Santa Con New York
Fewer and fewer Americans see Christmas as a religious holiday. Above: revelers take to the streets of NYC for an annual Santa-themed bar crawl.

Christmas is a religious holiday, right? I mean, it has to be it's quite literally a celebration of the birth of Christ.

Well, not so fast. They say perception is reality, and a new study from Pew Research Center shows that an increasing number of Americans don't see Christmas as a religious holiday -- offering valuable ammunition to those raising alarm about a supposed "War on Christmas."

Although the vast majority of people (90 percent) continue to celebrate the holiday, 56 percent say the religious elements of Christmas are emphasized less that they used to be. Further, only 32 percent say they're bothered by this trend toward secularism indicative of a general public that doesn't mind seeing Jesus get supplanted by Santa, or Bible verses take a backseat to jolly Christmas jingles.

**Christmas in Danger?


Based on its immense popularity, there is little risk of Christmas losing out to other religious holidays. When pundits drone on about a "War on Christmas," perhaps what they're really talking about is a war on CHRISTmas an erosion of the Christian aspects of the holiday.

The data backs this up. Just 51 percent of people say they'll be attending a Christmas church service this year marking a steep decline from generations past when going to church was practically a requirement.

There's more: as recently as 2013, 65 percent of people surveyed said they believed in the story of Jesus' birth. That number has now fallen to 57 percent a downward trend that should have Christian leaders across the United States squirming in their seats.

Coupled with the removal of nativity scenes and other religious symbols from public places during Christmas-time, and it certainly seems like the meaning of Christmas is changing for many people fast becoming more of a cultural holiday than a religious one.

Secularization vs. Commercialization

While atheists or anyone uncomfortable with religious holidays will likely cheer this shift toward a more secular Christmas, cynics point out that removing Jesus from the holiday risks elevating the importance of "stuff" overpriced gifts, expensive decorations, etc.

If people no longer see church services, Bible verses and prayers as central to the Christmas experience, how will they go about making the holiday exciting? Without an emphasis on Christian principles, critics say, Christmas simply becomes a sad commercial exercise devoid of real meaning an excuse to spend money we don't have on things we don't need.

No doubt big-shot executives in board rooms across the country love this time of year, for it promises large profits and big bonuses.

But is that what Christmas should be about?

Empty pews in a church A Future of Empty Pews

The idea of a "War on Christmas", in the strict sense of the term, is nonsense. It's simply far too popular. After all, who doesn't enjoy taking a day off from work to receive gifts? Santa Claus, festive lights, and the many other secular elements of the holiday are not going away anytime soon.

However, the numbers don't look good for Christmas as a celebration of Christ's birth. Barring a sudden religious revival in America, the pews at Christmas church services once packed to the brim with worshipers will become more and more sparse over time.

Where do you stand? Should Christmas be a secular holiday, or is some of the meaning lost when you remove faith from the equation?


  1. Loretta Boykin's Avatar Loretta Boykin

    I believe the truth about the basis for religion needs to be exposed. Believe people would return for the truth.

  1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

    It was blasphemous to ever put Christ in Christmas. Nothing about the celebration comes from scripture. It would be LESS blasphemous to observe it all with no mention of Christ. That is my 2 cents' worth.

    1. Rev Carolyn's Avatar Rev Carolyn

      John Owens I think you just said it all and so perfectly. I just have to say I totally agree with you.

      1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens


    2. Doug Barron's Avatar Doug Barron

      This is where I'm going. I love my Savior, and I used to love christmas. Now I call it "giftmas". It no longer has no tie to Jesus. I hope that some folk still have faith to try to re-insert Jesus back into the holiday.

      1. shelburnia's Avatar shelburnia

        yes, 'giftmas'! I love it. Been looking for a new name I could get behind. I was just calling it 'Muss' to take 'christ' out of it. I love the holiday season, but have to leave the religion stuff behind, and I love giving.

    3. Ceadda Agon's Avatar Ceadda Agon

      Absolutely! Just because Christianity co-opted a holiday (as is the case with most Christian holidays) doesn’t mean we need to perpetuate the myth of it originating with the Christians. Hell, we can even continue to call it Christmas without the need to recognize Jesus Christ through it. Why not recognize the true, more ancient origins of Christmas?

      1. Douglas Keaton's Avatar Douglas Keaton

        It was an attempt to Christenize the Pagans (who had always celebrated about that time), but instead Pagenized the Christians.

        1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

          EXACTLY!! Well-said. (oh, except, "paganized")

          1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

            John Owens,

            Precisely in what way were we Christians 'paganized'?

        2. Sandra Lent's Avatar Sandra Lent

          Your statement is very true.

      2. Bob Anderson's Avatar Bob Anderson

        Saturnalia, now called Christmas, was a Roman-world era holiday. When the christian cult finally became acceptable to the ignorant masses, they co-opted many so-called 'Pagan' holidays to keep people joining the new faith..something familiar to keep them from asking too many questions about the new christian faith's many contradictions and use of ideas from much older religions...i.e.; the resurrection, re-birth, son of god, virgin birth, ascension into heaven, etc.

        1. Jennifer Kemper's Avatar Jennifer Kemper

          Yes, that is exactly it.

        2. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

          Bob Anderson,

          Interesting you call it 'new' faith!

          There was no faith before Judeo-Christianity & Islam, but only religious fear.

      3. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Ceadda Agon,

        Just a little problem with is name, isn't it?

    4. Reverand Raymond Smith's Avatar Reverand Raymond Smith

      Totally agree with you

      1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

        Thanks, Raymond.

    5. Sandra Lent's Avatar Sandra Lent

      Right on.

      1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

        Thank you, Sandra

    6. Theresa M Ede's Avatar Theresa M Ede

      You are absolutely right. Your "2 cents' worth" is quite a bargain.

      1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

        Thank you, Theresa.

