The Shocking Truth about Christmas
by: Dr. Russell K. Tardo
“We Americans take Santa Claus, presents, holly, trees, carol singing and all the other pleasant Christmas customs very much for granted. How intriguing it is … to trace them to their origins. Many of our cherished traditions are buried deep in the pagan past. In fact, when Christmas was first officially established, the date coincided with ancient celebrations of the sun’s rebirth at the winter solstice. The church saw no reason to destroy the old customs, and so they were adopted to fit our celebration of the birth of Messiah.” 1
Prepare yourself! Because it may come as quite a shock to discover the true meaning and origin of the Christmas celebration. For decades Christians have trimmed trees, decorated houses with lights and garlands, exchanged gifts and propagated the tale of a white whiskered, fat man in a red suit being pulled across the sky by reindeer! But have we ever stopped to wonder about the significance of these Christmas customs? Where do they come from? And what could they possibly have to do with the birth of Messiah? By uncovering the truth about Christmas origins and customs, we may realize that it is not the innocent Messiah glorifying celebration that it seems on the surface. Instead we may discover sinister implications in many Christmas practices, and origins heavily steeped in ancient pagan idolatry. Once you know the shocking truth about Christmas, as the facts are presented in this pamphlet, you may well wonder whether Christians should celebrate it at all! As a matter of fact, for all of the reasons presented here, may sincere Christians have forsaken this holiday altogether. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Here then, is the shocking truth:
1. Messiah was not born on December 25th
Although Christians everywhere observe this day as the birthdate of Messiah, we know that He was definitely not born on December 25th , nor at any time during the winter season. At least two factors make this quite evident. Note what the Scriptures records concerning the time of YAHUSHA’ birth:
a) “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field , keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). As these shepherds were watching their sheep by night in the open fields, the angel came to them with the message of the birth of Messiah. It has well been established that the shepherds of Judea did not themselves abide, nor did they keep their flocks in these open fields any later than about the end of October, due to the piercing nature of the winter wind, rain and cold. 2
“The shepherds always bring their flocks in from the mountain slopes and fields not later than the fifteenth of October.” 3
Obviously, the birth of Messiah could not have occurred at late in the winter season as December 25th.
b) The Scripture records that at the time of Messiah’s birth, Caesar Augustus had decreed that “all the world should be taxed … and all went to be taxed, every one into his own city” (Luke 2:1,3). It was because of this tax that Yoceph (Joseph) traveled to Bethlehem, “To be taxed with Miryam (Mary) his espoused wife, being with child” (vs. 5). While in Bethlehem, unable to secure a room in which to lodge, Miryam delivered her child in a stable behind an inn.
Certainly this could not have occurred in the winter, since travel at that time of year was very difficult. Caesar would not have ordered such a taxation then since it would have been virtually impossible for everyone to comply. Travel was so bitterly hard and hazardous during the deep winter season that YAHUSHA himself told the people to pray that their flight at the end of this age would not be in winter, “But pray ye that your flight be not in winter…” (Matthew 24:20). In fact, history records that these taxations always took place at the end of harvest, which was sometime in September or October, a much more logical time for taxation and travel. 4
Obviously, Messiah could not have been born on December 25th
His birthdate was probably sometime in the fall of the year, but no exact day can be determined. Even the Roman Catholics are compelled to admit, that “The date of Christ’s birth is not known” 5
Dear reader, isn’t it amazing that no one knows the date of the most important birth in the history of mankind? We know the birthdates of many famous, ancient men, from the Caesars to the Pharaohs, and in fact, “… in Egypt, birthday celebrations can be documented back to the 13th century BC.” 6
But there is not one single reference in all 66 books of the Bible, and not one mention in early (church) Assembly literature pinpointing the date of Messiah’s birth. Obviously, YAHUAH did not want us to know the date YAHUSHA was born! We must remember that the Son of ELOHIYM pre-existed from eternity with the Father. Perhaps for us to affix a “date of birth” to Messiah who always was, is to detract from His divinity. One thing is certain; if YAHUAH wanted the Assembly to celebrate the birth of His Son, He would have told us to do so! Reasonable minds can only conclude that the reason the Scripture is silent on the subject, is because it was never YAHUAH’s intention for Messiah’s birthday to be celebrated!
However, we do celebrate YAHUSHA’s death! It is through His death and atoning sacrifice that we are reconciled to YAHUAH ELOHIYM, and have forgiveness of sin. 7
Every time we partake of the breaking of the bread and cup, we are celebrating the death that purchased our redemption (I Corinthians 11:23-28).
