This is a tough topic to discuss because people, especially fellow Christians, get so offended over this. They seem to want to ignore the logic and information, and go straight to the attacking. I would appreciate no attacking on this post. I am not ignorant, misinformed or one to make rash choices. This was well thought out, researched and prayer over.
Every year I would get so excited for the holidays, only to be completely miserable when they arrived. I couldn't figure it out. They would be absolutely horrible no matter who I spent them with or what I did. This year I began looking into the Sabbath day, the actual day (that is a whole other post!), and I ended up finding information on christmas. I found out that it is, and still is, a pagan holiday to celebrate several different gods, as well as the winter solstice. Many of the things people use in their celebrations have pagan roots, and were used in pagan festivities and worship. I began to research even more and try to find out everything I could.
After hours and days of research I decided that I did not want to celebrate christmas in my household anymore. Christ was not born on December 25th, no where close in fact. He was most likely born in September or October. So there goes the main "Christian" reason for the holiday. The reason the holiday was put on that date was the "Christianize" a pagan holiday and help persecuted Christians fit in better at the time. Not a proud moment for our group, so why celebrate a willingness to compromise and fit in with the "worldly"? Add to that the pagan holiday, the pagan traditions. And the whole santa fairytale/myth made me extremely uncomfortable. I don't believe in lying to my child at all, and I don't like his pagan roots as well. There is very little information on St. Nicholas, and nothing factual to prove he gave out gifts like he is portrayed to have done. The "magical" qualities given to him have more to do with pagan gods then they do an actual person. So in our home it is common knowledge that the "santa" thing is a myth, a fairytale, and nothing we believe in. But even more than that, it's a shopping holiday. It's over-commercialized, it's all about spending, outdoing others, getting all you can. Even if the holiday may have once been about Christ, it sure isn't now.
I couldn't go into any store, not even the dollar store, without being bombarded with the over-commercialization of the holiday. I was told I needed these things for a more beautiful house and tree, that I wouldn't truly enjoy my holiday without them. I was told I, and my daughter, needed more things, more expensive things, or to truly enjoy the holiday and have it be a success. Somehow, if I wasn't standing in line at 4am in the morning, I wasn't a good mother. If I didn't have a tree that reached my ceiling and glowed like a Time Square, then I was letting down my family and not fully celebrating the holiday. If I didn't go into debt buying things, as many things as possible, then how would anyone know I loved them and appreciated them? All that totally turned me off. I decided I didn't want anything to do with this holiday anymore. No wonder it was so miserable every single year!
I haven't regretted my decision one bit! We didn't get a tree at all, we didn't decorate the house. Being this was the first year of doing this and I reached this decision late, we did have presents during the month of December. But I decided we would open them as they arrived, not set them aside for a certain day. It was much nicer that way, and my daughter truly enjoyed getting to open her gifts when they arrived for her. I am an early bird, so I had all my shopping done by mid-November. The gifts I had set aside for her she got to open one a week. We didn't make a huge fuss for our meal, we were both ok with cooking at home or getting something unhealthy we normally don't eat like pizza. We ended up at a friend's house for dinner, which was nice and very laid back thankfully. It was so nice!
Don't think I have forgotten about Christ in anyway, because I haven't. We will honor His birthday in the fall when He was born, but His death is what is much more important. Even in the Bible we are called to honor His death, not His birth. For me, I felt awful putting His name on a holiday He would in no way celebrate. Christ was the least materialistic, overindulgent, item driven person, and I know there is no way He would have celebrated a holiday all about those things, let alone condone it. There are scriptures in the Bible that tells us not to be part of things that aren't Godly, things that are done by those who don't follow Christ. It's not a holiday in the Bible at all, and I just do not feel that God wants me to participate in something that is pagan with commercialization and materialism piled on top. I don't want my daughter, or any future children, to focus on such things, or for them to obscure the importance of Christ.
I got a great idea from reading an article written by a woman who's family exchanges gifts on Thanksgiving instead. It is a holiday devoted to thankfulness and so giving gifts then fits in better. We are working hard to limit the amount of things we have and how many gifts we give each other as well, but we did still want to find a time to give something special to each other. Next year we plan to exchange on Thanksgiving and give our family a heads up to send gifts then if possible. We are understanding not everyone can though. We just want others to respect our feelings and wishes about this. That being said, the majority of the population in America do celebrate it and we will not "bash" those who do. We will explain why we don't and hope they can respect that with open minds and hearts. Like I said, this was not decided upon lightly at all and I want people to understand that and respect that I fee, with God's leading, that I am doing what is best for myself and my family. I wouldn't do it any other way. :o)
This is not to attack others or "convert" to my way of thinking. This is to share what my family believes and does, and hopefully others may learn from this. Here are just a few of the links I found about Christmas and it's pagan origins. I didn't save them all unfortunately, and I can't seem to find them all. If I find any others I will add them to this list.
http://www.gnmagazine.org/issues/gn67/christmas.htm -Great article I agree with, my top 10 as well!
http://www.gnmagazine.org/booklets/HH/christmasuntoldstory.asp - Articles on Christmas, Easter and Halloween
http://www.orlutheran.com/html/santa.html - Info on Santa Claus, so much stuff I never knew!
http://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com/studies/holidays2.htm - Another link on the pagan aspect of the holiday
http://unexplainedmysteriesoftheworld.com/archives/the-mystery-of-the-pagan-origin-of-christmas-jesus-was-not-born-on-december-25th-but-a-whole-bunch-of-pagan-gods-were - Another link talking about the origins of the holiday
http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/xmas/celeb.htm - And yet another informative link