Home Uncategorized Christmas…A Heart’s Deepest Joy or Greatest Terror

Christmas…A Heart’s Deepest Joy or Greatest Terror

by Kelly Crawford

Most Americans celebrate Christmas. (Well, some of my Christian friends didn’t, but that’s another post 😉

And I always ask, “What are the non-believers celebrating?”

Those who have mocked their very Creator the entire year (either openly or simply by their denial), put on red hats and buy gifts, and have feasts, and wear bells–they celebrate. But what do they celebrate?

I haven’t pondered it much, but this morning as I was sweeping the floor, I had this deep sense of grief. For each person who celebrated apart from being Redeemed by Jesus’ blood, should have been rather in mourning this season.

The reality of Christmas is nothing but the Savior’s birth. That’s it.

And if His birth, and consequently death and life, hasn’t changed you into a new creature, then his birth is the most terrible news to have ever fallen on human ears!

There is nothing to celebrate for those who are lost and in rejection of the “Glad tidings we bring”.

For the believer, there is everything–freedom from sin, from fear, and from death itself.

For the non-believer this short breath of life and what joy you can squeeze out of it is it…and after that the judgement.

But the believer–even beyond eternal hope and redemption is, truly, peace on earth. The wonder of that, the exhilaration of knowing that my life rests in the hand of a sovereign God is too wonderful for me.

And my heart cries out this morning, for the world. For the lost. That Emmanuel will draw you to Himself.

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Bernice December 27, 2008 - 12:58 pm

Hello Kelly,
I have been keeping up with your blog for a few weeks and I love reading your words. They encourage and challenge me. I like that.

I have often wonder myself what non-believers celebrate. I am so glad to say it is my Deepest JOY! To be able to teach my child the meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it.
I have also wondered what Christians celebrate at halloween. ???

Word Warrior December 27, 2008 - 1:20 pm


Good question (Halloween), and one I ask too…I’m a very “live on purpose” kind of person 😉 so I tend to not take the road, “well it’s just fun”…everything stands for something, everything has a purpose, and if Christians are celebrating, I think it’s important that that thing is worthy of celebration!

Ana Smith December 27, 2008 - 1:24 pm Reply
Word Warrior December 27, 2008 - 2:07 pm


Read it, loved it! Here’s a link to the chapter for anyone who wants to read it…


Fearfully and Wonderfully Made December 27, 2008 - 2:43 pm

We do not celebrate, in the traditional way. It's not His birthday, & the Bible has no command to celebrate such a thing. However, it is winter solstice, & the Roman church (yet again) married pagan with what *they* deemed to be "Christian", deciding it would satisfy both "Christian" & pagan alike so why not just make it His birthday.

Look at what happened to the Israelites everytime they got involved in the pagan activities & culture… & we wonder what's happening to our society. It's very easy to research the pagan origins of Christmas as it's quite easy access information; quite well known.

Consider the following verses:
About trying to keep a pagan custom: 1Cor 10:21
About the tree specifically:
Jer 10:2-4

That being said I believe there are many Christians celebrating what they believe to be His birthday with a heart for Him, however, in looking around, as you did, at all going on this season & how many celebrate & don't even know what they are doing, it's odd that it doesn't make more Christians question it…
but unfortunately I think many of them really don't know what they are doing. I think many are seeing the emptiness of the season but refuse to give up tradition. 🙁

Civilla December 27, 2008 - 4:22 pm

Amen! “…To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.” (II Corinthians 2:16)

Mrs. Lady Sofia December 27, 2008 - 8:58 pm

This year, as well as last year, I have been pondering the meaning of Christmas.

Unfortunately, I think Christmas means different things to different people. For some people, they celebrate Christmas to remember the birth of Christ. To others, it’s just “another holiday” where commercialism is the central theme. Others don’t celebrate Christmas at all because they believe that it’s NOT a Christian holiday, and that it has its origins in Saturnalia and Paganism.

Because of all the different beliefs and feelings towards Christmas, I don’t know if Christ is really at the center of the holiday or not. I’m still leaning towards Christmas being mostly overly commercialized with “bits and pieces” of Christianity mixed in along with myths such as Santa Claus and his magical reindeer.