2. Christmas is not a Scriptural doctrine. One author asked: “…What was Christmas? Had Messiah or His apostles made it a QODESH (Set-Apart Day, holy-day)?” Is there any passage anywhere in the Scripture encouraging us to celebrate Messiah’s birth? Emphatically NO! This author continues, and answers himself: Christmas “…was a survival of the old pagan Saturnalia.” 8
Another writes: “If our blessed ADONAI had wanted us to celebrate His birthday, He would have told us when to celebrate it, and how to celebrate it. But Messiah never told anyone to celebrate His birthday. Furthermore, we know from the Scriptures and from the Assemblies (church) history that the apostles and the early Qodeshiym (Believer’s) never celebrated Messiah’s birthday. The Scripture is YAHUAH’s complete and final revelation to man, and it tells us everything we need to know for our spiritual lives (II Timothy 3:16). We don’t have to go outside the Scripture for anything. YAHUAH’s word tells us how we’re to worship, how we’re to give money for the support of the ADONAI’s work, how to evangelize the lost, how to observe everything else pertaining to the Qodeshiym (Believer’s) life. But not once in the Scripture does YAHUAH tell us to celebrate Christmas! We’re told to remember YAHUSHA’s death, but nowhere are we told to celebrate His birth. YAHUAH’s people are supposed to be Scriptural people. We’re supposed to live by the teaching of YAHUAH’s QODESH (Set-Apart, holy) Word. So the very fact that Christmas is never mentioned in the Scriptures is sufficient reason for us not to have anything to do with it.” 9
3. December 25th does have profound religious significance. Although we have clearly demonstrated that December 25th was not Messiah’s birthday, that day does have profound religious significance. In fact, long before Messiah was born, December 25th was the most widely recognized and celebrated holiday of ancient times among the idolatrous nations. This day was universally recognized and celebrated as the birthday of the sun god, Mithra, who also was known by other names in different parts of the world. The birthday of other sun gods such as Osiris , Horus, Hercules, Bacchus, Adonis, Jupiter, Tammuz, Saturn, etc., was celebrated on December 25th also. Christmas originated with pagan sun worship! As one writer says: “Instead of this being the time of our Savior’s birth, it was the very day and season on which the pagans for centuries had celebrated the birth of the sun god!” 10
It was the celebration of the winter solstice! A time for merriment, revelry and drunkenness (the very same way many celebrate it still today). Most of our current Christmas customs, such as decorated evergreen trees, lights, holly and mistletoe, exchanging presents, parties and revelry, all were essential elements of this pagan winter solstice.
History records just how firmly entrenched these heathen celebrations had become in society, and when the Roman Catholic church could not persuade the public to give up these idolatrous practices, they adopted them! The Catholic church adopted every pagan aspect of this abominable custom, including the date, and simply renamed it. Now instead of representing the birth of Tammuz or Saturn (or any of the sun-gods), it was supposed to celebrate the birth of Christ. They mixed Christianity with paganism! “It was in the fifth century that the Roman Catholic church commanded that the birth of Christ (Messiah) be observed forever on December 25th, the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol—one of the names of the sun-god.” 11
No honest investigator could deny these plain facts. When you celebrate Christmas, you are actually participating in an ancient sun-worship ritual. It is nothingless than sacrilegious idolatry!
Britannica has this to say about Christmas: “Its observance as the birthday of the Savior is attended with secular customs often drawn from pagan sources; indeed, both Christmas and Epiphany, which falls 12 days later on January 6th, are transformed pagan celebrations of the winter solstice, and so closely linked that their origins cannot be discussed separately. December 25th in Rome … was the date of the a pagan festival … the birthday of the unconquered sun (god).” 12
Nothing could be plainer. December 25th is the celebration of pagan sun deities, not the birthday of YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH! The Scripture says, “Put away the strange elohiyms (gods) that are among you, and be clean …” (Genesis 35:2). Christians should have nothing to do with it.
4. The Christmas celebration is an abominable mingling of truth with falsehood. It mingles right with wrong, and pollutes the purity and truth of the Believers with the abominable practices of heathenism. How dare we pollute the QODESH (Set-Apart, holy) name of YAHUSHA with the vile customs of sun-worship? How dare we mix the purely pagan elements of Christmas, such as the Christmas tree, boughs, wreaths, holly, mistletoe, Santa Claus, exchanging of presents, etc., with the true worship of Messiah as commanded in the Scripture? Do you honestly think YAHUAH looks with favor upon such a mixture?
