How to Celebrate a Strictly Religious Christmas

Tired of celebrating a consumer Christmas, and want to celebrate in a way that reflects your religious beliefs? You can reform your Christmas ritual to better respect the old traditions and keep the spirit of Christianity close to your heart.


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    Consider putting up a simplified Christmas tree. The origins of the modern-day Christmas can be linked back the tree of Thor that was cut down as an act of Christianity to prove the Norse Gods weren't real and there is only one true God.
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    Keep your decorations centered around the birth of Christ. Avoid things such as reindeer, Santa Claus, and similar items. Keep your household decorations more "spiritual" and relevant to the holiday. Good ideas include a nativity scene, depiction of angels, and stars. Candy canes can be used to represent the shepherds that were told of Christ birth. Images of Christs life can help you reflect on him this holiday season and the green represents His love year round, not just seasonally.
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    In order to instill good values of gift-giving and sharing, buy gifts for the less fortunate. Christ commonly sat with the beggars and sinners. Instead of purchasing gifts for family and friends that are hot trends, consider spending the money on gifts or donations that help them, like a Bible they can read about Christ's life, or new church clothing. Donate to charitable organizations for those less fortunate. Many families also choose to donate their time, as well as money, by volunteering in soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
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    Keep your entertainment relevant to the origins of the holiday. Avoid music and television programs that center on the more commercialized aspects of Christmas (again, such as reindeer, Santa Claus, and so on). Unfortunately, this may prove more and more difficult as time passes. Consider purchasing your own music and movies for your personal collection.
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    Inform your family and friends early on in the year that you plan on changing your Christmas celebrations. Let them know what and why you have chosen to change your pattern.


  • Do not be angry or hurt if your child's school "teaches" them about conventional Christmas. Treat it as a learning experience for your child. They can learn about all sorts of things without having to apply it. Teach them how to respond when teachers or other students ask questions or criticize them.
  • If you want to give gifts and make Christmas still about the birth of Jesus, consider doing what the Dutch do and give presents before Christmas. (The Dutch gives gifts on December 5th and 6th on what is called St. Nicolas day.)
  • Some people may not agree with your beliefs, but you choose how to celebrate the holidays.
  • If you plan on changing your celebrations dramatically, consider making the changes in steps with each year. One year, pass on telling children they need to be good or Santa won't come. Another year, donate a portion of your time to charity.
  • Figure out ways to keep Christmas special and fun for your family. Plan low- or no-cost activities and outings. Think of meaningful, personal gifts you could give them without spending any money, such as "coupon books" redeemable for favors or fun activities, or a letter listing the good things that person did this year and how special they are to you. Start appropriate traditions that family can look forward to each year.
  • Santa, as he is perceived today, has little to do with the classical meaning of Christmas. If you have not introduced the concept of Santa to your children, you may want to consider not including it at all. Unfortunately, this can prove difficult in environments such as public and some private schools and organizations that may encourage the use of the image of Santa Claus.
  • Be respectful of other people's traditions. People have their own way of celebrating Christmas, and many people do not celebrate Christmas at all. As much as you want to celebrate Christmas in your way, they want to celebrate it in theirs. Be understanding and respectful of how others celebrate, and enjoy that you can celebrate the way that you wish.
  • Instead of saying donating all your Christmas money for gifts to charity, consider having each family member purchase one or more gifts that they think a less fortunate person would enjoy. Donate those gifts to organizations such as "Toys for Tots," or other non denominational organizations. Your family will make a more intimate connection with the items donated and the goodwill of giving.


  • If you have celebrated a more conventional Christmas in the past, with presents and Santa and all the rest, the switch to a strictly religious Christmas could be very upsetting to your family, especially if you have young children. Be patient and remember the holiday is about remembering Christ not commercialism.

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Categories: Christmas Spirit | Christian Special Days