    7. Larry's Avatar Larry

      Exactly. Saint Nicholas is a pagan figure and celebration of Christmas was punished severely by the first settlers in this country, the Puritans.

      1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

        Ditto, Larry.

      2. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day


        St Nikolas used to be a Christian bishop - hence the red colour - who did much good for orphans. How that can be viewed as 'pagan' is beyond logic!

    8. Jeanne Haselier's Avatar Jeanne Haselier

      your 2 cents make sense! Christmas seems to be returning to it's original roots in Paganism. There's nothing wrong with celebrating the winter solstice and whatever it may mean to you. It often troubled me that people were so offended by a "secularized Christmas" when December 25th has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity.

      1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

        Thank you, Jeanne

    9. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      John Owens,

      What precisely is not scriptural about Christmas?

  1. Chuck's Avatar Chuck

    Christ never was in Christmas.....which is actually Saturnalia (Saturn worship = Satan worship).

    I celebrate Christmas, because it has a newer meaning today. However, Christmas is a Satanic Babylonian holiday by origin. King Nimrod of Babylon fancied himself as the embodiment of “God”, as in the Old Testament God…..for those of you unaware, the Old Testament God is just the Demiurge (Satan) pretending to be God. Judaism is a continuation of this farse.

    Nimrod married his own mother Semiramis (aka Isis, Diana, Ishtar, Columbia, Zuul, etc.) who was the “Whore of Babylon”. They had a son named Tammuz. Catholocism is just a continuation of Babylonian Satan worship and has nothing to do with Jesus. They replaced Nimrod-Semiramis-Tammus with God-Mary-Jesus. The Satanic Babylonian religion moved from Babylon, to Egypt, to Persia, to Greece and finally landed in Rome. This is why the Romans crucified Jesus on a cross…the T shape of the cross stands for Tammuz. In other words, both the Romans and the “Jews” that killed Jesus were worshipping slightly different versions of Babylonian Satan worship…….and Jesus threatened their power.

    Both Nimrod and Tammuz were killed as per legend, and Semiramis became the matriarch. Semiramis buried Tammuz, and in the spot an evergreen tree grew. As a result, Babylonians placed gifts under the tree to worship Tammuz. When the Romans realized Christianity was a threat to their Satanic religion, they formed the Catholic Church and declared themselves the authority on Christianity (all false). They simply replaced Satanic holidays with “Christian Holidays”. The birth of Nimrod became Christmas, the holiday worshipping Semiramis became Easter (Ishtar), Lent is just a continuation of the starvation sacrifice to Semiramis, temples became “churches”, high priests became priests, and human sacrifice on the alter became the bread and the wine. Satanic sex magic (sodomy & pedophilia) are still common place in the church as well.

    Santa Claus is just another Satanic Babylonian tradition. Santa is an anagram for Satan (same letters). Satan would go around rewarding children who served him, and having the demon Krampus (now referred to as elves) torture and beat those children who were not serving him.

    1. Ceadda Agon's Avatar Ceadda Agon

      Hail Satan! Festive Saturnalia!

    2. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      Very good explanation, Chuck. Nice to see that not all believers just allow themselves to be spoon-fed the worldly religions' pablum.

      1. Douglas Keaton's Avatar Douglas Keaton

        Didn't Jesus say somethings about fables and traditions?

        1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

          MARK 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (Also MATTHEW 15:8) words of Jesus the Messiah, quoted from ISAIAH 29

          1Tim 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 1Tim 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 2Tim 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 2Pet 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (The words of Paul and Peter)

          With these verses alone, Christmas and all of its fables, Easter and its, Halloween, the Tooth Fairy, the Stork, all of that is condemned by the scriptures. Doctrine and rules should come from scripture. Anything else is BS.

          1. patrick's Avatar patrick

            Amen and agreed with you original comment, Mr. Owens; it's good to see there are still free-thinking Christians in this world. Thanks for quoting that scripture, John; God bless.

          2. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

            Thank you, Rev. Lombardo

    3. Sol Wolf's Avatar Sol Wolf

      Now this is a load of bull.

    4. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

      So, the complaint of so many people in here is that "Christianity compromised itself by appropriating Pagan festivals and practices to its own purposes and accommodating itself to Paganism" (to paraphrase), but why shouldn't that have been done and why is that a problem? Are any of us still wearing togas and robes as people in the 1st century did (outside of the Catholic clergy) or driving chariots every day? Isn't Christian rock music an accommodation to the world and appropriation of rock music for Christian ministry and purposes, in order to reach people who wouldn't be reached by traditional church music and hymns? That was also the purpose in adapting Pagan festivals and practices to Christian purposes, in order to reach Pagans who wouldn't be reached without that attempt to relate to them. If we aren't all still living as people did in the 1st century A.D. and have advanced along with the rest of the world in clothing, music, art, science, and other areas, and don't think of all that as "betrayal and compromise of Christianity", why should just adapting these few festivals and practices to Christianity cause so much uproar?!! That has been my whole point, in other subjects in this blog, about homosexuality's being accepted by the church and the churches accommodating themselves to it, despite past homophobic behavior or Scripture verses written by homophobes, in order to reach gay people, too, and bring and accept them in as well. Jesus was all about accepting and reaching out to people, not excluding them or refusing to do anything that they were doing. Pagans celebrated their birthdays, too. So, should we not celebrate our own birthdays, in order "not to indulge in Pagan practices"?!! As for Santa's being an anagram of "Satan", many names can be anagrammed into other names, but that doesn't really make those two names or the persons indicated by those names the same, and all of this Babylonian religious legend and similarity to Catholic Church practice and holy days (a la Jack Chick) are also just anti-Catholic bigotry, such as is found in The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop, since, again, similarities can be found between any two things or persons (if you are looking for them---"Seek and you will find"), as between Adolf Hitler or Grigori Rasputin and Jesus Christ. That doesn't make them really the same.

      1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

        Face it. Christians are longing to convert to Paganism, the truest religion of all time! That's why y'all can't think of other days than our holidays to celebrate your own on, or why y'all celebrate in the same or similar ways as us wonderful Pagans. Y'all don't want to totally give up your Pagan roots, and replace them with biblical fairytales. Either that, or the Christian hierarchy is incapable of original thought.

      2. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

        Hey Partin, haven't you ever heard of a toga party? What planet did you say you came from? I've even been to totally nude parties, and many of us still like to have sky clad rituals.

        1. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

          Carl, I believe that I said: Are we wearing togas every day? There isn't anything wrong with toga parties or totally nude parties or sky clad rituals, occasionally, but who is totally nude or dressed in a toga all of the time?

    5. The Doctor's Avatar The Doctor

      Except you are wrong from point one and jsut slide down hill from there in a snowball of indoctrinated rhetoric that shows you to lack any real connection to the faith based on fraternity and community.

      Saturnalia is in no way connected to the word satan. Satan is derived from the hebrew word Shatan meaning the accuser or adversary.

      Not one respected member of the theologian scholar community buys that BS your spewing that is drawn from anti semitic conspiracy. There is a reason why the Judaic/christian/Muslim are termed just that, all 3 follow the same god,

      What your spewing is no different then how in the 1600s catholics and protestants said each worshipped a false faith and were heretics.

      People like you do not get to decide such things. That is what the academic community is for.

      The first pop is generally accepted now to have been a follower of the Sun god Apollo. Personal writings combined with the tendency for jesus to always be shown with a sun above him in the oldest stained glass windows tends to support this theory circumstantially.

      The babylonians you seem intent on attacking are the source for much in our modern civilization. They where educated, had reading and writing had master engineers capable of building an aqueduct system that was so vast and effective it helped create a civilization in an arid and hostile desert landscape.

      You are as confused by your indoctrination and willfull self delusion as those that believe in the flat earth and hollow earth theories.

      1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        The Doctor,

        Very well said. Thank you, and happy New Year :-)

    6. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day


      WOW! I'm impressed!

      Have you ever thought of making a Hollywood movie script??

  1. Minister Dave's Avatar Minister Dave

    The traditional American Xmas? Usually children benefit from this date so to speak. The world in color today is different than fifty years ago in black and white. Christmas ? with Christ? Some religions differ here. No basis in bible . Still ? we should just enjoy the holidays. With and for Christ? That’s your decision

  1. Diane Baum's Avatar Diane Baum

    The Church (read: Catholic Church) knew that pagans celebrated the feast of Saturnalia, a festival of lights during the shortest daylight hours of the year. The church decided that to have a celebration that would draw those people in would be the answer to converting the pagans, thus, a Mass that celebrated Jesus...more specifically, His birth-- Christ's Mass...or Christmas! We all know that Jesus was NOT born in December, as shepherds were in the fields...and sheep were out during warmer months, not colder. The date does not matter so much, however, as the theme: celebrating the fact that a Savior was born for us all! It was the Druids who introduced trees with candles for the lights. Over time, more was added to make it the celebration we know it to be today. For us to take offense at how commercialized it has become, well, all we need to do is to go back to the "Charlie Brown Christmas Special" to understand that! Even during the time of Jesus, the celebration of Passover -when the temple was full of moneychangers- should we understand that if money is to be made, even during what should be a holy event, by golly, there will be the sound of cash registers! We are called to be Christ, not just at Christmas, but all year round! Do this with a spirit of joy, of wonder and of thanksgiving. How can we be Jesus, though, when we focus so much on greedy presents, angry mobs of people who feel offended at "Happy holidays!" instead of "Merry Christmas!" and more? Be a joy filled person. Radiate joy from every pore. It does not matter how we celebrate Jesus' it in a church or on a street corner, we need to be sharing that Love with others. Christmas should be a time of giving...without hope of reward. If you can follow this...then you will have achieved the goal that Christ expects of all of love one another...even as God has loved us!

    1. Tom como's Avatar Tom como

      Well said. Thanks.

    2. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      We didn't need a savior before, and don't need one now. Just be ethical in all your affairs, and when you die go through the light. Don't complicate matters. Its as plain and simple as that.

  1. Stephanie Willey's Avatar Stephanie Willey

    The Winter Solstice, or Yule, Alban Arthan,Brumalia, Dongzhi, Korochun, Sangamitta Day, Shalako, Yalsa, Saturnalia, or Ziemasnvetki celebration and feasting recognizing life (bringing winter greens in doors), family, and communities, feasting, and even the giving of gifts, especially of food, predates Christianity by thousands of years, especially in the higher latitudes where the celebration marked the annual change from the ever lengthening nights to shorter nights and longer days. Three hundred years after the time of Jesus, the young and rather unorganized Christian Church was already tired of trying to get people to stop celebrating Pagan holidays, and the Winter Solstice celebration was the biggest throughout the very different cultures and religions. At the time Christmas was created in AD 336, Mithraism was very popular around the Mediterranean regions. The early Christian church had gotten tired of their futile efforts to stop people celebrating the solstice and the birthday of Mithras, the Persian sun god. Mithras' birthday was December 25. So Pope Julius I decided to make Jesus' official birthday coincide with Mithras' birthday.

    1. RuthAnne's Avatar RuthAnne

      Exactly right. Good information Stephanie.

    2. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      Shows that the Pope is more likely Vicar of Mithra than Vicar of Christ.

    3. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Stephanie Willey,

      And what is wrong with that?

  1. James's Avatar James

    In the spirit of giving I'll give my 2 scents. I believe Christmas and other religious holidays are on the same level as giving donations. If you do it in the right spirit, God knows. That's what matters! Stop the hair splitting crap you spoiled crybabies. Be good, do good, and may God bless you with happiness.