In conclusion, I think the real meaning of Christmas is lost, if there is any meaning to it in the first place. Although I have celebrated the holiday for years without much contemplation, I feel that I need to begin re-evaluating the reasons for celebrating this festive holiday.

yoshi3329 December 28, 2008 - 8:25 am

@Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

1.)Nowhere in the New Testament are we commanded to observe the birth of Christ, however, at the same time, neither are we commanded not to observe it.

2.)The Early Church Fathers debated over the time of Christ’s birth around AD 200 and there is some evidence that Christians commemorated the birth of Christ although the dates were different. As of AD 354, December 25 was labeled as the date of Christ’s birth. The Church had attempted to stomp out the cult of Mithra, the sun of god by declaring that it would instead celebrate the birth of the “sun of righteousness” (Malachi 4:2), a title understood to be messianic. The move of the Church stomped out Mithraism in a matter of time.

3.)About Jer 10:2-4, Thus, what God is condemning through Jeremiah is idolatry. In other words Jeremiah is trying to show the utter foolishness of worshipping idols since they are hewn out of trees and are nothing but the creation of men’s hands.

Should we stop using wood because some people seek out for themselves “a skillful craftsman to prepare an idol that will not totter” (Isaiah 40:20)? Are all trees pagan because pagans have used trees to create idols? Of course not. The Bible tells us, even in a post-fall world, “everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude” (1 Timothy 4:4; cf. Genesis 1:31).

Just because pagans might have used trees to worship their gods does not mean that we can’t use them to teach us something about God who has given us the “indescribable gift” of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 9:15). The Christmas tree, as it is now designated, is an evergreen that reminds us that we have “eternal life” in Jesus Christ (John 6:40). The shape of the tree reminds us that we are “born from above” (John 3:3). The needles on the branches remind us that Jesus was “pierced through for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5).

The lights hung on the tree remind us that Jesus is “the light of the world” (John 8:12) and through Him we are to be “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). The ornaments we hang on the tree and the presents we place under the tree remind us that “every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).



Hope that helps!

yoshi3329 December 28, 2008 - 9:05 am

Also, follow the link to read Matthew Henry’s commentary on

Jeremiah 10:1-10

He correctly realizes that its about pagans and their Idolatry.

Crystal Richey December 28, 2008 - 10:39 am

I agree with you Yoshi. I don’t see Jeremiah talking about a Christmas tree at all. I have always seen it as describing idols carved out of wood.
My family celebrates Christmas to celebrate Christ’s birth. We do not do the whole Santa Clause thing. I believe Santa takes away the glory from our Lord.
Children singing songs about being good so they can get lots of presents from Santa just seems wrong to me.
Shouldn’t we be teaching kids that they should be obeying God, not a fictional character.

Ace December 28, 2008 - 11:24 am

Hi, had to jump in here. Jer 10 doesn’t say anything about a tree being carved.
here is the verse
3For 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.

4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

I would say this cuts apart anyone’s “feelings” about the whole issue, no? The Word of God usually does that. And, yeah, I know we don’t use silver and gold, we use glass and plastic now. They also didn’t have walmart back then 🙂

This argument keeps going around and around and I don’t get why. It is the same argument that Christians have with halloween. It is a pagan holyday, it has been for centuries. Pagans DECORATED trees. Google yule and you will see that the very same way you decorate your home is the exact way they do. They are just able to tell you why (ex. reindeer for santa are representatives of the stag god that many worship, holly was used by the druids in human sacrifice, etc).

They ARE celebrating something, isn’t that evident all around you! The celebrate their rebellion to OUR God. This is the high time for violence, suicide, depression and greed. It isn’t the most wonderful time of the year…that is just a catchy song.

Just because this holyday has been marketed as fun and because we “feel” like doing it, doesn’t mean it has anything to do with the One True God.

Many Blessings 🙂

Mother of Dog December 28, 2008 - 11:41 am

Now if you celebrated Hanukkah, you wouldn’t be having this difficulty. 😉

(I’m joking….Happy Holidays and God Bless Everyone! No Exceptions!)