“Thus saith ADONAI YAHUAH; are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? For when ye offer your gifts … ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, shall I be inquired of by you? … pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.? (Ezekiel 20:30,31,39)
“For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of YAHUAH with idols?” (II Corinthians 6:14-16)
It is an abomination to YAHUAH, to take a thoroughly idolatrous holiday, and with all of its attending practices and customs, simply change the name and call it “Christian”. There is nothing Scriptural about Christmas! It is 100 percent pagan. One author has well noted: “Christmas looks out at us from the shadow of the groves of the Druids who knew not Messiah, and it is dear to those who now renounce the name of Christian. The Christmas log, is but the Saxon Yule-log burning on the English hearth, and the blazing holiday temples of Saturn shine again in the illuminated Christian churches. It is the pagan mistletoe under which the Christian youth kisses the Christian maid. It is the holly of the old Roman Saturnalia which decorates Bracebridge Hall on Christmas Eve. The huge smoking baron of beef, the flowing oceans of ale, are but survivals of the tremendous eating and drinking of the Scandinavian Walhalla. The Christian and ante-Christian feeling blend in the happy season and the Christian observance mingles at every point with the pagan rite. It is not easy to say where the paganism ends and the Christianity begins.” 13
How clear it is for all who have eyes to see! Blatant, outright paganism has been incorporated into the church through the Christmas celebration. What an unholy amalgamation to mix the name of YAHUSHA the QODESH (Set-Apart) Son of YAHUAH, with the depraved deities of the ancient heathen nations! Originally, the church would have nothing to do with the winter solstice celebrations. But the Roman Catholic church, under Constantine, began, “the adoption under Christian forms not only of pagan rites and ceremonies, but also of pagan festivals. In order to reconcile heathen converts to the new faith, these relics of paganism, like antique columns transferred from ancient temples to adorn Christian churches, were freely incorporated into the Christian ceremonial. Thus it was that Christmas was transferred to the 25th of December, the time of the Roman Saturnalia, and became invested with much of the paraphernalia of the heathen festival.” 14
In Rome, the Saturnalia was the most vile, immoral feast that ever disgraced that pagan city. It was a season of license, drunkenness and debauchery. The spirit of revelry prevailed, and the entire city wantonly indulged in the filthiest sorts of immorality imaginable.
Dear reader, isn’t it plainly obvious to you, that though its name has been changed, the same spirit of merriment is present in our modern Christmas celebrations? There is no doubting the fact that Christmas is the most drunken, immoral time of the whole year. Any liquor salesman would tell you that more alcoholic beverages are bought, sold, given, and consumed at Christmas than at any other time of the year. That fact alone assures me that Christmas is not of YAHUAH! If it were, it would be a time of holiness and repentance, of drawing closer to YAHUAH and turning from sin. It would be a time when true spirituality and godliness abounded, but instead, just the opposite it true. The public celebrates it just as the ancient Saturnalia was celebrated, with drunkenness and office parties, with revelry and lewdness, with blasphemy and indulgence in every sort of sin imaginable. This is the true spirit behind Christmas.
One writer commented, “It is a time when the world is turned over to drunkenness, revelry, debauchery, shame, and misrule. It is a time of ex changing gifts, singing religious songs called Christmas carols, and at the time the whole world is one madhouse, religious and otherwise. The non-religious world will cover up their ungodliness and wickedness with Christmas carols which will be played and sung in every saloon, every sporting house, every gambling hall, and every brothel over the world. The religious world will give vent to the wickedness of their hearts in these days of debauchery under the guise that they are celebrating the birthday of Messiah. Thousands of church members will get drunk at Christmas when they would not get drunk at any other time. Church will turn their buildings over to Christmas pageants, Christmas programs, Christmas trees, and exchanging of gifts, with hilarity and frivolity, in the spirit of the festival. All of these in their different spheres will believe they are doing YAHUAH’s will. Christmas Day will be a day of feasting and drinking, drunkenness and dancing and frivolity, as very seldom witnessed at other times of the year. Is this they way to celebrate the birthday of Messiah? I certainly wouldn’t want you to celebrate my birthday like that. Then how sacrilegious it is to celebrate the birthday of the ADONAI YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH in such a manner.” 15
5. All the elements and symbols commonly associated with Christmas have pagan overtones and idolatrous significance. Haven’t you ever been curious about what Santa Claus, exchanging gifts, trees, ornaments, lights holly, etc., has to do with the birth of Messiah? Actually, they have nothing at all to do with His birth, and nothing whatsoever to do with True Believers! But they do have a lot to do with the idolatrous feast of the Saturnalia. For instance:
The Christmas tree, holly, ivy, and mistletoe greenery were widely considered as symbols of immortality and fertility among the ancient pagan nations, since these evergreens never lost their leaves or turned brown (symbolizing death) through the winter season as did the other trees. Therefore, a certain reverence was attached to them by the superstitious pagans.
