiday for Christians to celebrate. How many atheists and other unbelievers today are walking around with the idea that “God does not exist because Santa does not exist,” all because their parents, whom they trusted, who taught them about an invisible God who judges the world in righteousness, also lied to them about Santa Claus, an invisible supernatural man, who “makes a list, checks it twice, and is gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.” I believe the Santa Claus practice shakes children’s faith in God and in their parents; and is a devilish practice, yet its made out to look so good. Make Jesus Christ the center of your Christmas, not Santa Claus, make it a Jesus CHRISTmas, not a Satan Clawsmas. Let the angels sing of good will to men, not the magical elves from a fictitious North Pole. Remember what Jesus said, “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in Me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).–John Boruff