Friday, December 21, 2012

Is Christ in Christmas?

"They're trying to take Christ out of Christmas!" That's a comment I hear often in the Christian community this time of year. We get so indignant that someone should say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," But here is the thing:  They never put Christ IN Christmas - we did, coupling the birth of our Savior with a pagan holiday. 

In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival (or winter solstice) hoping to take the pagan masses in with it.  Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.

The exact date of birth of Jesus is unknown. In fact, most scholars believe he was born in the spring (shepherds keeping watch over their sheep is a hint). Yes, we Christians choose to put Christ into the pagan holiday. And now we scream so loudly when the "pagans" try to keep him out.

Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter, is another example of us coupling our sacred event with a pagan event. The English word "Easter" is believed to be derived from a spring festival for a pagan goddess, Eostre. And don't forget the Easter bunny and eggs, also pagan symbols that we've try to revamp into a Christian holiday.

Don't get me wrong! I love Christmas! I love having a special time to celebrate the birthday of Jesus, and give gifts to those I love. A time to celebrate family, bake treats, decorate, and sing songs of His birth. I just can't justify getting angry at those who want to take Christ out of Christmas, when they never put him there to start with.

There is no Biblical mandate to celebrate the birthday of Christ. Unlike remembering the Sabbath, or communion, where Christ clearly said, "Do this to remember me," we don't see evidence of a yearly celebration of Christ's birthday. So I think to take a stance against those who happen to utter "Happy Holidays" is arrogant.

And maybe, just maybe, if instead of getting angry we showed them God's love, they might be able to find Christ in us, and then have a reason to say "Merry Christmas" after all.
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at

Chatty Kelly


Carmen said...

You're a brave girl, and I love you for that! Truth brings freedom.

Rebecca said...

AMEN! I agree!

Kathryn Hughey said...

LOVE this post! My husband and I joke about that, but really it just seems like one more thing people can complain about.

Dayna Renee Hackett Bickham said...

I am never disappointed when I read you posts, and this is no exception. Thank you for the reminder that I need to be the light of the world, and people should see the Christ in me, more than anywhere else!

Diane Rivers said...

Now THERE'S an interesting perspective! Thank you clearing that up and reminding us that being shrill and arrogant never convinced anyone of anything.

Kelly Combs said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting Diane! Merry Christmas!

Kelly Combs said...

Dayne - what high praise. Thank you for your encouragement.