Says one author, “Our primitive forefathers brought in green branches at the winter solstice, and used them in magical rites to ensure the return of vegetation. Roman houses were decorated with laurel and bay … and for many centuries now, Christian homes and churches have burst into greenery at Christmas time. It is true that the early church forbade the custom, as savoring of paganism, but it was too deeply rooted for such prohibitions to have permanent effect. Holly, ivy and mistletoe are the favorite decorations now, as they were in earlier times. To our ancestors they were strong life symbols, not only because they are evergreens, but also because, unlike most plants, they bear fruit in winter. By tradition, holly is masculine and ivy feminine, thus both are needed if all in the house are to share in the blessings they imply (i.e., fertility). Mistletoe, the Golden Bough of classical legend, was held sacred by the Celtic Druids and by the Norsemen. It was once called … the plant of peace, under which enemies were reconciled in ancient Scandinavia. It brought good luck and fertility. It protected the house that contained it from witchcraft and was an antidote to poison. Yet, unlike holly and ivy, it never quite lost it heathen character…” 16
Another states, “Why kissing is associated with mistletoe is somewhat obscure. But because of mistletoe’s role as a fertility symbol, it stands to reason that the kissing associated with it carries sexual rather than merely platonic implications. The practice is believed to have originated with the Celtic Midsummer Eve ceremony when the mistletoe was gathered. During that festival the men would kiss each other as a display of their homosexuality. The custom was later broadened to include both men and women. Some historians believe that kissing under the mistletoe is reminiscent of the temple prostitution and sexual license that was most prolific during the Roman Saturnalia.” 17
Thus we can plainly see that the use of this greenery at Christmas perpetuates that ancient religious rites and superstitions that YAHUAH so vehemently condemns.
Make no mistake, the current custom of cutting down a perfectly good, healthy tree, propping it up in our homes, and decorating it with tinsel and globes certainly does not spring from any Qodeshiym (Set-Apart Believers) tradition! It was an idolatrous practice of the ancient pagans, that has been passed down through the centuries. Why should the Assembly of ADONIA YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH perpetuate a custom that is anti-Messiah in nature?
One writer stated “millions of young trees are annually sacrificed to satisfy American’s Christmas god, Tammuz. During the weeks of Christmas festivities one is met everywhere with these dead evergreen trees arrayed in their glitter and tinsel, reminding us of the lifeless pagan gods of old. But behold! As the fervor of festivity dies down, out goes the stripped and bedraggled remains of the Christmas god into the junk pile! Yet thousands of untaught people will gladly go hungry and willingly deprive their families of necessary things in order to buy and decorate this same Christmas tree. The first decorating of an evergreen tree was done by pagans in honor of their god Adonis, who after being slain was brought to life by the serpent Aesculapius. The representation of this slain god was a dead stump of a tree. Around this stump coiled the snake Aesculapius, a symbol of restoring life . And lo, from the roots of the dead tree comes forth another and different tree-an evergreen tree symbolic to pagans of a god who cannot die! In Egypt this god was worshipped in a palm tree as Baal-Tamar. The fir tree was worshipped in Rome as the same new born god as Baal-Berith, who was restored to life by the same serpent, and a feast was held in honor of him on December 25th called the ‘Birthday of the unconquered Sun’.” 18
In numerous Scriptural passages, the “green ” tree is associated with false worship and idolatry. 19
Since most trees are green at one time or another, these passages most certainly refer to a tree that is especially noted for being green – the evergreen. With that in mind, consider what YAHUAH says in YIRMEYAHU (Jeremiah) 10:1-5, and compare it to the present custom of decorating a tree at Christmas time:
“Hear ye the word which YAHUAH speaketh unto you, O house of Yashar’el (Israel): “Thus saith YAHUAH, Learn not the way of the heathen, … For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must be borne, because they cannot go.”
