“Merry Christmas” and “a happy New Year”
During this period I receive/read many publications from many friends wishing me/us a “Merry Christmas” and “a happy New Year”, which is very kind of you. And I really thank you for taking the time and being so kind!
This is always a strange time to me because I don't reply with the same type of wishes, and I can feel your disappointment... That happens because we don't celebrate Christmas. So, I try to answer as politely as I can, in order not to hurt anyone's feelings. I really would hate if my words would cause that to anybody!
But I feel that some of you feel strange about this... How can he be Christian and not celebrate Christmas?, I almost hear you ask yourselves! And that is a legitimate question.
Well, let me try to explain this in a simple way.
We're Christian, that's right. We're Jehovah's Witnesses, to be more precise. And Jehovah's Witnesses around the world follow the Bible, the Holly Book in which all Christian faiths are rooted. As that's the reason why we don't celebrate Jesus birth. How so?!
You see, in the Bible, there are no instructions given to Christians to celebrate Jesus's birth. Therefore, we believe that if Jehovah1 and Jesus wanted us to celebrate Jesus's birth that would be very explicit in the Holly Scriptures, but it isn't. We're not even given the day on which he was born! Besides, there aren't any references to Jesus's birthday celebrations during his whole life either!
And the same applies to the “New Year” celebrations...
Of one thing one can be sure: Jesus wasn't born in Winter. We can be sure about that because Caesar Augustus had ordered the registration of the whole people under his reign and that wouldn't probably happen in Winter, as we can read in Luke 2:1-3. Moreover, we also know that the shepherds we're “living out of doors”, according to Luke 2:8, taking care of their flocks of sheep. And that wouldn't happen in Winter either!
And, if you're good at Maths, you can even estimate when Jesus was born by counting backward from his death on Passover. And you'll be able to see that he was born in the early fall of 2 B.C.E.
So, why do people celebrate Christmas on December 25? Well, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it is probably because church leaders chose that date “to coincide with the pagan Roman festival marking the ‘birthday of the unconquered sun,’” at the time of the winter solstice.
To conclude, I would simply say that there is no solid biblical basis for Christians to celebrate Christmas, as well as the New Year, and that's the reason why we, my family and all Jehovah's Witnesses around the Earth don't celebrate them.
You can find further information on the subject following this link: When Was Jesus Born? | Bible Questions. If you want, you can read the same information in Portuguese: Quando é que Jesus nasceu? | Perguntas Bíblicas Respondidas.
With my deepest and sincere best wishes for you all.
Thank you for reading.
- Jehovah is God's name, which you can read in Psalm 83:18, for example.