How We Celebrate Christmas

How We Celebrate Christmas

There were many who tried to convince me that Christmas was pagan and that I should not celebrate it. I love what Michael Thorne had to say about this: “There is nothing pagan about Christmas. Something is pagan when we make it pagan. It’s not just pagan simply because it exists. There is nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of the Savior of the world. This is what they did when Jesus was actually born. They celebrated it. They brought gifts. So we give gifts to each other just as they gave gifts to Jesus. Christmas could have very well started as a ‘pagan’ day. But that doesn’t matter. It’s what you make of it that makes it pagan or not.”

 Yes, some celebrate it as a pagan holiday. It’s all about Santa and presents for them. For us, it is not, and is a wonderful time of remembering Christ’s birth and how He changed the world. However, each of you must come to your own convictions on whether or not you celebrate Christmas. This is not an essential of our faith but we LOVE Christmas! This is how we celebrate Christmas. There’s nothing pagan about it!

On Christmas Eve, we normally go to the candlelight service at our church where we worship and praise the Lord in song and hear the Gospel message, and then come home and have a great dinner together with family and a lot of fun and laughter. On Christmas morning, we read the story of the Lord’s birth then open the few presents that we give each other. (We never gave our children many since we didn’t want this celebration to turn into greed but thankfulness.)

A few hours later for Christmas brunch and for many years up until my mom died a year ago, we would all gather together (my family along with my sisters’ families) at my parent’s home for prayer and a breakfast, then we would sit around in a big circle and each share what the Lord had taught us in the past year. It was my parent’s favorite time of the year! It was probably one of my favorite times of the year, too, and will be greatly missed without my mom. She always treasured time with her family as I do.

The first picture was taken in 2015 on Christmas morning and it’s the last picture I could find of all of us together. My dad has this on his mantle and treasures it. He tells everyone how blessed he is! The second picture was taken in 2017. It was my mom’s last Christmas and the first time that my sisters and their families couldn’t make it due to their children being scattered all over the world, so we decided to do it any ways with my family. We’ve added five almost six grandchildren since that picture was taken. Our cup is overflowing! (We have pictures of our children gathered in this room on every Christmas morning since they were very young!)

This was in 2017. The last Christmas with my mom. This was the first Christmas my sisters and their families didn't come. They were all spread out.

Sometimes, we would all go on a hike after this in the mountains nearby or at the coast, or just relax until dinner. Later, we have a big meal together with any family in the area that wants to come and have a great time together. The meal begins with a prayer in thanks to God for sending His Son to die for the penalty of our sin and save us from God’s wrath. It’s a day of family, celebration, and Christ! We love it.

Almost every year, I send out Christmas cards with a letter to many old friends, many whom aren’t believers, where I share the Gospel and what the Lord has been doing in our lives. For many years, I spent a day baking and delivering goodies to my neighbors. (We love our neighbors!) Last year, I gave all of the neighbors who are unbelievers the book of John. (I pray for them often.) I use this holiday to share the Good News any way possible as I do other days, but Christmas gives many more opportunities which I love since people seem more open to the truth of the Gospel!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

16 thoughts on “How We Celebrate Christmas

  1. I think that so many holidays are what we make them. Like your family on Christmas. Growing up, two of my closest friends were Jewish and I was invited to Seder (Passover) dinner every year until we left SoCal in 04. I remember clearly when the whole Seder/Last Supper thing came together in my mind and I began to see it as my own holiday, as well. It seemed such a part of the Easter story and began to be a tradition (that I now truly miss.) My husband joined me for the last 10 yrs. I attended and he also enjoyed the connection. I could tell so many stories because I loved those dinners. I was usually the only non-Jew there and I remember one year, a fellow guest whispering to me, “the only difference between us and this celebration is that you think the Messiah is already known and I’m yet to be convinced” and he winked at me. I was always invited to sing the first song (mom & daughters) and light the candles to begin. When all the prayers are done (it can be quite long), we’d have an amazing brisket dinner. During dinner, the host would always beam a smile at me and say, “Okay fellow Jews, we get one question to ‘Ask the Catholic’. Make it a good one!”

    And they’d ask a question about something in the Christian faith. The funniest year (I suppose) was the year I was in ICU with a recently removed burst appendix (I almost died) and they called my
    room during dinner with that question!!! I couldn’t laugh because of all the belly staples, but it sure made me smile. The question? “Why is it called Good Friday if it was the day Jesus died?” They all wished me well and said they missed me as we’d had 30 yrs. of Seders together.

    And to your topic- sorry, those are such special memories for me- I was regularly harsh questioned by C & E or never self identified Christians asking how I could attend something so anti-Jesus. And then I had the group that said I was a phony (also self proclaimed Christians) for being there and it was an insult to the Jewish religion. It was all rather baffling to me so I simply ignored them.

    I believe that Seder and Passover are part of my heritage as a believer and I feel deeply as I wonder how Jesus must have felt during the Last Supper. I love that I had a lifetime of being part of that.

    Sorry I got so long winded!!

    1. All of those Old Testament feasts were foreshadowing Christ and what He would do for us but most of the Jews still don’t understand it. This is why we like celebrating Christmas and Easter since they tell what Christ has done for us!

      1. Yes, and as I got older, I saw more and more of that in the Seder and prayers. As I said, it made Easter even more special to me.

  2. I know some who don’t celebrate Christmas, but we do. We have a wonderful Christmas Eve Service at church then drive around to see the lights. We read the account of Christ’s birth before opening presents. Each present is marked with “from: Jesus” to remind our children, who are adults now, with the exception of one, that all we have comes from God and we celebrate because of Jesus. It teaches our children to celebrate all that God has done for us and focuses the attention on the purpose of Christmas without taking away the excitement of Christmas.

  3. Beautiful pictures, family, and celebrations! We celebrate almost identically as you and it is a blessing. This will be our first Christmas without my mom and there will be tears at times, I’m sure. But so grateful for family who all know the Lord!

  4. When I first became a Christian, I gave some thought to whether or not celebrating Christmas is pagan. The way most of the world observes Christmas is appalling! And without any thought about the true and original intent!

    But I came to the conclusion it’s a matter of the individuals’ hearts and manner of celebrating. I cant find anything wrong with acknowledging and celebrating our Lord and Savior’s birth!

    Thank you for sharing your family’s tradition and the beautiful pictures!

  5. Hi Lori, I appreciate the post of how you celebrate our Savior’s birth. I like to hand out baked goods to my neighbors with a gospel tract tucked inside. I’m wondering where you order or purchase the gospel of John booklets. I would really like to include those in my gifts this year . Thank you.

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