Christmas was originally a pagan celebration. What, now, makes it a holy celebration? In Revelation it warns all to be careful to not be taken in by Satan's trickery and guise.
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I would say that, even though the exact date of Christ's birth is not given in Scripture, and although many aspects of how Christmas is celebrated today are influenced by practices or considerations having pagan roots (which sometimes had their basis in what I would consider to be an acceptable desire to save Christians from persecution by coinciding with pagan observances), the birth of the Savior is nevertheless certainly an event worthy of celebration (just as the angels celebrated it originally (Luke 2:8-14)), and the appropriateness of that celebration would be within the control of each individual Christian. I think that, as long as Christians are focused on the Biblical events as the basis for the celebration, and on worship, gratitude, and praise to God for them, then the incidental use of symbols or dates once characterizing pagan practices (which can just as easily be converted to an association with Christian symbolism or beliefs) do not detract from the propriety of the occasion.
I would start by saying that December 25 was not borrowed and had no connection to pagan gods or ideas, as some have argued - these were invented years later. Although Jesus wasn't born on Christmas day, the celebration of His birth on December 25 can be traced back as early as 3rd Century Donatists, a North Africa Christian group named after their leader Donatus of Casae Nigrae. The 17th and 18th Centuries secular enlightenment scholars were among the first to suggest that Christmas is deeply-rooted in paganism (i. e. Sol Invictus, winter solstice or Saturnalia festivals) and reasons for December 25 celebration. However, upon closer examination, Sol Invictus was initially celebrated August 9 and 28, winter solstice falls on December 21 and Saturnalia on December 17 to 23. But why December 25 celebration for Christ’s birth? It appears that early Christians celebrated the annunciation (announcement to Mary that she was with child) on March 25 - add nine months of pregnancy and you arrive to December 25. Now, should Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25? First, the Bible does not contain a command to keep Christmas as a sacred day - the only sacred day in the Bible is the Sabbath (Ex 20:8-11). While it might be a public holiday, Christmas is not a biblical holy day. And then there are concerns about pagan elements in this holiday which are nothing new. The Puritans led English Parliament ban in 1644 Christmas, as a festival with no biblical justification and a time of wasteful and immoral behavior. Charles II lifted the ban in 1660. The Colonial America from 1659 to 1681 outlawed Christmas. More recently, secular elements of society have faced-off with religious groups over nativity scenes and crosses on public property, as well as the alleged war on Christmas. Aside from its pagan elements introduced along the way, most people understand that Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. But in practice, people spend more time shopping than celebrating the life of our Savior. Frosty the Snowman and Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer compete for attention with wise men and shepherds. From “Black Friday” to “Cyber Monday” and Christmas Eve, materialism tends to overshadow the simple stable. Having said that, I believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking time to meditate and celebrate the incarnation of our Savior. It is a mystery that testifies to the fact that the Son of God became “flesh” (John 1:14). The Creator became a creature in order to save us from the power of sin and death (Matt 1:21). That's something worth celebrating!
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