The Christmas Challenge

by Oletta Branstiter

So it begins. Christmas ads.

Many people are disturbed by Christmas promotion that happens prior to Thanksgiving.

I’m disturbed by Christmas.

Let me preface this by stating that it doesn’t matter to me whether you celebrate Christmas. But this article may reveal some things to consider with honesty and integrity.

Why do you celebrate Christmas? 

Please do not reply that it’s the birthday of Jesus. This is a myth, instigated and perpetuated by the Roman Catholic Church to convert pagans, who worshiped Nimrod, born on December 25, and celebrated by decorating fir trees.

Christians are not commanded or even invited by any scriptures to celebrate Christ’s birth (never specified by date, perhaps for this very reason, but not on December 25, according to Luke 2:8). We are commanded to commemorate His death until He returns.

Please don’t say you participate in the covetous shopping frenzy in order to honor the sacrifice and gift of our Savior. Going into debt to buy gifts for all your friends and family doesn’t qualify.

Unless you are Italian, decking your halls with red and green means nothing, least of all exalting Christ. And decorating with artificial lighting could be considered a reference to the Angel of Light (Satan), masquerading as the Light of the World (Yeshua). Most Christmas traditions, including the Christmas tree, are borrowed from pagan solstice rituals. Don’t even get me started on Santa Claus.

Now, if you choose to celebrate what is known as the Christmas holidays for the purposes of celebrating friends, family, decor, gift giving, and feasting because you love it, carry on!  But please do not deceive yourself and others by pretending you are celebrating the birth of Christ. Because you just aren’t.

By all means, celebrate Christ! But, please refrain from slandering His name by pretending that Christmas honors Him.

Let me suggest an alternative. Celebrate Christ every moment of every day with obedience. Honor his sacrifice with service at all times of the year. Rest in the joy and peace of knowing that Yeshua fulfills every feast commanded by God. Gather together regularly in communion with fellow saints, celebrating the death, resurrection, and return of our Lord and Savior. You may decide to use the funds you normally spend for Christmas by donating them to charity.

I stopped “doing Christmas” in 2004 and have never regretted it. The first year I shunned all things Christmas, my husband admitted that he missed the festivities. I respectfully replied, “By all means, if you’d like to decorate the house, bake the cookies, plan the holiday meal, shop for presents, wrap the gifts, address the Christmas cards, decorate the house, and then clean up all the mess and pack it all up on New Year’s day, go right ahead. I’m not stopping you.” He declined and has not complained since.  

Because our Decembers are spent in joy and peace and complete rest in Christ as I avoid all the hustle and hassle of the holidays. Once I was convicted by the Spirit to make this dramatic choice, I sold all my Christmas decor and gave the proceeds to a missionary who was serving in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution. The funds helped buy boots for Christians who were serving the safety and physical needs of those camping out in Kiev.

Again, if you can participate in all of the Christmas traditions, in obedience to the Holy Spirit, bringing honor to God, without sacrificing the joy and peace in your family, DO IT! Rest assured that I do not judge you. I just want you to know what you may be giving up by conforming to the world.  


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