Although some commentaries have suggested that the trees mentioned in this passage were carved into the shapes of varying pagan deities, we must acknowledge that in fact, the verses say nothing about the tree being shaped or carved at all-only that it was cut down out of the forest by a workman with an axe, and then decorated with silver and gold, just like the modern Christmas tree. In commenting on this passage, one writer well noted: “Now of course the people in the days of Jeremiah, as the context goes on to show, were actually making an idol out of the tree. We do not mean to infer that people who today place Christmas trees in their homes and churches are WORSHIPPING the tree. What we are saying is that today’s use of the tree is plainly a carry over from paganism …” 20
Though you may insist that you do not worship the Christmas tree, you cannot deny that the whole concept is pagan!
Then too, we must mention the “dark presence” many have felt when in a dimly lit room with a Christmas tree. Not merely the over-active imaginations of “spooky” individuals, bringing these forbidden objects into your home does indeed invite in another presence also-the spirits associated with the rites and rituals of the ancient pagan fertility groves, in which the evergreens played an integral part. Commenting on this very thing, one researcher said, “The phenomenon of evergreen inside a house has a presence far beyond its festive meaning. Innocent enough in a modern room, or in any room fully lit for the occasions, it may have quite another effect in a house not brightly lit; holly in clumps at picture level-above you, in fact-can frown darkly, gather shadows, appear to contain some sort of suspended life . Similarly, the presence of even a medium- sized Christmas tree, unlit, stands like a personage . Such impressions are not consciously welcomed … but they are part of the same thing, and of a strangeness to the house with all its new reflections of tinseled glitter, its mirrors freshly alive. Nowadays few people may notice this in the crowded time before Christmas; but it can still be felt in the quieter evenings that follow. It is a powerful time, full of ancient apprehensions. Along-side the brightness … there rides a darkness of old instincts.” 21
Discerning Christians have long realized that many objects, especially those associated with occultism or idolatry, actually attract demon spirits like magnets attract iron. Be forewarned, Christmas presents may not be the only presence around your tree! When will Christians obey YAHUAH’s command to, “Learn not the way of the heathen … for the customs of the people are vain.”
The Exchanging of Gifts . For many people, buying and exchanging gifts is the most important part of Christmas. Many go heavily in to debt to buy presents that can’t afford to give to people they don’t even like! Most assume that the Christmas tradition of exchanging gifts is a reenactment of the Magi bringing gifts to YAHUSHA, but such is plainly not the case. There is indisputable evidence that exchanging gifts at this time of the year was in important part of the Roman Saturnalia celebration. Said one author, “The tradition of gift-giving during the holiday season began even before there was a Christmas. Ancient Romans exchanged gifts during the winter festival of Saturnalia.” 22
Tertullian also mentions that the practice of exchanging gifts at this season was a part of the pagan Roman Saturnalia. When this mid-winter festival was adopted into the Roman church, this custom was also adopted. As usual, however, apostate leaders tried to find some point of similarity between the pagan and Christian religion – to make the merger seem less obvious. In this case, reference was made to the fact that the wise men when they came to see the Messiah-child presented to him gifts. Some suppose that this is where the custom of exchanging gifts at Christmas time came. But not so. The wise men did not exchange gifts among themselves. They presented their gifts to YAHUSHA who was born king of the Yahudiym (Jews). (It was an Eastern custom to present gifts when coming into the presence of a king.) But these gifts were not birthday gifts. 23
How do we know that these were not birthday gifts? Because the Magi (wise men) did not come to visit YAHUSHA until He was nearly two years old! (Matthew 2:16) The shepherds came from the fields to visit YAHUSHA at His birth, but it was nearly two years later before the Magi arrived. Even if we believed that the Magi brought “Christmas presents” to YAHUSHA, how does that justify our buying gifts for each other? Shouldn’t we instead give some sort of a sacrificial gift or offering to the Congregation, Messiah’s body? (I Corinthians 12:27) Wouldn’t that be much more consistent? After all, it is supposed to be His birthday, isn’t it? What would you think, if the whole world celebrated your birthday, but no one brought presents to you? What then must Messiah think? Everyone comes together in the spirit of the celebration, and gives gifts at Christmas to everyone but Him. And it’s supposed to His birthday they’re celebrating! Sadly, people often buy so many gifts (for people who don’t really need them), that they have nothing left to give to YAHUAH!
