Christmas Trees and Santa Claus

In expressing the following thoughts on the subject, it is not my intention to judge what others do. This is between the believer and God. However, I am compelled to make these expressions as I feel that this is a serious subject, worthy of every believer’s consideration.

At Christmas time most Christians decorate their homes for the holiday season. The focal point of those decorations will be the Christmas tree. Compare what Jeremiah 10:1-4 says, “Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord: “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; … For the customs of the people are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple.”

A tree is cut from the forest and decorated, does it not sound as though the Christmas tree is being spoken of here? Of course, when Jeremiah wrote these words, Christmas trees did not exist. Rather, he was writing in regards to the making of an idol. But I still find a similarity in the events spoken of here.

The Christmas tree has become a major symbol of the holiday and the centerpiece of holiday decorations. Why is this so? Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Where do the gospel accounts of his birth mention a tree? Why isn’t the nativity scene the major symbol and the centerpiece of Christmas? That this is not the case among unbelievers is quite understandable; but among believers? The nativity scene has been replaced in the minds and hearts of the majority by the Christmas tree. It is the Christmas tree toward which children, even the children of believers, look longingly and lovingly. The nativity scene has been shunted to the side. In doing this Christians have made an idol of the Christmas tree.

Christians decry the commercialization and secularization of Christmas. It is not Santa Claus and Christmas trees you see banned from public Christmas displays; it is the Christ child and the nativity scene. Are we not guilty in this when we ourselves have idolized the tree? And our sin does not stop there. James 1:17 tells, “Every good gift and every perfect present is from above, and comes down from he Father of lights.” Yet we teach our children that presents come from Santa Claus. They learn to love and thank a mythological man. Shouldn’t they be thanking and loving God and their parents for the good gifts they receive? Can a God who hates lies be pleased when we lie to our children, and thereby divert attention from Him and His expressions of love?

2 Corinthians 6:16-17 instructs:

“…what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. And God has said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’”

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