Five simple ways to explain not keeping Christmas to your child
Every year, when the Christmas season rolls around, it can be a challenge explaining to your kids why your family doesn’t celebrate Christmas. I mean, I get it. The lights, the gifts, the family, the food, the parties… I understand the appeal. And if you child attends public school and is inundated with these things the entire month of December, that makes it even harder. Helping your kid to understand why your family doesn’t celebrate Christmas – when all they see are the fun, innocent traditions – can be really difficult!
I’ve found that kids start becoming a lot more aware of Christmas around age four, when it can still be kind of hard to explain your beliefs to them in simplistic terms. Here are a few simple talking points you can use to start a discussion with your young child:
1. Jesus didn’t keep Christmas
It may seem obvious, but it’s easy for a child to understand, and it’s truthful. Or, said differently, “We only keep the Holy Days Jesus kept.” (This can be an easy way to explain it to anyone, honestly.) Keep it simple!
Jesus lived a perfect life, and we should try to follow His example. He kept the biblical Holy days like Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles that are commanded in the Torah (John 2:23, 7:1-2, 14). The Bible says nothing about Jesus keeping Christmas, or commanding us to celebrate His birth in any way.
2. Christmas celebrates false Gods
You can explain how most of the Christmas traditions come from a pagan celebration that was kept before Jesus was even born. Traditions like the Christmas tree, gift giving, star on top of the tree, December dates, use of holly and mistletoe, elves and Santa, and the yule log, all can be dated back to pagan celebrations surrounding the winter solstice and various sun gods.
As they get a little older, your child may hear a response like, “Well, that’s not what Christmas means anymore. We changed the meaning and now it’s Christian.” You can tell them the story of the Israelites and the golden calf. The Israelites were actually trying to worship the true God with these celebrations. But they were attempting to do so by adopting some of the religious celebrations of the pagan gods they had been surrounded with for hundreds of years in Egypt. As we know, God was NOT pleased by this.
3. Christmas celebrations are not Christian
There are many reasons this statement is true. One, a major theme of Christmas involves lying to children about the existence of Santa Clause. It also promotes the false idea that Jesus was born in December, and that we are supposed to even celebrate his birthday.
The Catholic Church adopted a pagan festival and tried to re-brand it as Christian so they could get pagans into the “church”. God hates lying and falsehoods, so these central traditions would never be okay for a Christian celebration.
You can also explain to your child that Satan makes lots of sins seem fun and harmless on the surface, but in the end they do not please God or bring us blessings.
4. Jesus was not born on Christmas
Once again, simple, but true. We interpret the Bible as literally as possible. And it’s pretty well-established that Jesus was born sometime during the fall, possibly during the Feast of Tabernacles. So why would we celebrate his birthday on December 25?
As Christians, we claim to follow Christ and His Word. Yet, we base a huge unbiblical holiday around an arbitrary date and say it’s worshipping Him.
The Bible gives no instructions about celebrating Jesus’ birth, or birthdays in general. However, it does tell us to keep the Passover in remembrance of Jesus’ death.
5. God tells us how to worship him
The Bible is very clear about what days are important and special to God. He gives us a list of appointed times to celebrate and observe each year, like Passover and Pentecost. Why would we make up our own holidays to worship Him instead of just keeping the ones He gave? Do we know better than God?
Make sure you talk about the significance of each Holy Day and how God teaches us about His plan through them. I’ve realized more each year how important it is to celebrate the Holy Days and make them special to our kids. If you’re doing that, they’re less likely to feel like they’re missing out on the world’s holiday celebrations.
So there it is…
I hope you find these explanations simple and straight-forward enough to use with your children. I know that our kids will see the blessings that come from following God’s Word if we strive to keep His commandments.