"The great church adopted Christmas much later than Epiphany; and before the fifth century there was no general consensus of opinion as to when it should come on the calendar, whether on the 6th of January, of the 25th of March, or the 25th of December.

"The earliest identification of the 25th of December with the birthday of Christ is in a passage, otherwise unknown and probably spurious, of Theophilus of Antioch (A.D. 171-183), preserved in Latin by the Magdeburg centuriators (i. 3, 118), to the effect that the Gauls contended that as they celebrated the birth of the Lord on the 25th of December, whatever day of the week it might be, so they ought to celebrate the Pascha on the 25th of March when the resurrection befell.

"The next mention of the 25th of December is in Hippolytus' (c. 202) commentary on Daniel 4:23. Jesus, he says, was born at Bethlehem on the 25th of December, a Wednesday, in the forty-second year of Augustus. This passage also is almost certainly interpolated. In any case he mentions no feast, nor was such a feast congruous with the orthodox ideas of that age. As late as 245, Origen, in his eighth homily on Leviticus, repudiates as sinful the very idea of keeping the birthday of Christ' as if he were a king Pharaoh. ' The first certain mention of December 25 is in a Latin chronographer of A.D. 354, first published entire by Mommsen. It runs thus in English: 'Year 1 after Christ, in the consulate of Caesar and Paulus, the Lord Jesus Christ was born on the 25th of December, a Friday and 15th day of the new moon.' Here again no festival celebration of the day is attested.

"There were, however, many speculations in the second century about the date of Christs birth. Clement of Alexandria, toward its close, mentions several such, and condemns them as superstitions. Some chronologists, he says, alleged the birth to have occurred in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus, on the 25th of Pachon, the Egyptian month, i.e. the 20th of May. These were probably the Basilidian Gnostics. Others set it on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi, i.e. the 19th or 20th of April. Clement himself sets it on the 17th of November, 3 B.C. The author of a Latin tract, called the De Pascha computus, written in Mica in 243, sets it by private revelation, ab ispo deo inspirsti, on the 28th of March. He argues that the world was created perfect, flowers in bloom, and trees in leaf, therefore in spring; also at the equinox, and when the moon just created was full. Now the moon and sun were created on a Wednesday. The 28th of March suits all these considerations. Christ, therefore, being the Sun of Righteousness, was born on the 28th of March. The same symbolic reasoning led Polycarp (before 160) to set his birth on Sunday, when the world's creation began, but his baptism on Wednesday, for it was the analogue of the sun's creation. On such grounds certain Latins as early as 354 may have transferred the human birthday from the 6th of January to the 25th of December, which was then a Mithraic feast and is by the chronographer above referred to, but in another part of his compilation, termed Natalis invicti solis, or birthday of the unconquered Sun. Cyprian (de orat. dom. 35) calls Christ Sol verous, Ambrose Sol novus noster (Sermo vii. 13), and such rhetoric was widespread. The Syrians and Armenians, who clung to the 6th of January, accused the Romans of sun worship and idolatry, contending with great probability that the feast of the 25th of December had been invented by disciples of Cerinthus and its lections by Artemon to commemorate the natural birth of Jesus. .

"In Britain the 25th of December was a festival long before the conversion to Christianity, for Bede (De temp. rat., ch. 13) relates that 'the ancient peoples of the Angli began the year on the 25th of December when we now celebrate the birthday of the Lord; and the very night which is now so holy to us, they called in their tongue modranecht (modra niht), that is, the mothers' night, by reason we suspect of the ceremonies which in that night-long vigil they performed.' With his usual reticence about matters pagan or orthodox, Bede abstains from recording who the mothers were and what the ceremonies. In 1644 the English Puritans forbade any merriment or religious services by act of Parliament, on the ground that it was a heathen festival, and ordered it to be kept as a fast. Charles II revived the feast, but the Scots adhered to the Puritan view. "-The Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. VI, "Christmas," 293, 294, 11th edition.

CHRISTMAS IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND BEYOND- "MIDDLE AGES. The great religious pioneers and missionaries who brought Christianity to the pagan tribes of Europe also introduced the celebration of Christmas . .

"The period from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries was the peak of a general Christian celebration of the Nativity. . It was at this period, too, that most of the delightful Christmas customs of each country were introduced. Some have since died out; others have changed slightly through the ages. Many have survived to our day. A few practices had to be suppressed as being improper and scandalous, such as the customs of dancing and mumming in church, the 'Boy Bishop's Feast: the 'Feast of the Donkey,' New Year's fires, superstitious (pagan) meals, impersonations of the Devil, and irreverent carols.

"DECLINE. With the Reformation in the sixteenth century there naturally came a sharp change in the Christmas celebration for countries in Europe. The Sacrifice of the Mass-the very soul of the feast-was suppressed. The Holy Eucharist, the liturgy of the Divine Office, the sacramentals and ceremonies all disappeared. So did the colorful and inspiring processions, the generation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints. In many countries all that remained of the once rich and glorious religious festival was a sermon and a prayer service on Christmas Day. Although the people kept many of their customs alive, the deep religious inspiration was missing, and consequently the 'new' Christmas turned more and more into a feast of good-natured reveling.

"On the other hand, some groups, including the German Lutherans, preserved a tender devotion to the Christ Child and celebrated Christmas in a deeply spiritual way within their churches, hearts, and homes.

"In England the Puritans condemned ever the reduced religious celebration that was held in the Anglican Church after the separation from Rome.

"When the Puritans finally came to political power in England, they immediately proceeded to outlaw Christmas.

"REVIVAL IN ENGLAND. When the old Christmas eventually returned with the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, it was actually a 'new' Christmas. The spiritual aspect of the feast was left mostly to the care of the ministers in the church service on Christmas Day. What was observed in the home consisted of a more shallow celebration in the form of various nonreligious amusements and of general reveling. . However, a spirit of good will to all and of generosity to the poor ennobled these more worldly celebrations of the great religious feast. Two famous descriptions of this kind of popular celebration are found in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and in Washington Irving's Sketch Book. .

"CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA. . The feast was celebrated with all the splendor of liturgical solemnity and with the traditional customs of the respective nationalities in Florida, on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, in Canada, and in the territory of the present State of Michigan.

"In the colonies of New England, however, the unfortunate and misdirected zeal of the Puritans against Christmas persisted far into the nineteenth century. .

"It was not until immigrants from Ireland and from continental Europe arrived in large numbers toward the middle of the last century that Christmas in America began to flourish. The Germans brought the Christmas tree. They were soon joined by the Irish, who contributed the ancient Gaelic custom of lights in the windows

"Very soon their neighbors shared in these unusual but attractive innovations, followed their example and made many of these customs their own. "-Francis X. Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1958), 6267.

SANTA CLAUS-St. Nicholas is thought to be a fine old saint in the church, but not so. It is true that there may have been a Nicholas, bishop of Myra, who lived in the fourth century and was said to have helped the poor. But Santa Claus was named after another "old Nick"

The legend of Santa Claus is quite similar to those of the ancient Egyptian god, Bes. Bes was a short rotund god who was said to give gifts to children. They were told he lived in the far north, where he spent most of the year making toys for them.

The Roman god, Saturn, was similar-and probably copied from Bes. He too was said to live in the northernmost part of the world, making gifts for children who were good. The Romans said he was the one who, each December, brought them the gifts of the new year.

The names, "Santa Claus" and "Kriss Kringle," do not go as far back into history. "Sant Nikolaas" (Sant-Ni-Klaus) and "Kriss Kringle" are from the German "Christ Krindl," or "Christ Child." So we have here a counterfeit Christ.

Parents punish their children for telling falsehoods, then tell them this big one in December! Later, when their children are grown, they wonder why they question the existence of God.

Teach your children about Jesus Christ their best Friend, their only Saviour, and the only One who can really bring them the gifts they need. Do not waste time telling them myths; lest, when they grow older, they will not believe the realities you tell them of.

THE ORIGIN OF SANTA CLAUS- "When the Dutch came to America and established the colony of New Amsterdam, their children enjoyed the traditional 'visit of Saint Nicholas' on December 5; for the Dutch had kept this ancient Catholic custom even after the Reformation. Later, when England took over the colony and it became New York, the kindly figure of Sinter Klaas (pronounced Santa Claus) soon aroused among the English children the desire of having such a heavenly visitor come to their homes, too.

"The English settlers were glad and willing to comply with the anxious wish of their children. However, the figure of a Catholic saint and bishop was not acceptable in their eyes, especially since many of them were Presbyterians, to whom a bishop was repugnant. In addition, they did not celebrate the feasts of saints according to the ancient Catholic calendar.

