Is Christmas a Trap?
Christmas claims to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but is this claim legitimate? Consider these four reasons Christmas is a trap you should escape from.
Christmastime is supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” isn’t it? Around the world, many people are buying gifts for each other and planning family celebrations. Some religious people are even talking about Christ’s birth. Yet despite their best efforts at holiday cheer, there remains something very wrong with Christmas: It’s a trap!
Let’s peel away the tinsel and look honestly at Christmas for what it really is.
1. Christmas contributes to debt, disputes and disease.
Around the holidays, we’re surrounded by advertising that equates an ideal family life with material possessions. Of course, everyone expects a present, and a good one—especially the kids. There’s so much social and commercial pressure that many people feel trapped! They end up spending painfully beyond their means. Debt-help companies actually see a 25 percent increase in cases in the months of January and February.
Christmas can be perilous financially, socially, emotionally and physically.It’s difficult not to compare your own gifts, family and overall holiday experience to the media ideal; and disappointment is almost inevitable. It’s no wonder that all this tension often breeds conflict.
Compounding the stress, many people abandon healthy habits as Christmas draws near. They stop exercising, too preoccupied with the frenzy of shopping and planning. Their health falls apart as they binge on junk food and alcohol.
On balance, Christmas can be perilous financially, socially, emotionally and physically.
2. Christmas customs oblige billions to deceive each other.
For a holiday that is supposedly religious, Christmas involves a lot of lying! Consider a few examples of how deception is built into Christmas:
- People often lie to keep Christmas presents secret.
- Parents lie to their children about the existence of Santa Claus.
- Christmas is built around the lie that Jesus’ birth was on Dec. 25.
- Many aspects of the traditional Christmas stories surrounding Christ’s birth are inaccurate and deceptive, such as the wise men arriving to present gifts to Jesus on His birthday.
3. Christmas continues ancient traditions honoring false gods.
Some Christians would object to the points listed above, arguing that they would be solved if everyone “put Christ back in Christmas.” Here’s the thing—He was never in Christmas in the first place!
Many people are aware that virtually all the trappings of Christmas (such as the date, Christmas trees, mistletoe and Santa Claus) predate Christianity. These customs were used in the worship of pagan gods that predated the first century. As numerous secular historical sources will tell you, Christmas and its traditions were adopted to make it easier for people from pagan backgrounds to assimilate into Christianity.
The Bible is very clear that this kind of syncretism—the blending of pagan religious customs with truth—is forbidden (Jeremiah 10:1-5).
4. Christmas tricks billions into disrespecting God’s specific wishes.
Though some believe that Christmas can be sanitized from its dark past, God vehemently disagrees!
Knowing that His people might be tempted to copy practices once used to worship false, man-made gods, God strictly warned them against it: “Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:31-32).
God forbids us to “clean up” old, evil traditions and try to repurpose them to worship the true God. In fact, we are not supposed to add to His instructions at all—that includes both syncretism and just making things up! It’s hard for many to come to terms with, but the Bible was very deliberate in not revealing the date of Christ’s birth. Not only is the date not revealed, but no command or example of celebrating Christ’s birth is mentioned or even hinted at.
Escape the trap!
Like a trap, Christmas looks attractive, but the reality is that it hurts people and dishonors God. It’s time to break free and let go of Christmas! Walking against the crowd can be scary, but you’re not alone. You can stand with the thousands of Christians who choose not to celebrate this holiday of lies.
The positive thing is that there are actually wonderful religious days that are found in the Bible and that have far more religious significance than any of the holidays on the mainstream Christian calendar. We publish many materials explaining the true biblical holy days.
For further explanation of the many problems with keeping Christmas, we recommend you read: