Christmas has become one of the biggest and most widely celebrated holidays annually.
While its original intention was to celebrate the birth of Christ, it has equal significance as one of the most important feast days of the calendar year for believers and non-believers alike.
What marks it standout as the holiday of holidays is the number and variety of traditions that have grown up alongside it, giving everyone who celebrates a chance to indulge in a collection of activities that would seem out of place at any one time.
A Pew Research Center’s survey on Christmas found out that religious and non-religious Americans largely celebrate the holiday in equal measure. Though those who believe in Christmas as a religious holiday and those believe in the virgin birth are much more likely to go to church services on Christmas day. Both cultural and religious observers were just as likely to gather with family, exchange gifts and take part in the tradition of Santa Claus visiting their homes at night. About nine in 10 religious observers of Christmas said they believed in the virgin birth, while half of those who celebrate Christmas culturally said the same.
“It all speaks to the ubiquity of Christmas in American society that one form or another of observing it, religiously or culturally, is so popular,” said Smith, a commentator. “Most non-Christians that celebrate say they do it culturally, but even among some non-Christians who celebrate, they say there is a religious element to Christmas.”
One-third of the religiously unaffiliated also said they believed in the virgin birth. “Keep in mind that most of the non-Christians we’re describing are religious ‘nones,’” Smith said. “That doesn’t mean they are not religious, but that they are not affiliated with any particular religion.”
In 529 AD, Emperor Justinian declared Christmas a civic holiday and up to now it is observed worldwide.
Luke 2:11 says: “Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” And Matthew 1:23 adds: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which means ‘God with us.’”
In reference to the birth of Jesus, Matthew cited a specific prophecy from Isaiah made more than 700 years earlier.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
The result of His coming is your and my gift. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
GOD LOVES YOU.