  1. Rev Carolyn's Avatar Rev Carolyn

    Christmas is more about spending than about Christ. It is based on sheer greed. Jesus was not even born in December. It is funny, people say it is about Christ then go into debt buying gifts they cannot afford, gorging themselves with food and alcohol. They throw parties that have to be bigger and better than so and so threw last year. None of that begins to represent Chists teachings or beliefs. I think Christ would appreciate being taken out of Christmas, in fact, Christ would probably demand to not be associated with it. Celebrate Christmas for the season of spending and partying it is, do not use Jesus as an excuse.

  1. Rev Carolyn's Avatar Rev Carolyn

    I want to make just one more post. Santa being Satan with an a makes since. I never told my kids there was a Santa, I told them he was just a man dressed up in the mall that Santa was really the spirit of giving. Kids are told even before the can fully understand what's what that there is God, Santa, a tooth fairy, and an Easter bunny. Then one day they realize their parents, churches, and teachers have lied to them for years, there is no Santa, on tooth fairy and no Easter bunny, just their parents. How can anyone expect them to believe after losing 3 life items the 4th was not a lie too, after all their entire world had lied to them, the others do not exist so how can God also not be part of the fairy tale, part of the lie. I will not even get into the aspect of teaching your kids not to lie while you are raising the where the first 9 years or so of their lives are based on multiple lies. I also let my kids know from the start that Santa does not give gifts parents do. My kids always knew that gifts were not based on naughty or nice and some parents could afford more and some could not afford any. Every Christmas included my kids being involve in the spirit of giving through the spirit of Santa. We would go shopping and each would pick out a gift for child their age and take it to the Salvation Army. Christmas and Santa with no lies, disappoints or devastation of learning the truth. Satan is the liar and Santa is the means of so many lies: " He exists, he keeps a list, good kids get toys while bad kids get coal, he comes down the chimney, he lives in the North pole and has elves and reindeer...". Wow what stories we raise our babies to believe! And we wonder why so many people do not believe in God, kids do not trust adults and kids do not listen to parental warnings.

    1. Sandra Lent's Avatar Sandra Lent

      Excellent write up. I wish more people thought like you do.

    2. Sol Wolf's Avatar Sol Wolf

      Santa means saint or holy in Latin. It has nothing to with Satan. Santa Maria anyone? Santa Clause is an oblique reference to Saint Nicholas.

      1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

        Yes, Christine. What you say is correct, but in this case, I think it is not so much about the lexical definition of the word, but the role fulfilled by the mythical character, to subvert the truth of God.

    3. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Rev Carolyn,

      I understand you are an ordained reverend. o what do you do at Christmas at your church?

  1. Lea Weisenbach's Avatar Lea Weisenbach

    I never lied to my kids...I celebrate the Holidays the Pagan way..X-Mas the sun is born ..Hallelujah!! The days are getting longer..And Easter..Everything is reborn..That's why we eat Easter eggs..Happy Holiday

  1. Beth K's Avatar Beth K

    I have to agree with most of what Carolyn McQuarters said above, although I disbelieve in everything supernatural.

    I strongly agree that lying to children - deliberately teaching them falsehoods - is wrong. It's not Santa who made or gave them the gifts: It's a combination of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, and organizations of various types, the Marine Corps "Toys for Tots", and anonymous donors paying for those gifts, which were either made at home by one of those people, or purchased from an individual crafter or more often, a corporation which employed people in various parts of the world, under various conditions, to make those items.

    A naughty child who has wealthy parents will get FAR better and more expensive gifts than an impoverished child with model behavior throughout the year. That has to do with relative wealth, not the actions of the child. Most children today do not have the concept of what "a lump of coal" even is!

    Most US homes these days do not have a (functional) chimney. Nearly all of us have changed from wood or coal-burning to heat our homes to modern HVAC systems. It defies even a child's imagination as to HOW Santa could get in at a young age. As they learn how big our earth is, they will figure out that one person could not visit every home and child in the world in one night even if he and his flying reindeer traveled at the speed of light. Moreover, with the availability of satellite imagery, they can see at an early age that there is no "Santa's Workshop" with elves at the north pole. Most children disbelieve this long before they tell their parents they disbelieve in Santa Claus or elves or the Tooth Fairy and other similar notions for the simple reason that more gifts are received if they are thought to believe. Thus, they are not only being told lies, but are taught that to lie is beneficial for them. They also figure out that they have to or get to decide for themselves what "truth" is. Sometimes, as kids or young adults, what they decide is also wrong - and can harm them in various ways.

    IMnsHO, it's better to let the children know who purchased the gift - parents, grandma, Aunt X, Uncle Y, then use that as an opportunity to graciously thank the giver for their gift. As you taught your children to pick out a gift, give it to an organization to give it to a needy child, you are teaching them to be a gracious giver - without a thought of getting anything in return. Also, gifts from that organization didn't come from some magical "Santa" - a real person gave it.

    The word "Santa" is a Latin and Latin-language version of "Saint". It's got nothing to do with Satan. Santa Claus is (very loosely) based on St. Nicolas, who probably lived somewhere near Turkey in the 4th century. The US version of this is based on the nordic legends of Sinterklaas, who is a folk tale based on St. Nicolas combined with Norse mythology, stemming from the Dutch immigrants who founded New Amsterdam (Later New York), and the name anglosized. Santa Claus as we know him was popularized by the Cocacola company around 1900.

    As allegory, he's fine. Just don't take those myths and legends seriously. Certainly, such things as a "Secret Santa" - an anonymous gift exchanged within clubs and workplaces. Again, Santa didn't buy it for you; a person did.

