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Tree decorating. Repetitive Christmas music on the radio. Sleigh bells ringing. Chestnuts burning. (Like, what does this even mean? Do people actually do this?) And the incessant cyber throat-punching over Christians who celebrate Christmas are actually celebrating an evil pagan holiday.

Ah… it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas is that magical time of the year again, full of bright lights, joyful music, and the warm and fuzzy feelings of family and gift-giving. But every so often, you might hear a claim tossed around that Christmas is rooted in pagan traditions. There are many people, especially online, who take this time of year very personally and feel the need to remind Christians that we are, indeed, participating in a pagan holiday. This can be very confusing for some Christians. They want to make sure they’re doing the right thing in God’s eyes but also don’t want to miss out on a holiday that worships our Lord because some people— passionate as they may seem— might be misled about this topic. If you’re a Christian, you might be left scratching your head, wondering if there’s any truth to these claims. Let’s break it down and look at Christmas from the Christian perspective. 

A History Lesson (Don’t Worry, It’s a Short One!) 

The mix-up often comes from the fact that Christmas is celebrated around the same time as the winter solstice and some ancient Roman festivals like Saturnalia. The early Christians didn’t have Jesus’s exact birthdate in their calendars. Deciding to celebrate on December 25th wasn’t about hopping on the pagan bandwagon, though. It was more about carving out a Christian identity that was distinct and separate from these celebrations. So the irony here is they were trying to be distinct from pagan practices, not syncretize with them.

Jesus’s Birthday Bash

From a Christian viewpoint, Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and it’s got nothing to do with pagan festivals. This is probably the one that I want to emphasize the most. Think of the entire point of Christmas. It’s not a fake or false worship of Jesus, but the exact opposite. It’s remembering His birth and how God became human. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament give us these deets on Jesus’s birth. It involves heavenly announcements, prophetic fulfillments, and divine revelations – not exactly your typical pagan celebration ingredients. 

All About Those Traditions

Across the ages, Christians have crafted and refined a plethora of charming traditions to honor and celebrate the holiday of Christmas. These customs range from the use of Advent calendars to mark the days leading up to the event, to the lighting of candles to signify the arrival of the Christ child. Another beloved activity is the singing of carols, which often feature lyrics that tell the story of the Nativity. Finally, many Christians enjoy creating intricate and beautiful nativity scenes, which depict the manger where Jesus was born surrounded by various characters from the Bible. These beloved traditions are deeply rooted in the Christian faith and are regarded as essential components of the Christmas season, rather than being borrowed from other religious or cultural practices.

The Real Meaning of Christmas

I alluded to this before, but it is worth noting that Christmas holds a significant connection to the Christian faith. The holiday revolves around the doctrine of the incarnation, which is the belief that God took on human form through the birth of Jesus. The idea of the incarnation is deeply rooted in the New Testament and was frequently discussed by the Apostle Paul in his letters. He emphasized the incredible mystery and beauty of this belief, which has been central to the Christian faith for centuries. As a result, various Christian customs have developed over time to celebrate the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ. These customs range from religious services and prayer to gift-giving and festive decorations. Overall, Christmas is a time for Christians to reflect on the significance of the incarnation and to celebrate the joy of Jesus’s birth.

Wrapping It Up (See What I Did There?) 

So, there you have it. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and numerous Christians (and even non-Christians!) have written about this topic, debunking it over and over again. When it comes to Christmas, it’s essential to separate myth from fact. For Christians, Christmas isn’t a refurbished pagan holiday but a heartfelt celebration of the birth of Jesus, with its unique traditions and meanings. Sure, Christmas trees and gift exchanges are all good, but at the core, it’s all about remembering that moment when heaven touched earth. In this context, Christmas will always be a Christian holiday. For that, I’m grateful.

I made a satirical video about this on my YouTube channel. I used my most controversial character, Judy McJudgerson, to make this point. So… even if you don’t agree with me, I hope you get a kick out of the mediocre wig. You can check it out here.

So no. Christmas isn’t pagan. Let’s stop the madness.

Merry Christmas.

Recommended resources related to the topic:

Miracles: The Evidence by Frank Turek DVD and Mp4

Early Evidence for the Resurrection by Dr. Gary Habermas (DVD), (Mp3) and (Mp4)

Reflecting Jesus into a Dark World by Dr. Frank Turek – DVD Complete Series, Video mp4 DOWNLOAD Complete Series, and mp3 audio DOWNLOAD Complete Series


Melissa Dougherty is a Christian Apologist best known for her YouTube channel as an ex-new ager. She has two associate’s degrees, one in Early Childhood Multicultural Education, and the other in Liberal Arts. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies at Southern Evangelical Seminary.


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