Why Do Christians Celebrate Christmas? Here Is What You Should Know

Why Do Christians Celebrate Christmas? Here Is What You Should Know

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: Christians celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, whom they believe is the Son of God and the savior of humanity.

The word “Christmas” is derived from the Old English phrase “Cristes Maesse,” which means the Mass of Christ. The celebration is rooted in Christian theology and tradition.

The Bible does not specify the exact date of Jesus’ birth, and December 25th was chosen as the date for Christmas by early Christians, possibly to coincide with existing pagan winter solstice festivals or to provide an alternative celebration during the Roman Saturnalia.


Despite the uncertain historical accuracy of the chosen date, Christmas has become a significant religious and cultural observance for Christians worldwide.

The central theme of Christmas for Christians is the incarnation, the belief that God took on human form in the person of Jesus Christ.


The Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Bible provide accounts of the miraculous birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, where he is born to the Virgin Mary.

The nativity story includes the visit of the shepherds and the Magi (wise men), who bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn.

In addition to religious observances such as church services and prayers, Christmas has also become a time for Christians to celebrate with family and friends, exchange gifts, and engage in acts of charity and goodwill.


Over the centuries, various cultural traditions and customs have been incorporated into the celebration of Christmas, making it a festive and joyous occasion for people around the world, whether they are Christian or not.

When Christmas Was Cancelled

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.

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