    As an amusing aside to this... I'm old enough that I remember heating homes with coal. My mother was still heating with coal when I was an adult. Many years ago in November, she started subtly asking what I was getting her for Christmas. I'd say, "Oh, I think you're getting a lump of coal." Then, on December 23rd, a man with a truck knocked on her door, and asked, "Where do you want me to put the coal." Confused, and worrying about a scam, she replied, "I didn't order any coal." He looked down at his paper, and said "Somebody by the name of (Beth) ordered 5 tons, paid for it, and asked that it be delivered to (you) at (this address)." Then, she laughed, "Oh, that's my daughter. Okay. Put it in the coal bin (location)." Later, she called me, still laughing, and thanked me for the coal, saying, "You got me a LOT of lumps of coal." What I'd gotten her was a warm house for the rest of the winter.

    Moral: When coal was used, "a lump of coal" was not necessarily a bad thing. It just takes a lot of it to be useful.

    1. Lea Weisenbach's Avatar Lea Weisenbach

      ?..Love the story..Happy Holiday

    2. Diane Baum's Avatar Diane Baum

      After reading a few of these comments about the Santa/Satan thing, it made me physically ILL, to say the least. Yes, I do know that Satan seductively calls people to him, it isn't always the "exorcist" type demon we think of...although they DO exist and we have seen them in many forms on the news. However, Satan would much rather use seduction to lure people to his side--that is...the want of something that may look good at first...until you're in deep and realize you have just been screwed mightily. In the whole belief of Christmas, taking what is to be a focus on the birth of a Savior to deliver us FROM evil, you can see how Satan, yes SATAN, has taken a holiday of love, cheer and good tidings and turned it into greed, commercialism, etc. We need to focus less on the whole "it came about because of this (pagan rituals) and will always be because of this" mentality (Jehovah's Witnesses are famous for this...note their disdain of birthdays, etc) and more on this: a Savior was born (when does not really matter, He was born to teach us about God!). Jesus came and taught us two things (because Ten Commandments obviously were eight too much!) Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself." OMG! So easy!! If you love yourself....why wouldn't you want to spread that Love everywhere? Give of yourself more, show others respect. Be a friend to the friendless, give shelter, food, help to those who are in need? If this is the embodiment of the spirit of Christmas...a "story" if you will, of a man dressed in red bringing gifts...then is that a bad thing? And that is how I described it to my children...a man who embodied the spirit of Christ by loving all. But yet, Santa also needed HELP, thus we also give to the needy children, to the hungry people and more. Humanity tends to overthink things. Jesus came to say, "hey, this Levitican Law stuff just is not working, here, do it MY way...and I will even SHOW you how!" Which was great--for a while...until once more "learned people" decided to add even MORE rules and regulations and Christ is, once again, ascended into heaven, seated on His throne and is slapping his forehead thinking, "Gah! what will it take to show you? Wasn't I just DOWN THERE?" Christmas. Don't overthink it. Be kind to one another..."love one another...even as I have loved you."

      1. Doug Barron's Avatar Doug Barron

        I can endorse this!

    3. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Beth K,

      Thanks for this story :-)

  1. drrgrivera's Avatar drrgrivera







    1. Tee's Avatar Tee

      I strongly agree......

  1. James's Avatar James

    X-mas, Christmas, or ???. It will mean to each person as it does (phaneron). One person at a time will make any special occasion what it is. Peer pressure will spread it as many will feel "embarrassed of ??? to maintain their true "feelings / motives". Each person will celebrate their own (or an-others) special day as they see fit. When the anniversary of YOUR birth rolls around, I'll give all the gifts to the remaining 7.5+ billion ppl in the world & forget about YOU.

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      J, the X in Xmas was actually not an X at all, but the Greek letter CHI, which closely resembles our X. Since CHRISTOS (the Greek word for Anointed One, or Christ) is spelled: CHI- RHO- IOTA-SIGMA-OMICRON-SIGMA, it was early on abbreviated with a large CHI which had a small, but long RHO drawn right through the vertical center of the CHI. Later it was abbreviated just using the CHI, which, as I said, greatly resembles our X. That is the origin of Xmas. It should more properly be abbreviated CHmas. I don't observe it, but I have heard this Xmas expression discussed many times and the only intelligent conversations I have had concerning it were with Greeks.

  1. hsw's Avatar hsw

    I’m happy that people are starting to see religion for the sham that it is. No religion was ever intended for any purpose other than to give the powerful control over the powerless. If people are finally walking away and turning to science, logic, and reason, that’s the greatest gift the world could get.

    1. Rev Carolyn's Avatar Rev Carolyn

      There you go, the people who are afraid of Christians twist everything to their favor. I am so sorry that your hatred has made you too stupid to realize people are talking about Christmas, greed and intolerance, not about religion. The kind of fear that incapacitates the brain has to be terrifying so you have my sincere sympathy. Fear and hatred are powerful things when allowed to overtake your ability to use common sense and reasoning.

      1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

        Carolyn, that is so nice of you. I really appreciate your comments.

        1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

          John Owens,

          She's smart!

      2. The Doctor's Avatar The Doctor

        Sadly those with blind faith rarely possess sense common or otherwise and clearly lack the ability to reason at all due to being blinded by faith.

        1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

          T'Keren, I would have to agree that those with blind faith rarely possess any sense or for sure rarely demonstrate it, but that statement can be equally applied to any ideology (like "social justice") or corporation, political system, or person(s). Happily, not all faith is blind. Some (although rarely noticed by others) is based upon experience, knowledge, altruistic dedication to something greater than oneself, love, optimism, hope for better things.

        2. Elan's Avatar Elan

          But T'Keren, that is your opinion. To berate individuals because of their faith and say that your right and they are wrong makes you no different. Some may say that YOU have blind faith that clouds your common sense and ability to reason. Remember, To the British, George Washington was a Terrorist, but to the new colony, he was a patriot...To Rome, Jesus was a terrorist, but to Christian's he is the savior...

      3. Elan's Avatar Elan

        Carolyn, you are absolutely right. Fear and Hatred are only powerful when people give them power. Why we have to provoke one another is beyond. God Bless, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

        1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

          Pray for us. We are sick puppies.