"The dilemma was solved by transferring the visit of the mysterious man whom the Dutch called Santa Claus from December 5 to Christmas, and by introducing a radical change in the figure itself. It was not merely a 'disguise,' but the ancient saint was completely replaced by an entirely different character. Behind the name Santa Claus actually stands the figure of the pagan Germanic god Thor (after whom Thursday is named). Some details about Thor from ancient German mythology will show the origin of the modern Santa Claus tale:

"Thor was the god of the peasants and the common people. He was represented as an elderly man, jovial and friendly, of heavy build, with a long white beard. His element was the fire, his color red. The rumble and roar of thunder were said to be caused by the rolling of his chariot, for he alone among the gods never rode on horseback but drove in a chariot drawn by two white goats (called Cracker and Gnasher). He was fighting the giants of ice and snow, and thus became the Yule-god. He was said to live in the 'Northland' where he had his palace among icebergs. By our pagan forefathers he was considered as the cheerful and friendly god, never harming the humans but rather helping and protecting them. The fireplace in every home was especially sacred to him, and he was said to come down through the chimney into his element, the fire. 70 [Note 70: H.A. Grueber, Myths of Northern Lands, Vol. I, New York, 1895, 61.ff.]. Here, then, is the true origin of our "Santa Claus." It certainly was a stroke of genius that produced such a charming and attractive figure for pagan mythology. With the Christian saint whose name he still bears, however, this Santa Claus has really nothing to do." -Francis X. Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1958), 113114.

MISTLETOE-Where did the mistletoe custom originate? Among the ancients, because mistletoe was considered sacred to the sun, it was used at the December festival of the winter solstice, when the sun was lowest in the noon sky.

Kissing under the mistletoe was thought to be an act of solar worship, empowering the worshipers for still further worship. As this indicates, pagan sun-worship services were very licentious. Temple prostitution was performed during the eight-day Roman Saturnalia which immediately preceded the December 25 sun-birth celebration.

MISTLETOE WAS THE SACRED PLANT OF THE HEATHEN DRUIDS- "The mistletoe was a sacred plant in the pagan religion of the Druids in Britain. It was believed to have all sorts of miraculous qualities: the power of healing diseases, making poisons harmless, giving fertility to humans and animals, protecting from witchcraft, banning evil spirits, bringing good luck and great blessings. In fact, it was considered so sacred that even enemies who happened to meet beneath a mistletoe in the forest would lay down their arms, exchange a friendly greeting, and keep a truce until the following day. From this old custom grew [p. 104] the practice of suspending mistletoe over a doorway or in a room as a token of good will and peace to all comers. .

After Britain was converted from paganism to Christianity, the bishops did not allow the mistletoe to be used in churches because it had been the main symbol of a pagan religion. Even to this day mistletoe is rarely used as a decoration for altars. There was, however, one exception. At the Cathedral of York at one period before the Reformation a large bundle of mistletoe was brought into the sanctuary each year at Christmas and solemnly placed on the altar by a priest. In this rite the plant that the Druids had called 'All-heal' was used as a symbol of Christ, the Divine Healer of nations.

"The people of England then adopted the mistletoe as a decoration for their homes at Christmas. Its old, pagan religious meaning was soon forgotten, but some of the other meanings and customs have survived: the kiss under the mistletoe; the token of good will and friendship; the omen of happiness and good luck and the new religious significance." -Francis X. Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1958), 103-104.

WREATHS AND HOLLY-"Circular wreaths of evergreen branches (especially holly) were a featured part of the festival. These were formed in the shape of the sun, and represented life which could not exist without sunlight. These wreaths were placed on inside and outside walls during the celebrations. At the time of initiation into the Dionysian mysteries, these were worn by the initiates as fertility symbols. They represented the perpetuity of existence through ongoing cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

"Holly berries were also considered sacred to the sun-god. "The use of Christmas wreaths is believed by authorities to be traceable to the pagan customs of decorating buildings and places of worship at the feast which took place at the same time as Christmas. "-Frederick J. Haskins, Answers to Questions.

CHRISTMAS TREES-Green trees were cut down, mounted, and then decked with offerings of food and precious gifts to Mithra.

"The Christmas tree is from Egypt, and it originally dates from a period long anterior to the Christian Era." -Frederick J. Haskins, Answers to Questions.