Kim M. December 29, 2008 - 7:00 am

This is so true Kelly! You can see and sense the emptiness everywhere in those who have no hope.

aimai December 29, 2008 - 7:48 am

Oh, I don’t know, we had a pretty good time. My family has always celebrated both a modified christmas and channuka. My father saw no reason we should be forced to give up a perfectly good roman holiday, saturnalia, by either religion. And we had a wonderful time. We were all together–my parents, my brother and his family, myself, my husband and our children, and we just loved each other as much as we could.

The idea that the world, or even most people, could or should live in terror because they don’t accept or require christian salvation is really odd, to me. Most of us atheists or non christians live lives of quiet happiness.

I heard a really funny joke this christmas–a man dies and goes to heaven where g-d gives him a tour around. He sees all colors, all sizes, all kinds of people sitting together in a beautiful paradise singing, sharing food, dancing, and enjoying themselves. They are muslims, christians, hindus, buddhists, jews–everyone. Then they come to a part of paradise that is walled off with high walls and from inside he hears the same sounds of joy and merriment. “What’s behind the wall?” he asks g-d? What’s different about that part of paradise?” “Oh, nothing,” says the creator “we reserve that part for the fundamentalist christians. They can’t enjoy themselves if they think anyone got into heaven.”


Word Warrior December 29, 2008 - 10:56 am


That would be a funny joke if it were true…and you may be terrified if you believed the truth.

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…no one comes to the Father but by me.”

“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord’…but I will say to them, “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity, into the eternal darkness prepared for you. For I never knew you.”

We follow Christ, not because we are afraid of hell, though that’s a reality of our religion. We follow Him out of love and the redemption He gives to those who believe. It is a glorious faith, free of fear for the one who believes.

But for the one who does not, yes, there is a real torment that awaits. If you don’t believe that, obviously, you will live a “happy” life. But on the day when every knee bows, and every tongue will confess, the torment will be made a reality that cannot be reversed.

I just want to stand before the Lord and say, “I tried to tell them.”

Ace December 29, 2008 - 11:38 am


Let me get this straight, you are putting faith in your eternal life …..in a good joke you heard? Wow, I got a bridge to sell you then too 🙂

Kelly is right with the verses she quotes, I don’t stand on feelings or jokes or what we think may be right. God was very specific for anyone who cares to read the Bible. They same people who say they can’t believe they will go to hell because they don’t choose Christ have obviously not read the ot where people were put to death for disobeying the law, one they would think is silly now.

It isn’t what you think or feel, God has not changed. He makes the rules, if you don’t like it, you pay a price. Period. Like Kelly, I won’t answer to the Mighty One that I stayed silent. May the scales fall from your eyes friend before it is too late.

JESUS is the ONLY way to eternal life, anything else is a lie from the devil. And there is no debate where he is going.

Many Blessings 🙂

aimai December 29, 2008 - 12:28 pm

I’ll tell you what. On the day that you can get 3 christians from each of the various christian sects to agree that your interpretation is the only possible one I’ll convert. I’m talking Catholics (and I’d like some Jesuits, Franciscans etc…), Eastern Orthodox, the old Nestorians, Gnostics, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Baptists, Mormons (?), Presbyterians, AME, etc…

And no, of course I’m not “basing my life on a joke.” I’m basing my life, as you are basing yours, on a wide reading of available texts, a sympathetic mind, an open heart, a loving family, and a sure faith that the things which are important to me will live on after me in some way. So, no, I’m not worried about Hell, or worried that g-d is going to smite me, or even lecture me severely, in the afterlife. And like you I’m pretty sure I’ll have the last laugh. Here’s another old joke–she who lives the longest will see the most. Catch you ladies on the flip side where *in keeping with many respected christian and non christian theologians* I’m really sure we are all going to be saved, if anyone is saved.


Kim M. December 29, 2008 - 1:43 pm


To reject Jesus is to reject His gift of eternal life (John 14:6 is proof [Jesus speaking]
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

Imagine telling your husband you wanted to have more than one husband. It would not fly.

God is a jealous God [below verses are also part of the Ten commandments]
Exd 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Exd 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:

Exd 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;

I speak this in love.

Aimai, the part of your joke that is SO WRONG is the part where Christians do not want other people in Heaven. IF we did not care, we would not even discuss it. The lie of Satan is to deceive those who do not love Jesus into beleiving that we are hateful, mean rule makers who hate all those who do not believe our way.

