‘Tis the season for beautiful lights, decorations and merriment! Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, it can be said that it really is “the most wonderful time of the year.” I love everything about it…the advent calendar, the beautifully lit Christmas tree, the light displays, wreaths, the fresh smell of pine, hot cocoa, Christmas music, stockings hung, pretty presents under the tree, the nativity scene, and of course, the birth of Jesus. After all, that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown… or is it?
The truth is that despite my deeply rooted emotional attachments and many happy memories of Christmas, none of these things are happening this year in the Logsdon household. And it’s by choice. Say whaaa??? Yes, you read it right, despite the fact that this will be a highly unpopular view, and despite the fact that I will probably catch a lot of flack for my choice (and probably mostly from other Christians), I am choosing not to participate in Christmas.
No wreaths, no stockings, no Christmas tree, no Christmas books, movies, music… nothing.
I’m sure your wondering minds are asking, “why such a drastic choice? She seemed so normal…” Why leave Christmas behind? What the heck is she smoking?!?
I really wrestled with whether or not to write this post, mostly because I know that most people will think I’m some whackadoodle, but I’m doing it anyways. If I’ve learned anything at all over the past 31 years, it’s that the fear of God is more important than the fear of man, that obedience is better than sacrifice, and that those who earnestly seek after God and truth will find it (whether it fits into their paradigm or not).
Here’s the deal. I LOVED Christmas (past tense). But I’ve learned some things that I just can’t unlearn. It’s like when Neo took the red pill in The Matrix and all of a sudden his eyes were opened… it’s kind of like that. This realization and decision has been a slow, prayerful one, not one that I just jumped into haphazardly. It’s something I’ve researched, studied, prayed over, and asked for discernment about. And I’ve come to this uncomfortable conclusion… Christmas is NOT about Christ (at least not the one that I profess).
Let me explain.
Christmas has nothing to do with Yeshua (who most call Jesus). Most Christmas traditions existed long before Yeshua ever walked the earth. The apostles and other early believers did not celebrate it nor are we commanded anywhere in scripture to do so. In fact, early Christians banned against Christmas with such fervor that it was actually illegal to celebrate Christmas until 1856 when legislation finally gave in and made Christmas a legal holiday. Why such opposition to such a “harmless” holiday?
Well, Christmas never had anything to do with Yeshua until we put him there. That’s right, the Catholic church, together with Constantine, “Christianized” the pagan holidays celebrated around the time of the winter solstice and inserted “Christ” into them (I’ll get into the harm of that later in this post). Constantine was trying to maintain the peace by uniting pagan traditions with those of the relatively new movement called “The Way” (later called “Christianity”). There were already many traditions in place surrounding the winter solstice, including Saturnalia– a festival of drunken revelry and orgies. It was also the birthday of many other gods, and who I (and many others) would consider the very first Anti-Christ figure, Nimrod. They ALL celebrated their birthdays on December 25th. We KNOW that Jesus was in fact NOT born on December 25th or in December at all. Shepherds would not have been out at that time of year. In fact, the only time they would have been out keeping watch at night is in the spring when lambs are being born (and the Lamb of God would arrive). Yet they have chosen a date associated with all sorts of “pagan” gods to celebrate our savior’s birth???
While some may say, “who cares which day we choose?” or that “God knows my heart,” do you think he is honored by our actions? If you celebrate Christmas, I don’t think that it will affect your salvation, but when you love someone (YHWH and Yeshua), you want to honor them and this just doesn’t seem very honoring to me! That’s like me celebrating my anniversary with my husband on an ex-boyfriend’s birthday. Nimrod, also known as Baal celebrates his birthday on the 25th… there’s nothing like saying “It’s okay, Jesus, we celebrate you on your arch-nemesis’ birthday!” Yeah… happy birthday Jesus…
Here is a photo of all the gods that celebrate a Dec. 25th birthday (note- Yeshua should not be among them). Also, not listed are Quetzalcoatl of the Aztecs and Nimrod (who is known by many of the below names).
So what’s the danger in “Christianizing” pagan things? Doesn’t that make them better, or somehow more acceptable or less abhorrent to God? I just finished reading my Bible, cover-to-cover, somewhere between 10-15 times (I’ve lost count) and I have learned a thing or two about doing things “our” way. Here are a few verses that I think speak to that very point.
Deuteronomy 12:4- “You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.” (their= pagan nations)
Deuteronomy 12:30-31- “be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.”
Jeremiah 10:2- “This is what the Lord says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations…” (in other versions nations= heathen)
Mark 7:9- “And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”
Amos 5:21-23- “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.
Doing things their own way and not being obedient to God’s commandments made for some pretty rough times… like wandering in the desert for 40 years.