      4. Kathleen Barrett's Avatar Kathleen Barrett

        Yep, and why can't people 'live and let live', why do they have so much time to find problems with everything? I have never seen so many offended by everything! Believe what you want, shut your mouth, and live your own life.

        1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

          If we didn't have problems to talk about this blog would cease to exist. It's our way of ministering to each other. Would you like me to get out my violin, and play you some sad music ?

      5. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Rev Carolyn,

        Th very very funny ad just as intelligent.

        Thank you!

    2. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      Science (or what passes for it) is also used to give the powerful control over the powerless, and/or to justify that control. I guess the powerful are eclectic enough to use anything available to them.

  1. Ralph Miller's Avatar Ralph Miller

    Both Christmas&Easter are both pagan rituals.When the church starts speaking the truth,maybe people will come back

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      Exactly. Thank you.

    2. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Ralph Miller,

      Yeshua said: I am the truth, the way, and the light.

  1. Kurt R Cline's Avatar Kurt R Cline

    It is ridiculous to rail against secularism in Christmas. To whatever degree to which people were formerly concerned with Christ in Christmas, that hasn't helped it so far from becoming a farce has it? On the other hand, the existence of Christmas, even without dogma attached, still can help people to help people and have hope for themselves. I'm not heavily a Christian, but I'm not exactly an atheist either, and this points to a flaw in the original argument: how about those who are neither one nor the either but either and/or both? Christmas should definitely be taken away from the (extreme) Christians--since they plainly don't know what to do with it and entire message goes against the beautiful simplicity of the holiday when conceived in a purely positive light.

  1. Bill Fox's Avatar Bill Fox

    Christmas has always been a secular holiday. It isn't found in the Bible.

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      Yes, Sir, that is correct.

      1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        John Owens,

        No, it's not. Check Matthew, Mark, and Luke!

    2. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Bill Fox,

      Three Gospels give details bout Yeshua's nativity! Where exactly you got that is beyond me!

  1. Beth K's Avatar Beth K

    The whole idea of celebrating Christmas was considered heresy, and celebration of it punishable by a hefty fine in 16th century England. This December holiday has nothing to do with Christianity or the Bible.

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      Amen, Sister Beth

    2. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Beth K,

      The Church of England has always been half Catholic, so this assertion makes no sense. Where exactly did you get this information?

  1. Timothy Carlstead's Avatar Timothy Carlstead

    Some people think it is wrong to put Christ with Christmas ( Owens and the other idiots). Christ could have been born on Christmas or not. That is why he is put with it ( Owens and the other idiots). No one knows his birthday but we do it at Christmas anyway. Because the rest of use think he could have been born around that time.

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      You (Carlstead and the other idiots) think that, but (1)shepherds would not have been out in the fields with their flocks at night on or near Dec 25 (Carlstead and the other idiots) because of the cold, and (2)it is a well-known historical fact that the UN-Christian pagans (Carlstead and the other idiots)held their Saturnalia at that time, using evergreen trees to represent their version of the resurrected Nimrod/Bachus/Tammuz/whomever.
      (3)The decree that everyone should go to the town of their paternal ancestor to be counted in the census and taxed would not have put them travelling in the dead of winter, since they were an agricultural society and the time to pay taxes is just after the harvest, WHICH IS IN THE AUTUMN.
      (4)It is also known that He (Christ) was killed 3 and one half years into His ministry, which began when He was 30. Since He was killed on Nisan 14th (first month of spring), 6 months later would be in the FALL, closer to the Feast of Tabernacles (of which Carlstead and the other idiots know nothing), than Dec. 25.
      (5)The very idea that humans would invent their own holiday to honor a God who has given them HOLY days which they do NOT observe, makes it patently stupid and blasphemous to do so. "the thing which I command you to do-- that do. You shall not add thereto nor diminish therefrom."

      If you knew anywhere NEAR enough to be calling ME an idiot, you would already know these things and therefore keep your willful ignorance to yourself.

      1. Timothy Carlstead's Avatar Timothy Carlstead

        Look here moron the shepherds would be out that night because they have to keep tending to their flocks so they could sell them for money. And here is something else u can try to explain. ACTS 8:37 IF THOU BELIEVE WITH ALL THINE HEART THOU MAY. So you think you have the right to judge others on what they do on their holy day. I know I am guilty of it but at least I haven't called people stupid. I will own up to mine but I know you won't because you think can. There are people who keep their HOLY DAYS!!!!! So take that and think twice before calling people stupid you ungrateful sorry little disrespecting human being!!!!!

        1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

          YOU IGNORANT TWIT! YOU SAID, "OWENS AND THE OTHER IDIOTS!!" And then you want to tell ME to think twice" OH, and call me an "ungrateful sorry little disrespecting human being?" You are the EPITOME of ignorance.

          The green plants are gone at this time of year, so there would be nothing for the sheep to eat. They would have been in a fold, eating hay. Jerusalem and the surrounding area is about the same latitude as the southeastern US, but drier. As for the ACTS 8 reference, IF YOU BELIEVED WITH ALL YOUR HEART, YOU WOULD OBEY GOD INSTEAD OF FOLLOWING THE WORLD AND ACTING LIKE A SELF-RIGHTEOUS PAGAN SPHINCTER. It doesn't MEAN you can just believe any stupid thing you want and still be saved. That's ridiculous. GOD said not to add to His commands or take from them.

          As for being ungrateful, I am VERY grateful that I am not as two-faced and hypocritical and ignorant as you are. If you want respect, you will treat others with respect. If you act like an a$$, you will be treated as one. Thus far, you are getting off easy. Study some bible. Spend less time obsessing over KNOWING you are wrong and do what is right.

          1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

            John Owens,

            WOW! The moderators must have been on strike back then! Posts like this now are banned!