We warn you IN LOVE just as we would try to stop/save you if you were about to be run over by a train or jump off a cliff or some other physical danger.

Salvation is a gift! Please do not reject God’s gift by rejecting Jesus as Lord of your life.

Civilla December 29, 2008 - 2:02 pm

If everybody gets to go to heaven, based on their own goodness or whatever, then Jesus died for nothing. He gave Himself as an atonement for peoples’ sins. If no atonement is needed, because all people are basically good, then He came and died for nothing.

But if He really did die to take the punishment for peoples’ sins, the wrath of God remains on those who reject such a gift, because the Bible says that all humanity is under condemnation because of sin.

Jesus, by the way, talked about hell a lot. I once looked up the words “love, joy and peace”, and the words, “hell, condemnation and judgment” in my Strong’s concordance, and the words “hell, condemnation and judgment” outnumbered “love, joy and peace” clearly two to one.

What kind of a loving God would not warn people of condemnation? I am thankful that along with the warning, He holds out a remedy!

authenticallyme December 30, 2008 - 1:41 pm

I get the joke, and I do find it amusing, even as a born-again christian.

because….i come from an “independent, fundamental, baptist church” backround..and I can tell you I saw with my own eyes, so much DISSENTION over doctrine and theology; it was ridiculous! No one could agree on anything, because everyone had their own “The Gospel according to _______ ” (fill name in the blank). I think Aimai was focusing on the point that there are certain christians who will withhold love, kindness, or acceptance based on certain scripture that they have persoanl convictions over. I didnt see Aimai trying to blasphemous giggle over a joke in Gods name….anyway, its the motivcation of the heart, and intention that is judged, period.

Which brings me to points about ANY holiday or tradition or celebration. None of them are unclean in and of themselves. It is your motivation and intention to why you celebrate something that is important. I am not judged in putting up a tree because pagans did it for their own persopanl reasons in THEIR hearts…Just like a person is not judged for good because they attend church every Sunday. It goes both ways.

And their is plenty of scripture that lays it out pretty plain that we are judged by intention and motivations….not by following any tradition, celebration, or law that is nothing more than a ‘rule’, lacking moral substance or prrof of one.

Kim M. December 30, 2008 - 2:17 pm

I know what you are saying but…

if we base our salvation on what PEOPLE do, then we will be eternally lost. God is not going to say “well Kim , since your cousin Billy Bob was judgmental and mean then I’ll excuse you for letting that pull you into sin”. No way! He will judge me for ME.
It doesn’t matter what people who claim to be Christians do (who knows if they really are except God???), but like you said, it’s an individual’s own heart looks like. The unloving so-called “Christians” will “get theirs”.

However this “everyone is going to Heaven” business is A DANGEROUS, SCARY LIE. It is NOT true.

See verses below:

Mat 7:14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

You know what? Here is the true test: Line it up with God’s word. IF it agrees, then it’s correct. If it doesn’t… then run away from it.

Unfortunately there are going to be a LOT of people who will be surprised to know that the Lord never knew them. We must search our own hearts!

Kim M. December 30, 2008 - 2:22 pm

I should have added the rest:

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

authenticallyme December 31, 2008 - 11:58 am

Hi Kim,

I think I misunderstand you….or we are commenting on two differing topics.

I was commenting moreso on following tradition, or lack thereof…and how motivation is where the real evil lies. Possibly you were commenting on MY comments regarding Aimai’s post? I dont think I said everyone gets to Heaven….???

Kim M. December 31, 2008 - 3:02 pm


I was commenting on your reply to Aimai (not particularly about Christmas trees)

I didn’t say that “you said” everyone was going to Heaven, but Aimai did… and you sympathized and laughed at her joke.

I did not laugh at it because it is a scary, un-funny thought for anyone to believe that all are going to Heaven (as Aimai has said she believes) and I refuse to agree with that or laugh at it.

Regardless of the way “Christians” behave themselves (dissention or not), I am saying that we should not sit around and let it affect our relationship with the Lord.

I have known too many people who whined around about how this or that so-called Christian behaved and then justified turning their back on God because of it.

Maybe I misunderstood you. Not talking face-to-face and typing without the emotion showing can cause confusion. 🙂 I apologize if I misunderstood.


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