One writer, in reference to this pagan custom, said, “The exchange of gifts and greetings at or near Christmas time began long before Christianity. In the beginning these … presents are said to have been simple boughs of greenery brought from the groves of the goddess Strenia, … Many were charms as well as gifts.” 24
Did you know that the early Qodeshiym (Set-Apart Ones, Believers) refused to exchange gifts at this time of the year? They knew where the custom came from! It was thoroughly pagan. “Because gift-giving was so essential a part of the pagan celebrations, the early Assembly frowned upon it as sternly as upon other and more questionable New Year customs. In the first centuries, Believers did not give each other presents in the Christmas season.” 25
Christians in the United States did not practice this heathen custom of exchanging gifts at Christmas until the 19th century 26
, when the merchants revived it in order to enrich their own coffers. It’s a merchants’ holiday! As much as 50 percent of some merchants’ business is transacted at this time of y ear, so you know why they love Christmas.
What a joyous liberation the people of YAHUAH experience when they forsake this pagan ritual. I didn’t realize what a burden I carried until YAHUAH delivered me from the whole heathen practice. Did you know that the only place in the entire Scripture where the exchanging of gifts is mentioned is in Revelation 11:10: “And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another …” Although this sounds like Christmas, the context plainly shows it to be a wicked celebration of the death of YAHUAH’s servants. Then (as now), it will be an anti-Believers celebration. Can you see anything “Scripturally” in this commercial, materialistic, drunken festival? Dear reader, why don’t you give up this carry-over-from-paganism custom? Messiah isn’t glorified in it. If anything, He’s forgotten!
Santa Claus. Some would have us to believe that America’s jolly Santa Claus was once Saint Nicholas, a kindly old saint who generously gave gifts to the needy. The facts of history however, prove otherwise. Actually there is no valid evidence that any “St. Nick” ever existed (in spite of Roman Catholic tradition). But the customs and traditions from which Santa Claus evolved, trace him back to Odin or Saturn – the sun-god himself! Santa has been called by many names in different countries down through the centuries, but the customs that surround him have remained steadfastly the same. He has always been “an old, old, very old gray-bearded gentle man, and this is as it should be for his age is immense. Once he was Odin … But when Qodeshiym (Set-Apart Ones) drove away the old gods, he remained, and appeared again as St. Nicholas.” He “is always someone mysterious and shadowy, outside the run of ordinary human experience. His home is far away in Heaven or at the North Pole or in some remote country from which he comes on horseback, or in a sleigh drawn by reindeer. He may come secretly by night, or openly in the winter daylight, accompanied by a train of masked demons and strange animal forms. Often he is associated with fire , entering the house by the chimney, or leaving gifts by the hearth” (remember, he’s a sun-god ), and “like the ancient gods from whom he is descended, he can read the heart and know s the hidden thoughts and actions of those he visits.” 27
Undeniably, Santa Claus is a “elohim (god)” of some sort, for he has attributes of deity. He can visit every house on earth in one night (omnipresence); he knows everything about every child’s behavior (omniscience); he rewards the good and punishes the bad, just like YAHUAH! Even Christian parents have suggested to their own children that Santa is god, by saying things like, “You’d better be good because Santa is watching you ,” or “Let’s go and tell Santa what you want for Christmas.” etc. What an abomination this is in YAHUAH’s sight, for Christian parents to teach their children to reverence Santa instead of Him! YAHUAH said, “Thou shalt have no other elohiyms (gods) before me” (Exodus 20:3). As one author asked, concerning a “divinity” attached to Santa Claus, “Can it be that we are back again with Odin, the ancient gift-bringer, still going invisibly about at yuletide, as in past centuries, through the lands where he was once supreme?” Make no mistake, this Santa Claus is nothing less than the pagan god once worshipped as Odin or Saturn!
“They provoked him to jealousy with strange elohiyms (gods). They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not YAHUAH; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities.” (Deut. 32:16,21)
Shockingly, the first “Santa” can be traced all the way back to a Carthaginian deity, a huge bronze idol whose fat swollen belly was an oven, and whose arms were extended making a “lap” or an “altar”, to which parents brought their children, and laid them on that lap to be roasted alive! As an act of devotion to their false elohiym (god), they sacrificed their own children. In the ancient custom, the children themselves were the presents the parents gave to “Santa.” That gives a whole new significance to the act of bringing your children to Santa, and sitting them on his lap, doesn’t it? Did you realize, that in so doing you were re-enacting an actual scenario of ancient child sacrifice? How dare we bring our children to this false elohim (god) and encourage them to supplicate him for gifts and blessings? YAHUAH will hold us accountable! We must forsake this idolatrous Santa-worship immediately.
