What is Christmas?

A Christian Story

Gillian Ward, Reporter

Lights, trees, presents, sweets, corny music…It must be Christmastime. Surprisingly, many actually won’t celebrate because it is a “religious” holiday, but is it? As a Christian, I want to clear the air a little about Christmas, and call fellow Christians to reevaluate their traditions.

Many people will protest that Christmas is a very important holiday all in the name of Jesus. But how do they celebrate? With gift giving, gluttony and by being excessive? Most likely. What does this have to do with Christ? Where did these traditions come from?

The truth of modern day Christmas is that it is a pagan holiday. Pagan means adhering to a religion other than (a main religion) Christianity. It also means heathen, ungodly, and irreligious. Another meaning can be “of polytheistic practices” (believing/adhering to more than one God), and this can be true for even “monotheistic” Christians.

Yes they may only believe in (the One) God, but our God also said “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”, and that means “worshipping” other things before him as well. Christians end up putting materialistic things and money before God; those are their “other gods”. Christmas (the way it is universally celebrated) is the holiday of materialism and greed.
Don’t even get me started on Santa Clause… What does he have to do with Jesus Christ?

There are many different myths and stories that Christmas traditions stem from, but I think the reason why many cultures began celebrating winter holidays is a little different from the Jesus approach. I’ve read that in the middle of winter (in very cold climates) people were getting depressed. It makes sense; 9 months out of the year it’s cold and dark without sunshine. People were becoming depressed and losing their will to live and dying from it, as well as taking their own lives. So they create a holiday with lights, food, and joy in the middle of winter to give them something to look forward to.
This makes sense, but as time has gone on, this holiday has become selfish and materialistic. Then people defend it by slapping Jesus’s name on it. Great.

Did you know that once, Christmas was actually cancelled? Yeah, in 1645 Oliver Cromwell had taken power in England, and as part of religious reform, he and his Puritan forces wanted to change the way Christmas was celebrated, but Charles II was restored to power and so was the holiday.

Wouldn’t that be incredible in today’s society though? If people stood by their beliefs and tried to make a righteous change in at least their own lives? That’s what I hope Christians will do. Trust me, Jesus isn’t honored by your greedy gift giving traditions. Remember the “reason for the season”, and instead celebrate Christmas by remembering the Ultimate Gift given to us by God: his son, on the cross. So give your own heartfelt gift to others who need it (like we need Him). Visit a homeless shelter; do community service; show kindness to the common passerby; donate to the salvation army; help in a soup kitchen.
That’s what Jesus would be doing, and after all, aren’t we Christians supposed to be Christ-like?