        2. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

          Timothy Carlstead,

          The shepherds were Levites who would pasture the sheep for the kohen. They wouldn't need to sell the sheep because they were for Temple sacrifices. The cave where Jesus was born was where the sheep slept at night.

  1. Chad's Avatar Chad

    I don't see any Jesus bar crawls. No wonder Santa whomped Christ

    1. Sol Wolf's Avatar Sol Wolf

      LOL. No kidding. The original Pagan Holiday season involved merry making. Drinking, playing pranks, defying the darkness. It was a blast. I am glad to see it so.

    2. Walt Johnson's Avatar Walt Johnson

      OMG a jesus bar crawl, why didn't i think of that. new holiday tradition y'all. Sounds good to me, and I don't even drink.

  1. Amber's Avatar Amber

    It really is strange to me that this is an issue now. I was a kid of the 70s and 80s. We were doing secular holidays even back then. This isn't a new thing and blaming millennials isn't going to change anything. Blame rarely does more than make things hurry faster in whatever direction it's already going.

    I think what people seem to keep overlooking is that whenever a country decides to make it nationally recognized as a holiday time, especially in a country that claims a separation between church and state, it becomes open for anyone of any religious or non-religious persuasion to celebrate in any fashion they wish. Even Christians have different ways of celebrating it from no extras and time in prayer and contemplation to a full on comercial paradise right along with church time.

    What's worse, fighting about who is right and who is wrong and who doesn't give a flying fig only makes it that much less any kind of Holy Day. The truly spiritual will continue doing their thing as will the non spiritual. The real choice is going to be about if you will focus on your own religious convictions or fighting everyone else on theirs.

  1. L Allen's Avatar L Allen

    This question strikes me as similar to the "without religion, how will you know what's right and wrong?" Why can't the holidays be about family and loved ones - not necessarily gifts and materialism, but spending time together, reaffirming relations and ties, and celebrating life in the middle of winter (for the Northern Hemisphere, at least)? Why do it have to be a false dualism of Christianity vs materialism?

  1. Bill Fox's Avatar Bill Fox

    Manhattan was bought for a box of trinkets. Christmas (represented by Santa Claus) is a commercial holiday, well advertised, and rife with envy and selfishness, and has no basis in Scripture.

    1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      While you're new, aabill, you ought to stick to studying the big book with your sponser. And what step did you say you're on ?

      1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Carl Elfstrom,

        Sorry, I'm confused. Is this AA??

  1. I.S. Johnson's Avatar I.S. Johnson

    Oi Vey! This is a tempest in a tea pot. First, Christmas is just the Christianization of Saturnalia. This happened during the reign of Constantine as a way to get the Roman masses to accept Christianity, so get over it. Second, would Jesus not appreciate the supposed meaning of Christmas? Would Jesus not approve of Peace on Earth and Good will toward Men/Women? Does not that fit with Do unto others as you would have them do unto you or Love thy neighbor as thy self? Is Santa not giving without the motives of praise and recognition for the act? Giving anonymously is the only true charity. Giving for praise, recognition, tax purposes or admiration is give to get and that is not real charity. Third, can't we enjoy our memories from past times of joy and happiness, let the Christmas Spirit fill us with hope, love and wonder without getting bogged down in statistical minutia and dogmatic hobgoblins?

    I love Christmas! I love Santa and Rudolph, Frosty, Jack Frost and I think Jesus does too. If a person is going to have a beef with every little thing in this world, God help them in such a miserable life.

    You folks with a problem with a mythical elf need to turn off the box in your house and in your hand, step out the door and rediscover reality in its pure form. Life is sweet if you CHOOSE to see it as such and I am a guy with just a hair above SQUAT. The only demons in this world are the ones mankind CHOOSES to become.



    Christ wasn't born anywhere near Christmas! Christmas has always been a mix of Pagan and Roman beliefs! Christmas is what you make it! Make it fun!

  1. Graham Edwards's Avatar Graham Edwards

    Taking Christ out of Christmas leaves just the mass. But how can you have a liturgical service without celebrating Christ or God.?

  1. Sol Wolf's Avatar Sol Wolf

    Christians themselves were the first warriors against Christmas. The Puritans went so far as to completely and utterly ban it as a Pagan and (Papist) holiday. There was no Christmas in early colonial America until German and Dutch settlers brought something of the celebration to Pennsylvania (Mummering) and other places south of New England. In some respect the Puritans were correct. The holiday is Pagan in origin. This really should be common knowledge by now. Xmas was not usurped by Xians until the 300s CE when, in response to the Roman Emperor declaring Dec.25 a day to honor the sun's victory over darkness (Sol Invictus), the Pope declared the same date to have been the date of Christ's birth. This was an attempt to lure Pagans away with a similar holiday. Winter Solstice and Yule celebrations are far older than Christianity. If anything, it is Jesus who ran over the reindeer (Yule goat, Cronos, Odin, Saturn) and not the other way around. Yule, Saturnalia, was a season, not just a day. I am tired of Christian religious bigotry.

    1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Sol Wolf,

      How about Orthodox Christians who celebrate Christmas on 7 January?

  1. yezot's Avatar yezot

    people are finally seeing through the BS that we have had drilled into our heads all our life. Christmas lost its glamour years ago for me, all it means to me now is poor people getting poorer because they cant afford to buy all the gifts that their children think they deserve, crowded stores, making it harder for you to do your regular shopping. depressed people commiting suicide because they are alone. The only holiday that is more useless is halloween, oh, and presidents day, oh and ........

  1. David's Avatar David

    Shepherds are not "abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night" in December. Like EVER. They do that in the Spring when lambs are being born. Jesus was obviously born in March or April. Emperor Constantine chose December 25 to coincide with the existing winter solstice festivals of every culture in the Empire, as well as his previous religion of Mithra worship. Christmas was never really about Jesus. It's more about uniting people of different backgrounds into a cohesive civilization. Modern Christians should try to honor that legacy, rather than emphasizing divisions.