“Make no mention of the name of other elohiyms (gods) (i.e., Santa Claus?), neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” (Exodus 23:13)
6. The early Qodeshiym (Set-Apart Ones) consistently refused to celebrate Christmas! The Roman Saturnalia with all of its festivities, merriment, garlands, lights, trees , exchanging of gifts, revelry, drunkenness, orgiastic sex, etc., was so thoroughly pagan and anti-Messiah in nature, the true followers of Messiah considered the whole celebration an abomination. It is well known and well documented, that the early Qodeshiym (Set-Apart Ones) did not celebrate Christmas at all. “Within the Qodeshiym Assembly no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and that not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance.” 29
As previously noted, the Roman Catholic church adopted every aspect of the Saturnalia, and renamed it-supposedly sanctifying it and giving it a “Christian” significance. But it’s still a pagan festival though it wears a Christian name!
Whenever Christians longed for true spirituality and returned to the Scriptures as their source for all practice and belief, one of the first things they did was to forsake the unscriptural Christmas celebration. In England in 1644, parliament banned Christmas, calling it “the Profane Man’s Ranting Day”. The Puritans disapproved of the Catholic implications of “Christ’s Mass” and the worldliness associated with the holiday. 30
Even here in America, it was once against the law to celebrate Christmas, and anyone caught doing so was fined. “In 1659, Massachusetts passed a law fining anyone caught celebrating Christmas. Throughout New England, Christmas was suppressed.” 31
Although the Catholic influence was hard to suppress for long, and those laws were repealed some 20 years later, public schools remained open in Boston on December 25th until 1870. “In the United States traditional Christmas customs were at first suppressed (as in England under the Commonwealth), because of the Puritan objection to them as pagan in origin, but since the middle of the 19th century the celebrations have become increasingly popular and commercialized.” 32
Today few Americans know that Christmas was once outlawed in their country. Of course, we are not suggesting that laws be passed banning Christmas; only that sincere Christians honestly decide whether they should participate in such an unscriptural pagan festivity.
Dear reader, if Christmas were really of YAHUAH, the world would hate it! But the same sinners who hate Messiah love Christmas. The biggest thieves, drunkards, liars, adulterers and hypocrites love Christmas. They love the parties, the festivities, the carols and the feasting and the merriment, but they hate everything that is truly spiritual. That should tell us it’s wrong. For whatever the world loves, YAHUAH is sure to hate!
“Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of YAHUAH” (James 4:4).
How tragic it is that the Christian church today continues to hold this unholy alliance with the world in the celebration of Christmas. They put up the same forbidden trees in their homes (Jeremiah 10:1-5), cover it with globes (symbols of the sun – remember the Saturnalia is sun worship), they hand lights and garlands all around house and hearth (pagan symbols of firs and fertility), they lie to their children about Santa Claus (read Revelation 21:8 and see where liars go), and engage in virtually every other aspect of this renamed pagan festival, just like the world! Then they weakly encourage their congregations to “put Christ back into Christmas”. Messiah never was in Christmas, nor will He ever be! He never was a part of this fleshly, sensual, wicked festival. Even the very name “Christ-mas” smacks of the heretical rites that claim to offer up Christ as a sacrifice again and again, in a heathen “mass” (cf. Hebrews 9:26, 28).
Do not think that this pagan holiday has been sanctified simply because it has been renamed. It’s no less an abomination today than it was thousands of years ago. The Scripture asks: “Can the leopard change its spots?” (Jeremiah 13:23) Of course not! You might stop calling it a leopard and start calling it a “puppy” or a “kitten,” or you could paint it white and call it a dog, but you haven’t changed its nature one iota! It’s still a leopard, and still a dangerous, devouring beast. And so it is with Christmas. Underneath the “Christian” veneer, it is still the Roman Saturnalia! They’ve changed its name but not its nature. YAHUSHA said, “a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit,” and “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matthew 7:17-18). Take an honest look this holiday season, and see the “fruit” this festival produces. Certainly not the fruits of repentance. You don’t see godliness everywhere you look, but ungodliness. Licentious behavior, wantonness, revelry, drunkenness, materialism, greed, covetousness, fornication and merriment, all supposedly in celebration of the QODESH (Set-apart) Son of YAHUAH. How YAHUAH must grieve over the brazen sin of polluting His QODESH (Set-Apart) name with this abominable filth.
