'Christmas' - Dec 25th - is not really Jesus' birthday. How do we know that Jesus was not born in December? Because that is winter in Israel, and winter is the rainy season. Our daughter tells us that after a long, dry spell, they have had two months’ rain in one week of storms. You would not want your sheep out in that! The shepherds around Bethlehem would certainly not have been out on the hills with their sheep on Dec 25th.
Also, Joseph and Mary would not have been traveling 130 plus miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem in the rainy season! Anyone who has been caught out in a sudden rainstorm in Israel knows that you can be soaked through in seconds! It is nothing like British drizzle! Joseph and Mary were not stupid. They were going to Bethlehem for the census, and they would have gone in the dry season, possibly Sept/Oct at the time of the Jewish autumn feasts to miss the worst of the heat.
One year in November, I remember driving down from the north approaching Haifa in the evening and thinking for a moment that World War III must have started. But the horrendous crashes were just immense rolls of thunder shaking the hills and the great flashes illuminating the mountain were only lightning. No rockets - it was the rainy season!
Getting back to Dec 25th, history has other births recorded on that date and many websites will list them for you – basically Nimrod, Mithras, Osiris and all the other pagan gods, and you wouldn't want to celebrate their births, would you?
In fact the Bible never tells us to remember Jesus’ birthday at all, and since it could not possibly have been on Dec. 25, why in the world would any Christian want to celebrate on Dec 25? Paul was appalled when he found out the believers in Galatia were celebrating special days (Gal 4:10) 'I am afraid for you,' he said (v11), 'lest I have labored for you in vain.' Let's face it, Christmas is nothing to do with Christ - it is to do with the flesh - eating, drinking, parties, giving and getting gifts. In England it means time off work. Many companies shut down completely for two to three weeks over Christmas, which is a major pain to anyone trying to get things done.
We can blame Constantine for lumbering us with Christmas. The first 'Christian' leader (I don't think he was actually a Christian) of the Roman Empire, he did at least stop persecuting our people, a point in his favor. But he knew that his subjects would not want to give up Saturnalia, the feast of Saturn (another false god supposedly born around Dec 25th). The ancient Romans brought greenery into their homes, decorated it, sent cards to each other and gave gifts, and, of course, had parties. Happy Saturnalia! So Constantine decided the ancient Romans could keep the feast of Saturnalia, but just call it Jesus' birthday instead. It became Christ-mass, a Catholic invention.
Incidentally, during the terrible Roman persecutions there was apparently one foolproof way they had of finding out who were the secret Christians - those who truly believed in the Lord Jesus did not hang green wreaths on their front doors during Saturnalia.
As for Christmas trees, we stopped having them when we found out that Christmas was a pagan feast with pagan customs. As Jeremiah 10 says: ‘Do not learn the way of the gentiles…for the customs of the peoples are futile. One cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold…’ No thank you, no Christmas tree for us anymore!
There are many websites which will clinch this for you – Christmas is not Christian! Just Google in something like ‘Nimrod’s birthday’ or ‘Christmas pagan’ and your eyes will be opened.
Then there is the money angle. Christmas really does put so much pressure on people to spend money they don't have. One factory worker was interviewed and said it took him until June every year to pay off the bills from Christmas. Just terrible! The Lord Jesus would never put such burdens on people. His yoke is easy and his burden is light.
Having said all that, we live in a western culture, so on Christmas Day we will getting together with quite a few people from church for a traditional day.
I like what Jacob Prasch, the Jewish Bible teacher said: 'I love the Nativity, but I have no time for Christmas.' Amen to that.
If the Lord Jesus wanted us to celebrate His birthday, He would have made it clear in Scripture. Nowhere does He tell us to remember His birthday, but to remember His death. If you really want to please Jesus on Dec. 25th, remember the Crucifixion and tell someone that the Lord Jesus paid the price for all our sins (if we believe in Him) and meditate on the fact that He is coming back soon, not as a helpless baby, but as a conquering King who will destroy His enemies and set up His millennial kingdom. Maranatha! Come soon, Lord Jesus!