I Don’t Celebrate Christmas
(And there’s more of us than you think)
No, I’m not Muslim, Jewish, or a misguided fanatic starting a “War on Christmas.” But if you are, please don’t stop reading.
I’m your neighbor. I’m your kid’s teacher. I’m the coffee shop barista. I’m in the car next to you in traffic. I’m a devout, conservative Christian. And I don’t celebrate Christmas.
And I’m thinking you’ve met many types of people who don’t celebrate Christmas:
- People who believe in Jesus, but have come to accept the truth that Christmas isn’t in the Bible and isn’t a command of God.
- People who aren’t religious.
- People who can’t afford the modern version of Christmas gift-giving.
- People who can afford gifts, but reject materialism, and those who are trying to be kinder to the environment.
Maybe even you yourself have wondered — is this really what the birth of Christ is all about? But you shoved that thought away, deep down where the Christmas ham usually resides.
So, what does the Bible say about Christmas?
When I tell people that we don’t celebrate Christmas their #1 response is “But I thought you were Christian?”
“Um, yeah, see… that’s exactly why we don’t. I am a Christian, but I follow the Bible, not cultural or family traditions. Christmas isn’t in the Bible.” *Mic drop*
If you’ve done even a little bit of research (and this totally includes YouTube, seriously if you start there nobody is judging you), you quickly find all the root problems with the holiday, #1 of which is it’s not in the Bible.
You don’t have to be Muslim, or Jewish, or any kind of non-Christian for your spidey-sense to be on alert here. Christmas isn’t Christian.
Did part of you know that already? If not, that’s okay. Us non-Christmas-persons are the least judgy – I mean, we have to survive the “season of joy” without yelling out “you’re all wrong!” We’ve got patience.
You are among “scrooges” — embrace it!
If you have been called a scrooge because of your disbelief in Christmas, you are now among friends. A scrooge is a miserable person, often associated with not wanting to spend, or unwilling to give to others–they’ve got us all wrong.
We are a giving people, us Non-Christmas-Persons. We’re still Christian, and because we believe in honoring Christ all year long, guess what, we also do all year long? We give.
The Church Of Christ has multiple outreaches, from the INCGiving Project to the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation and its extensive Aid to Humanity global events. Us being labeled as “you just don’t like to give” is a cop-out and I’m not here for it.
My Christian giving is based on no man’s calendar, nor inspired by tax deduction (truly).
How do we stop celebrating Christmas?
It’s just gifts! (NOTE: Have you heard of KonMari? It’s almost 2020, get with it.)
But, really, how do you push away the love that your family is trying to extend during their Christmas celebrations?
How do you not do Christmas dinner?
This is where our families might feel that “War on Christmas” sentiment when they hear you’re not celebrating Christmas. Because here they are, just trying to be kind, and here we come refusing to sit down and eat.
To them, it feels like a war on their beliefs and their understanding of a traditional (and especially western) family.
This is never, ever our intention though, never to slap them in the face with our beliefs.
When it comes to our extended family and those big family events, you’ll have to give as much detail as respectfully possible. Not celebrating Christmas dinner, but stopping by the next day to visit Grandma and spend a regular meal together is okay. Not giving them gifts on Christmas Eve is okay. It’s all just traditions until they’re not yours anymore, and that’s okay.
Don’t be harsh to them for being wrong
There are huge swaths of the American population that only feel a connection to God twice a year: Easter and Christmas.
They can’t honor what they don’t truly know. We can’t knock down their traditions without offering another connection to God in its place.
Understand that WE see the holiday for its traditionalized and commercialized aspects but they see it as their spiritual affirmation.
Don’t hate on that, but invite them to learn the difference.
But, the children!
As a mom, I never would do anything that would harm my children or make them outcasts unnecessarily.
And if you have decided that you don’t want to celebrate Christmas anymore, I’m sure “But, the children!” has crossed your minds.
It’s pretty easy actually to help them navigate this part of life. We just inform and educate their teachers about our faith decisions, and that’s literally the end of the conversation. No backlash.
We tell our kids to ask for alternate activities at school and that their conscience will help them decide whether an activity they’re doing is “Winter” or “Christmas”, “Harvest” or “Halloween” (Oh yeah, we don’t do that one either).
Sometimes my kids come home with a project that’s TOTALLY too holiday-ish. We sit down and I explain to them what’s up.
Pumpkins are autumn but put a face on it and it’s a jack-o-lantern, kiddo.
Their reactions are always my favorite: But what in the world does a green tree have to do with Christmas!? Nothing, kid, nothing—and that’s just the start of how much it doesn’t make sense.
When a 5-year-old can feel that these traditions are too off base, there’s a problem.
And at home, maybe it’s time to start some new traditions that aren’t based on pagan ideologies but are based on love and family.
We’re not alone
We’re not alone. We’re the quiet ones who don’t sing along with the Christmas songs at the mall.
We’re the family whose house is the only dark one on the block without lights.
We’re the ones struggling to find plain wrapping paper without Santa and elves on it.
We love Christ. So much so, that we researched and thought hard and prayed a ton about how to honor his being put on this Earth to do God’s will. And that’s what we’re trying to do every day— not only on December 25th.
And we’re not alone, not by far.
How are you defending your beliefs? Let’s discuss it!
If you’re not celebrating Christmas either, share this blog on your social media and let everyone know you’re not ashamed to be different.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Naomi De La Cruz is a staff writer at INC Media Services, a mother of two, a slanger of books, lover of outdoor urban adventures and a baptized member of the Church Of Christ since 1998.