Some Christians readily acknowledge the pagan origins of Christmas, but offer all sorts of worldly compromising excuses and participate in it anyway. Some think it to be a good time to witness to sinners about Messiah. While it is never wrong to witness, it is always wrong to sin! And you don’t have to compromise with the world in order to witness to the world. In fact , in order for our witness to be effective, just the opposite must be true. We must be different from the world. We must be a light set on a hill, a QODESH (Set-Apart), peculiar people (cf. Matthew 5:13-16; I Pete r 2:9). YAHUAH says to the Assembly in our generation to come out from spiritual Babylon; come out from all that is false is religion.
“Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins.” (Revelation 18:4)
As II Corinthians 6:17-18 says, we must “come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing!” There can be no agreement between the temple of YAHUAH and idols, no fellowship between truth and lies , not mixture of paganism with Set-Apart Ones …
“for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath YAHUAH with Belial?” (II Corinthians 6:14-15)
Shall we follow the world and join with those who blaspheme and cast our ADONIA out in drunkenness and revelry in the celebration of the birthday of our ADONIA YAHUSHA? Never! The Scriptures say, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Exodus 23:2).
But won’t we deprive the children if we don’t celebrate Christmas? Deprive them of what? The truth? If you really want to deprive them, continue to celebrate the world’s holidays, continue to celebrate the Romish Saturnalia; set up the forbidden idolatrous tree, continue to lie to your children about Santa Claus, and you will deprive them and yourself of truth, light, and maybe much more than that. (If you read Revelation 21:8 earlier, you know where liars go.) Christians, we are responsible to bring up our children “in the nurture and admonition of YAHUAH” (Ephesians 6:4), not in the ways of the world. We are responsible to teach them the truth, and to walk in the truth ourselves!
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. YAHUAH is spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4: 23-24)
YAHUAH is seeking those who will forsake the false ways, who will lay aside the traditions of men, who will worship YAHUAH in the beauty of holiness, and will not compromise the truth!
YAHUSHA saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6)
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13)
”Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” (John 17:17, 19) “He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” (Psalm 96:13)
YAHUAH loves truth. He is concerned for the truth. He longs for those who will believe the truth, and worship Him in truth! But friend, there isn’t a shred of truth in Christmas. Everything about this holiday is false, corrupt, idolatrous and pagan. It is one big lie! What will you do? What will you follow? What will you believe?
“As for me and my house, we shall serve YAHUAH.” (Joshua 24:15)
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in YAHUAH: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable to YAHUAH. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful work s of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:8-11)
YAHUAH help us to be a QODESH (SET-APART), separate people!
1. Christina Hole, cover sheet, Christmas and Its Customs.
2. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 91.
3. Ralph Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 160.
4. Ibid., p. 162.
5. The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1965 Ed., Vol. 2.
6. Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia Vol. 1, p. 259.
7. The Bible , Rom. 3:24-25; 5:1,9; Col. 1:22;
Heb. 9 :14- 15,26,28; 10:10,19-20.
8. George W. Curtis, Christmas, p. 9.
9 Charles Haff, The Message of the Christian Jew,
newsletter, Nov./Dec. 1977.
10. Ralph Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 163.
11. Encyclopedia Americana, Vol. 6. p. 623.
12. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1968 Ed,. Vol. 5. pp. 704, 705.
13. George W. Curtis, Christmas, p. 5.
14. 0. M. Spencer. Christmas Throughout Christendom, p. 19.
15. L. R. Shelton. Christmas, A Demon Holiday, pp. 3,4.
16. Christina Hole. Christmas and Its Customs, pp. 21,22.
17. Albert James Dager, “The Origins of Christmas Tradition,” Media Spotlight, p. 2.
18. R. F. Becker. The Truth About Christmas, pp. 19.20.
19. The Bible, Deut. 12:2. I Ki. 14:23; II Ki. 16:4; 17:10; Eze. 6 :13.
20. Ralph Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion. pp. 165, 166.
21. William Sansom, A Book of Christmas, pp. 45,46.
22. Lasley F. Gober, The Christmas Lover’s Handbook,
23. Ralph Woodrow. Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 164.
24. Christina Hole, Christmas and Its Customs , p. 35.
25. Ibid., p. 36.
26 Ibid ., p.13.
27. Ibid., p. 42,43.
28. Ibid., p. 50.
29. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons p. 93.
30. “Lagniappe,” The Times Picayune, Dec. 19. 1982.
32. Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 5, p. 705.
Edited by GWT