We do not believe there is any special significance to December 25. It is recognized as the day of Christ's birth solely because it was already a Roman celebration of the return of the sun. Jesus was probably born in September. So we attach no spiritual significance to December 25. In fact, we celebrate the birth of Jesus every day, just as we do His resurrection. Having said that, we see nothing wrong with families getting together, decorating their homes with winter greenery and lights, exchanging gifts, etc. We see these as part of the traditional American experience, sort of like Thanksgiving and Independence Day.
We do have concerns, however, about the commercialization of Christmas. We have therefore put together the following list to give the people of our assembly some direction:
Thoughts On Christmas
And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said,
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
Christmas can be a nice time of year for getting together with family and friends. It can also be an opportunity to teach your children about the blessedness of giving (as opposed to receiving) and to help them overcome their childish tendencies toward selfishness and materialism. Here are some suggestions:
1. No Santa Claus, no elves, no sleighs, and no delivery of toys down the chimney on Christmas Eve. Explain to your children that Santa is a story-book character that some children believe in. But we know that he is only a made-up character. We do not need to condemn others for their participation in the Santa cult, but neither do we need to give Santa any credibility at all with our children. He is really just a substitute for Jesus.
2. Do not ask your children what they want for Christmas. Do not allow your children to tell you what they want for Christmas. Do not allow your children to make a Christmas wish list. The whole emphasis should be on what they will be buying as gifts for others, not what gifts they will be getting. Spare them future struggles with the selfish pursuit of material things by not allowing them as children to get all wrapped up in the spirit of getting.
3. Give your children an age appropriate allowance and require them to save a portion of it so they will have some money to buy things for other people. This is very important training. If necessary, you can supplement their savings around the first of December so they will have adequate funds to buy gifts for each of the important people in their life.
4. On Christmas morning, don’t let your children just rip into their presents. Instead, keep them calm and require them to let others open their gifts ahead of them. Talk to them about finding happiness in the happiness that others are experiencing.
5. Require your children to thank everyone who gave them a gift and to send out thank you notes to everyone outside the home who gave them a gift. The Bible warns that in the last days people will be “unthankful” (2 Timothy 3:2). This is the spirit of our age. To overcome it you must teach your children to be thankful.
6. Do not go into debt over Christmas. Keep it in moderation. Getting lots of stuff is not nearly as important as spending quality time with the people you love.
Jesus warned, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15). The worldly practice of Christmas is calculated to instill the exact opposite philosophy in children. It teaches them that the most important thing in life is what you get, not what you give. It teaches them to be self-centered and greedy. It teaches them to fixate on the temporal rather than the spiritual. Let’s not fall into this snare and make living for God harder for our children than it needs to be.