The (Real) Reason for the Season

I know that Christmas is near when the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” starts to ring in my ear - what about you?

Whether it’s the gift exchanges, the scrumptious Christmas meals, or the festive ornaments decorated around one’s home, one thing’s for certain - Christians (and people of other faiths too) look forward to celebrating Christmas across the world.

But have you ever wondered about the significance behind these Christmas traditions? As we enter the festive season, let us explore 4 popular Christmas beliefs.

#1: Significance of the Christmas Tree

Last weekend, my family put up our Christmas tree and decked it with Christmas ornaments - something my wife and I started to do with our children every year. In a way, it’s been a family tradition for us.

The Christmas tree is emblematic of Christmas but one may ask, “Does it have any religious significance, or is it merely a cultural tradition?”. To answer this question, we look back to Bible and find that the closest religious intonation it could have would be the star at the top of the tree which some take to represent the star of Bethlehem.

There is, however, no mention of Christmas trees or hanging of ornaments in the Bible. So while families religiously decorate their homes with a Christmas tree each year, this practice could merely be a festive tradition.

However, the Bible does mention a tree - just not the one we’d typically expect. Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us - for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on the tree’”. So, Christmas remains significant for us because it reminds us of a King who entered into the world to redeem us from the curse, by being hung on the tree.

#2: What About Santa?

Santa Claus is known to be that jolly, burly, bearded man who goes around distributing presents to children on the night of Christmas eve. But while we have come to realise that Santa Cl