Should a Christian Observe Christmas? By Dr. John R. Rice (1895–1980) “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. “He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”—Rom. 14:5,6. I love the Christmas season. I find great joy in preaching on the Christmas themes of the angels, the shepherds, the manger, the virgin birth, and the wise men. I get a great thrill when I hear Christmas carols. I love the gathering together of loved ones, the giving of gifts. And I rejoice to be remembered by those I love. Perhaps my own feeling is colored by the fact that for many years I have been away from home most of the year, but at the Christmas season I can be with my family. How sad that many do not enjoy Christmas! Even some devoted Christians feel sour and are cantankerous and full of objections about the season. To you I would say in the words of Scripture—if you regard the day, regard it unto the Lord. And if you do not regard the day, then be sure you act Christian about it. Let nobody judge or criticize others for an honest, worshipful, spiritual and loving attitude about Christmas. SOME OBJECTIONS ABOUT CHRISTMAS ANSWERED 1. “December 25 Is Not Really Christ’s Birthday” The Bible does not tell us exactly when Christ was born, and there are no other trustworthy sources from which we can learn the time. Therefore, some think it wrong to observe Christmas. I know a little girl who was born on February 29—leap year. Now, is it wrong for her to observe her birthday on February 28 when there is no leap year? In other words, is it wrong for her or others to observe her birthday anytime except leap year? The precise date—February 29—is not the important factor, but that another year has gone by and the little girl has grown a year older; and that fact should be recognized by loved ones. Would you say it is wrong to observe Thanksgiving on a certain Thursday in November since not all our blessings have come on that day? Or would it be wrong to set a more convenient day if all agreed on a national day of thanksgiving? Whatever the day, it is still right to have a time when we publicly thank God and as a nation officially express our gratitude to the Father of Mercies for all His bounty, for all His goodness and for all His blessings. The important thing is not the day of the calendar on which we do it, but the fact that we give praise to the One who loadeth us with benefits. Although many scholars do not believe that Jesus was born on December 25, it could still be the date on which the angels announced His birth. We love the dear Lord Jesus. We want everyone to remember His birth. We want to teach our children about the Babe in the manger, about the wise men from the East who came to worship Him, about the angel’s announcement to Mary, about the angel chorus that told the shepherds of His birth. And December 25 is as good a day for that as any other day. It is not wrong to remember the birth of Christ on a day which is as close as we can come to His birthday.