The heart of this matter goes all the way back to Cain and Abel. God accepted Abel’s offering because it was offered in the prescribed way. Cain tried to do his own thing and his offering was rejected by God. It led him to jealousy and murder. A little while later, the Israelites were waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain and when he took longer than expected, they decided to make a golden calf to serve in his place, as an intermediary between God and man. They decided to have a big festival in YHWH’s honor and create their own “holy day”… God was not a fan. A huge plague followed and many lives were lost. The Israelites were told not to assimilate with the nations, yet they ended up worshipping Baal (another name for Nimrod) and the “Queen of Heaven” (Isis). Time after time they were led astray by pagan practices, yet we “Christians” embrace them without once thinking about where they come from.
For example, Santa Clause. People say that it began with St. Nicholas, but it really began far earlier. It was really modeled after Wodan/Odin who could be traced back to Adan of Babylon (Nimrod). He was called a “mighty hunter” (same as Nimrod) and was said to fly in the night sky dragging his chained, furry, black-faced, horned slave behind him (where we get the idea of the reindeer who pull Santa’s sleigh).
Tony van Renterghem writes in When Santa Was a Shaman: The Ancient Origins of Santa Claus & the Christmas Tree:
“In Holland and several other European countries, the Saint Nicholas figure is still highly esteemed. He appears as a tall, dignified, bearded, white-haired old man, dressed as a Catholic bishop, complete with cloak, mitre, and pastoral staff, a seemingly genuine Catholic saint, but with a bizarre, quite unsaintly habit of riding through the skies on a white horse, followed by his Dark Helper. It seems that our Catholic saint inherited some of these customs from the pagan god Wodan, who had also been a BEARDED, WHITE-HAIRED OLD MAN, also dressed in a hat and cloak, carried a staff (or spear), rode a white horse, and dragged along the same dark slave/helper on a chain” (p. 97).
Look at this picture of Nimrod and Santa Clause… note the beard, the Christmas tree and the reindeer.
Do I really want to promote this idea of a dark guy who flies the night sky with his slave to innocent children? The whole story of Santa is based on lying to your kid, which I want no part of. And not only does he promote works-based righteousness, but at the risk of sounding a bit extreme, Santa Clause can be easily changed into Satan’s claws…
Furthermore, According to Langer’s Encyclopedia of World History, (article “Santa”), “Santa” was a common name for Nimrod (or Baal, the sun god) throughout Asia Minor. This was also the same fire god who came down the chimneys of the ancient pagans and the same fire god to whom infants were burned and eaten in human sacrifice among those who were once God’s people. Uh, no thank you.
Well, what about Christmas trees? I have to confess, this was one of the hardest things for me to give up. There’s nothing I love more than to sit by the light of the tree, reading a good book or drinking a hot cup of cocoa… but what does it really represent? A penis. Yep… the phallic symbol of Nimrod (the one part of his body that was said to never have been found). “An old Babylonish fable told of an evergreen tree which sprang out of a dead tree stump. The old stump symbolized the dead Nimrod, the new evergreen tree symbolized that Nimrod had come to life again in Tammuz! Among the Druids the oak was sacred, among the Egyptians it was the palm, and in Rome it was the fir, which was decorated with red berries during the Saturnalia!” (Walsh, Curiosities of Popular Customs, p. 242). Here is some other disturbing stuff I found…
Attis (one of the “gods” listed in the above picture of December 25th birthdays) died by bleeding to death under a pine tree, after castrating himself in a madness. Every spring, his death was mourned until he was resurrected by his mother Astarte (immediately following the winter solstice). Thus follows that pious male followers of Cybele castrated themselves, holding up their bloody organs to the heavens to make themselves eligible for the priesthood. Uh… gross
“In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that all the green plants would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return” (http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com/trivia/trees.htm)
The evergreen and the fir tree were also seen as symbols of fertility and were worshipped as such. These trees were used during Saturnalia and were adorned with ornaments which were symbols of the sun (as worship to the sun god). The whole thing represents the rebirth of the anti-Christ, Nimrod. This practice was around during the old testament and there is a direct scripture that tells us not to partake in it: Jeremiah 10:1-4.
“Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. This is what the Lord says:
“Do not learn the ways of the nations
or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
though the nations are terrified by them.
For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.”
After learning all of this, I don’t think I could look at a Christmas tree the same again…
What about other Christmas traditions?
Holly- This is a symbol of fertility, the pricking leaves being a sign of the male organ (Again!?! So many penises…). Also in order to get the berries, you need both male and female holly plants.
Mistletoe- this has long been a symbol of the sun (again sun-worship aka Baal/Nimrod worship). It is also an aphrodisiac, and was used in the festival Saturnalia as the starting place to kiss before things escalated into an all-out orgy.