    1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day


      Jesus was born on Sukkot, late September into October.

  1. Alex's Avatar Alex

    Considering that there is no proof that Jesus was born on December 25th, it’s obvious that most of the traditional celebrations were taken from bits and pieces in European countries. Most are all stolen Pagan customs that were incorporated into what is now called Christmas. Jesus didn’t go around telling people to become Christians because there was no such thing, you were a follower of his teachings. The Roman emperor Constantine created Christianity in order to get re-elected by using Jesus followers. History has been so distorted by government that people never bother to question the motives behind what appears to be a simple celebration of faith.

  1. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

    Whoever the COWARD!!!! is in here who is posting STUPID!!! posts, such as this one above, and putting my name on them should be MAN!!!!! enough to say things about me using their own name and figure out, too, that the icon before their post is different than mine and so the post, obviously, isn't mine.

    1. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

      But, of course, that would be far too much for an IDIOT!!!! such as that to ever figure out or care about!!!

      1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Rev. John D. Partin,

        What brotherly love for a Reverend!!

        I bet you are one of those who do not celebrate Christmas, right?

  1. Brian Balke's Avatar Brian Balke

    We forget that pagan practices were pretty democratic Pantheons were introduced and faded as cultures waxed and waned. Adherents bargained their loyalty for divine favor, and were largely free to choose the god(s) that worked best for them. It was their understanding of the power of religious uniformity that led the Romans (pagans all) to insist upon loyalty to their pantheon - on pain of death.

    Thus followers of Mithra probably saw a lot of similarities to the claims about Jesus. The big difference between Christ and other deities was the promise of unconditional love and service to the weak. This made Him incredibly attractive to those that most needed strength.

    So it wasn't surprising that the practitioners of various winter rites - all at the winter solstice, when the days begin to grow longer and so the return of the light is celebrated - would have grandfathered Jesus into their practices. After all, he is the "light of the world."

    As for the secularization of Christmas, it's not a surprise to those that understand Revelation. Chapter 13 speaks of the two "witnesses" sent to the Gentiles - Christianity and Islam. It is written that destruction will come out of the abyss to destroy them, which is pretty much what is happening as tyrants and despots use religion to justify their wars. When they fall, the people of the earth "send each other gifts" because the two religions had been an irritation to them.

    What comes next is interesting: God breathes life into the two witnesses, who rise to preach again for a time. Those that see them are "terrified" - I guess due to their recognition that they have been lashing out against love.

    1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Brian Balke,

      First and foremost, the two witnesses of Revelation are persons, not religious beliefs. They are the same persons that first witnessed the first coming of Yeshua: Myriam, his mother, and Yohannan the Immerser, in the Spirit of Elijah (= Ruach HaKodesh).

      In other words, the two witnesses are Mother Mary and the Holy Spirit, and they are meant to bring an end to the desolation of the New Temple (the division of Christians) to prepare the way for the Second Coming.

      In the Catholic world, we have seen since 1917 (in the middle of WWI, with prophecies that marc the book of Revelation and right after the end of the times of the Gentiles predicated by Daniel by the year 1914) an increase of Marin apparitions calling the world to conversion. On the other hand, the Protestant world has seen an increase in Revival, the awakening to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the new rising of the early Messianic Jews (including the Hebrew Catholic) who constitute the 144,000.

      So this theology is a bit deeper than what you are trying to even attempt to describe.

      Happy New Year :-)

  1. Secretary3rd's Avatar Secretary3rd

    Many organizations are feeling the pain of members not showing up for meetings. The same can be said of the Church where you are not force to attend. You attend or sleep it off from the night before. After Life religion gives the option to attend live or not. It can be sent podcast, sent as attachment, or as many say Mother Word has meaning for what is going on in the current world. I have books on many religions each just as worthy as the other. So! Why do you need me to explain what is the meaning in those books from my view point instead from your viewpoint. That what religious leaders do to explain what are between the pages of the Bible. Great when the average person could not read, but today that is a different story.

  1. Deborah Latter's Avatar Deborah Latter

    I think, the way the question is phrased suggesting that someone should be blamed, says a lot. The media says more. So called "Christians" are giving Christianity a bad name. If love and inclusivity could find its way back into Christianity, there might be more attendees. Hmmm...judgement, exclusion, blame and hatred vs. family, gifts, food and and fun -- which would anyone prefer? Christianity needs a long-term, worldwide campaign of good press before people will start coming back.

    1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      I think it would be . even better for the world if it took a good, long term break from Christiànity. There are plenty of other religions which are much better.

      1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Carl Elfstrom,

        Any examples and why?

    2. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      Christianity will never get good press because it is not a good religion.

      1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

        I'm surprised nobody has responded to my last comment. I thought it would have started a good argument, and we could have continued this discussion in a different way. Maybe in a year or two. I'll check back periodically. Well, it's almost that time to let old acquaintances be forgot, and I've got a cassette of Guy Lombardo and his orchestra to play tomorrow night at midnight. And if y'all don't hear from me before then, "Happy New Year !!!

        1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

          Carl Elfstrom,

          I think it's just because the old record is getting boring, don't you think?

          Happy New Year to you too :-)

  1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

    Sweet dreams are made of these. Who am I to disbelieve. Travelled the world and the seven seas. Everybody's looking for something.

    1. Rev. John D. Partin's Avatar Rev. John D. Partin

      Iconoclast just said that if he had as many now sticking out of him as he has had in him before, he would look like a sea anemone, because this is, quite obviously, Iconoclast's style of writing and "thinking", even though he continues to COWARDLY!!!! hide behind my name. He can use a different name here, but can't change his personality and nature here!!! So, these posts of his are all revelations of his own fantasies and practices, which he, immaturely, ascribes to me or others, since he has no actual points or arguments to make!!!

  1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

    I have a Santa Claus costume. Ho ho ho !

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