What Does the Bible Say About Christmas?
Published September 22, 2021.
On 25 December, the birth of Jesus is celebrated all around the world. A westernized custom that many people have adapted to their own cultures and believes. Let's have a look at how Christmas applied to Christianity.
Is Christmas Mentioned in The Bible?
There is no mention of Christmas in the Bible. The celebration of Christmas on the 25th of December, where gifts were exchanged to honor the birth of Jesus, was first recorded in the time of Emperor Constantine (336 AD).
The History Behind Santa Claus
Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop that lived in Myra (now known as Turkey). He inherited all his parents' money after they passed away, making him a wealthy man.
He was a kind man known for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed them. Because of the kindness he showed, he was declared a Saint.
Later, Dutch settlers in the USA heard the different stories about Saint Nicholas, called him Sinterklaas, who became Santa Claus as we know him today.
The red suit that Santa Claus is wearing was a bishop's red robes, worn in Victorian times. The bishop robes were green, red, blue, and brown. Saint Nicholas wore the red robes more as it was his favorite color.
Celebrating the Birthday of Jesus
There is controversy about whether Jesus was born on 25 December. Some scholars believe that this is not the correct birth date of Jesus, but it was in spring or summer and not in the winter. They reasoned that the shepherds would not have been outside with their flock of sheep in the winter.
On the other side are the scholars who say it is the right day. They say that the Angel told Mary that she would give birth to Jesus was on 25 March, and it is still celebrated as such in the Catholic religion (Annunciation). If you count nine months from this date, you get 25 December.
Symbolic Traditions of Christmas
The Symbolism of a Christmas Tree
For thousands of years, winter festivals in many religions were celebrated with the Evergreen Fir tree. For Christians, this tree symbolizes everlasting life with God, although nobody knows when the fir tree was first used.
At first, a figure of Jesus was put on the top of the Christmas tree. Later it changed to the star. This star symbolizes the Bethlehem star that was seen on the night Jesus was born.
The Use of Mistletoe
Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on a range of trees, like willows, apples, and oak. The tradition of hanging it in the house goes back to the ancient Druids. The use of mistletoe was to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the household. It is also known as a sign of love and friendship.
Kissing under the mistletoe is a tradition that originated in England, first recorded in 1784 in a musical. Traditionally a berry would be picked from the twig before kissing the person, but if all the berries are gone, there would be no more kissing.
A Reason Behind Christmas Lights
In 1882 Edward Johnson introduced lights (known as Christmas lights) to the world. He did not mean that the lights would be used as Christmas lights to celebrate the holiday. The original tradition was to make the winter festive by using the light and warmth of the fire.
Before the lights, people used to light candles on the tree if they could afford it. But this caused a lot of house fires as the trees caught fire when they were dry.
Even though it is believed by some that Christmas is a pagan celebration. It seems more likely that Christmas is a holiday that is celebrated all around the world by people from different religions. And most of these people adapted the holiday to fit in with their beliefs.