So here is the essay I wrote almost 2 years ago. We've learned more since then and realized I left out a few things, but I really don't have the time at this moment to edit this and it gives the basics at least. Feel free to ask questions if you'd like. If you aren't being rude or argumentative, but sincerely curious, we'll be happy to answer them.
I want to make it clear that I am not posting this to try to convince anyone or debate with anyone what YOU should do or not do. I am simply sharing why we made our decision. This is not posted here to persuade anyone, just to answer the question of why. What you celebrate or don't celebrate is between you and our Creator, not you and me.
Why don’t we celebrate Christmas?
I guess it started a long time ago. First we gave up Halloween. Many Christians can easily see that one. It’s pagan in origin and we could find nothing that glorified God in the celebration of it. And we’d stopped celebrating Easter pretty much completely. We had done away with anything about it that we knew was pagan—egg hunts, the Easter bunny, etc. We still celebrated the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday though.
Over the years we kept minimizing the materialistic side of Christmas. We phased out Santa when our oldest child learned the truth about him and wanted to know, “why did you lie to me?” I’d never thought of it as a lie, but what else can you call it? We weren’t telling the truth.
As with Easter, we tried to get rid of the pagan aspects of Christmas. We were still doing stockings, but then we tried calling them camel packs—as in the wise men bearing gifts while traveling on a camel. We gave each child one gift plus the “camel pack” stuffers. Then the children drew names and gave each other a gift. That’s not too bad. We were trying to get the focus on Christ, not ourselves or the gifts.
One year we did a birthday cake for Jesus. But it seemed so trivial. Here it was Jesus’ birthday and we were getting presents and eating His cake.
Even our decorations got reviewed. If we couldn’t find some spiritual symbolism to the decoration, it didn’t go up.
Then we noticed that in our daily Bible reading we kept coming across the same idea over and over. We read about how the Israelites kept turning toward pagan ways and mixing worship of God with pagan worship methods. God stated clearly that that was wrong. Exodus 23:24 says, "You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their works; but you shall utterly overthrow them and completely break down their sacred pillars.” Deuteronomy 6:13-15 "You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you (for the LORD your God is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the LORD your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth.” Again in Joshua 23:7-8 "and lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them, but you shall hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.”
We were reading this and we knew the origins of Christmas include taking a pagan festival and trying to make it Christian. This was to make it easier for the pagans to convert to Christianity. They wouldn’t have to give up their festivals. That had always seemed perfectly legitimate to me before, but I was starting to question that.
Then we learned that Ishtar (pronounced easter) supposedly laid an egg on Easter Sunday. This egg hatched bringing forth her son—Nimrod resurrected—her dead husband whom she had pronounced to be the Sun god. And when do they celebrate the birth of the Sun god? December 25th. How convenient that was for Constantine. All I had previously learned about him was that he was the one that stopped persecuting Christians. But now I was learning that while he did accept Christ, it was only as one of the many gods he worshiped. His favorite god was the Sun god. So he was able to set it up so that he could worship his favorite god along with Christ and everyone would be happy. The Christians were okay with this. Wouldn’t anyone be? They got to stay alive.
About the same time that we were learning all this, we were also wondering why we don’t celebrate the Biblical feasts anymore. Jesus did. God said to keep the feasts forever. Did “forever” mean to quit when Jesus was resurrected? Paul continued to keep the feasts after the resurrection. Why don’t we still keep them? We couldn’t find an answer. So we started to try to figure out how to keep the feasts.
We then decided, as a family, that we just didn’t feel right celebrating Christmas anymore. We just can’t do it. We can’t see how it pleases God.
But do we feel like we are sacrificing something? Yes and no. We no longer celebrate a holiday that we celebrated all our lives. But God gave us many celebrations to keep. Hanukkah is not a commanded feast, but Jesus kept it (see John 10:22) and what a cool story that is! And most of the feasts that God gave us (what a great God! He “commands” us to celebrate and have fun!) are long—7 days for Passover, 8 days of Hanukkah, and the weekly Sabbath. We actually gained much more than we gave up.
We are learning so much about God through the keeping of these feasts. Much more than we ever learned singing Christmas carols, eating cookies, or giving and receiving gifts.