In Northern Europe, Winter festivities were once considered to be a Feast of the Dead, complete with ceremonies full of spirits, devils, and the haunting presence of the Norse god, Odin, and his night riders. One particularly durable Solstice festival was “Jol” (also known as “Jule” and pronounced “Yule”), a feast celebrated throughout Northern Europe and particularly in Scandinavia to honor Jolnir, another name for Odin. Since Odin was the god of intoxicating drink and ecstasy, as well as the god of death, Yule customs varied greatly from region to region. Odin’s sacrificial beer became the specially blessed Christmas ale mentioned in medieval lore, and fresh food and drink were left on tables after Christmas feasts to feed the roaming Yuletide ghosts. Even the bonfires of former ancient times survived in the tradition of the Yule Log, perhaps the most universal of all Christmas symbols.
…the origin of Yule is associated with an ancient Scandinavian fertility god and that the large, single Log is representative of a phallic idol. Tradition states that this Log was required to burn for twelve days and a different sacrifice to the fertility god had to be offered in the fire on each of those twelve days. (http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com/trivia/yulelog.htm)
Also, “The original “sun log” came to be called the yule log. “Yule” simply means “wheel,” which has long been a pagan representation of the sun. No wonder people today commonly speak of the “sacred yule-tide season.” (https://realtruth.org/articles/169-ttooc.html)
Gift giving– The Bibliotheca Sacra states, “The interchange of presents between friends is a like characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and must have been adopted by Christians from the pagans, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows” (Vol. 12, pp. 153-155).
You can do your own research and find many, many more resources that will reaffirm the things I just said. Why should we look into this? Well, the Bible commands us to “Test everything, hold fast to what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) And why should we care about truth anyways? YHWH wants worshippers who will worship him in spirit and in truth! (John 4:23)
So, what does this look like for me? Well, I’m still really trying to figure that out. We don’t have any decorations up, except for our nativity scene and some special ornaments that we’ve hung from our blinds. We haven’t sent out Christmas cards. We’ve already taken photos with Santa this year, so it’s too late to boycott that. As far as family goes, we will still gather on Christmas, but the sentiment won’t be the same. We have already bought presents for most everyone, so we will still give gifts (at least this year, not in the future). We’ve already received many gifts, cards, and cookies from people who love us and whose heart is in the right place. We still thank you and are honored that you were thinking of us. Baking? Holiday parties? I have no idea, I’m still trying to sort out all of the details, but one thing remains clear to me: my God is not honored by our celebration of Christmas (or Easter, for that matter) and honoring him is the most important thing to me.
Am I worried about what people will think of me? Yes and no. Like I said earlier, I am more concerned with what God thinks of me than what others think of me. But am I human? Do I want others to like me? Of course! Do I want people to think I’ve gone off the deep end? No! But at the end of the day, I answer to YHWH. I am following in obedience out of conviction, not guilt (which is how I know it is from the Spirit). Am I worried how this will affect my relationships with those closest to me? Yes! I worry about how my husband, my family and my friends will view me. My pastor said it well once- he said that it is so hard to talk about the things that matter most to the people who matter to us the most because we care so deeply about what they think of us. But at the same time, the spirit keeps putting on my heart Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to the ways of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (renewing of the mind only comes from being in the Word). So as much as this decision will inconvenience those around me who DO want to continue to celebrate Christmas, I have to follow God, not man. The Bible says that, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39) I LOVE Christmas, but I love my Jesus more, and to give it up is a small sacrifice in the light of eternity.
Some may say that in making this decision, I am depriving my son of precious childhood memories (Believing in Santa, the excitement of Christmas morning, presents, etc.). The Bible tells us “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children…” If I’m impressing anything on my child, I want it to be God’s laws and commandments, not the traditions of man.
Before I sign off, I want to clarify my heart for sharing this. I’m certainly not judging anyone who celebrates Christmas. I think that much of what we do is out of ignorance over what it’s based on, and I think our enemy (Satan) has done a fantastic job of lulling us into these warm and fuzzy feelings about this particular holiday. Do I think I’m better than anyone else because I am doing this? Not at all. I just know that when I was confronted with these truths, I had to have a “come to Jesus moment.” This was a HARD choice. Do I think this topic is a “salvation” issue? No, but I do think it’s a “heart and obedience” issue, which is why I’m pursuing it. I want to know my savior deeper and love him with ALL my heart, soul, strength and mind. And before you write me off as being legalistic, I want you to know that I’ve prayed over this, asked for discernment and prayed for boldness to follow YHWH’s leading on this subject. What has remained is a strong conviction that I need to share the truth with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and leave Christmas behind. What you do with it is up to you.
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve YHWH.” (Joshua 24:15)
Some good resources are linked below:
Click to access TruthorTradition.pdf