What is Christmas really about? We have been trained to believe that we must go out and purchase gifts for each other to exchange on Christmas, December 25th of each year. The date itself is representative of the birth of Jesus the Christ. The King James Bible does not have one reference to the word “Christmas.” However, “Christ” is mentioned over 500 times. The word Christmas was derived from the word Christ.
Let me begin from the root of the word Christmas. “Christ” meaning anointed, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered “Messiah” (q.v.), the official title of our Lord, occurred five hundred and fourteen times in the New Testament. It denotes that he was anointed or consecrated to his great redemptive work as Prophet, Priest, and King of his people. He is Jesus the Christ (Acts 17:3; 18:5; Matt. 22:42), the Anointed One. He is thus spoken of by Isaiah (61:1), and by Daniel (9:24-26), who styles Him “Messiah the Prince.” The Messiah is the same person as “the seed of the woman” (Gen. 3:15), “the seed of Abraham” (Gen. 22:18), the “Prophet like unto Moses” (Deut. 18:15), “the priest after the order of Melchizedek” (Ps. 110:4), “the rod out of the stem of Jesse” (Isa. 11:1, 10), the “Immanuel,” the virgin’s son (Isa. 7:14), “the branch of Jehovah” (Isa. 4:2), and “the Messenger of the covenant” (Mal. 3:1). This is he “of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write.” The Old Testament Scripture is full of prophetic declarations regarding the Great Deliverer and the work He was to accomplish. Jesus the Christ is Jesus the Great Deliverer, the Anointed One, the Savior of men. This name denotes that Jesus was divinely appointed, commissioned, and accredited as the Savior of men (Heb. 5:4; Isa. 11:2-4; 49:6; John 5:37; Acts 2:22). To believe that “Jesus is the Christ” is to believe that he is the Anointed, the Messiah of the prophets, the Savior sent of God, that he was, what he claimed to be. This is to believe the Gospel, by the faith of which alone, men can be brought unto God. That Jesus is the Christ is the testimony of God, and the faith of this constitutes a Christian. (1 Cor. 12:3; 1 John 5:1).
Often we participate in customs and beliefs based on the culture of the times. When Jesus was born there were no customs of giving expensive gifts on December 25th of each year. We need to understand when and how the tradition of gift giving started for what we now know as Christmas. Since we know that “Christ” being translated from Hebrew into Greek means “Anointed” does that mean that Christmas is anointed also?
Christmas, literally Christ’s mass, is defined as a Christian feast on December 25th or among some Eastern Orthodox on January 7th that commemorates the birth of Christ and is usually observed as a legal holiday. How the Christmas tradition began in the world and especially in America is very interesting. You can read about it at the website for the History Channel http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/holidays/christmas/trees.html
The truth about Christmas is just like the truth about many other things in our life, we have been deceived about it’s meaning. Christmas never has been anything that is anointed by God. In fact it is a pagan holiday invented by the governments of the world and was first widely adopted by Germany in the 16th century and then later adopted by America in 1700 through German immigrants who traveled to America. The first recorded display of the so called “Christmas Tree” was around the 1830’s.
A dichotomy exists between what the Bible says about Jesus the Christ and what has become of the tradition of Christmas. On one side there is the Gospel of Jesus the Christ which preaches “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” On the other side, you have the tradition of Christmas which preaches good will toward all men as long as you have money to buy and if you don’t have money to buy then you don’t exist. If you believe in the teachings of Jesus, the Anointed one, then you must conclude that Christmas is about sharing the Gospel of Jesus while he preached on earth, not about buying gifts and trying to show love through things. We know that the Bible says “there is no greater love than a man lay down his life for his friend” (John chapter 15 verse 13). If this is an indicator of someone showing love then we must be able to answer the question, “Would I die for him/her?” rather than “How much money can I spend on him/her?”