Evergreens, because of their ability to remain fresh and green all year, symbolized immortality and fertility. Egyptian priests taught that the evergreen tree sprang from the grave of their god Osiris, who, after being murdered by another god, was resurrected through the energy in an evergreen tree.

Even the Bible speaks about the pagan custom:

"Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen. . For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."-Jeremiah 10:2-4.

YULE LOG The Yule log did not come from the Bible, nor from Near Eastern paganism. It came from heathen Celtic worship practices in Britain. The Celts also worshiped the sun, and they too had a celebration at the time of the winter solstice. Their December sun festival, called Julmond, was taken into Christianity when it came to Britain. During the Yule festival, evergreen branches were used for decoration; and, after the branches were stripped off, the log was considered sacred to the sun. It was round like the sun and its length symbolized the movement, just as the sun was round and moved through the sky. (All this may sound ridiculous, but paganism always is.)

The family would, each year, go out and specially select a nice round tree from which to cut the yule log. When burned it sent out heat, just as the sun god burned and sent out heat.

CHRIST'S MASS- "Christmas" means "Christ's Mass." This is a special Roman Catholic mass performed on December 25. It must be attended by the faithful, under penalty of mortal sin for not doing so. At this mass, as at every other, Christ is offered by the priest in a wafer. The people are to worship this wafer as the true body, blood, mind, and soul of Jesus Christ!

One of the most recent Vatican statements on this reveals that this worship of a piece of bread remains unchanged:

"There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that all the faithful ought to show to this most holy sacrament [the communion wafer] the worship which is due to the true God, as has always been the custom of the Catholic Church. Nor is it to be adored any the less because it was instituted by Christ to be eaten."-Vatican II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents.

This Vatican II statement reaffirms the doctrinal statement made in 1648 at the Council of Trent (Session 13: Decree on the Eucharist, chap. 5, Denz. 878, 1648).


The pagan Romans exchanged food, small statues of gods, and trinkets to one another during the winter festival. The church, in adopting the custom, declared that this is to be done on December 25.

"The interchange of presents between friends is alike characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and must have been adopted by Christians from the pagans, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows."-Bibliothica Sacra, Vol. 12, 153-155.

Should we today give gifts to our friends and to those who need them? Yes, it is well to do this all through the year, -especially to the needy. But our choicest gifts should be brought to Christ. For that we have a Biblical example:

"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea. . And when they [the wise men] were come into the house, they. . fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."-Matthew 2:1, 11.

Give Him the best you have; give Him your life. Dedicate all you have to Him, to be used in His service. Read the Bible daily and obey its commands through the enabling grace of Christ. Only then can you have genuine happiness.

But let not ancient paganism select the day on which you will worship God. The weekly Bible Sabbath was given as the day appointed us on which to worship Him. If we want to have happy gatherings with our loved ones, that is good. But let us not copy the heathen in doing it.

"Take heed to thyself, that thou be not snared by following them. . That thou inquire not after their gods. saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which He hateth, have they done unto their gods." -Deuteronomy 12:30-31.

"In vain, they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." -Matthew 15:9.

It is obeying the Inspired Word of God-the Bible, the Sabbath He gave us (Genesis 2:13; Exodus 20,8-11) and giving our lives in His service that we become worshipers of the Living God. That is what pleases Him, and we would rather please Him than do anything else. He has been so good to us all our lives. In Him we live and move and have our being, and only through Him can we be saved.

"Once a year, special ceremonies were held at Ephesus in honor of the goddess Diana. These attracted great numbers of people from all parts of the province. Throughout this period, festivities were conducted with the utmost pomp and splendor."-Acts of the Apostles, 291-292


Old Saint Nick, one of Santa's names, is a name for Satan. See "Old Nick" in the dictionary. "Santa," unscrambled, is Satan.

Outstanding missionary book  'Christmas, Easter and Halloween'




1. Comes as a thief in the night

2. Comes at midnight 

3. Dressed in white and red

4. Bringing gifts and rewards

5. Knows if you've been good or not 

6. White, curly hair 


7. Sits and talks with your children

8. Portrayed as coming with reindeer

9. Comes with a sleigh

10. Lives at the North Pole

11. Children tell him what they want

12. Santa Claus is not real, only make-believe



Comes in the night - 2 Peter 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:2

"It was at midnight that God chose to deliver His people." EW 285

White and red - Revelation 19: 13-14; Isaiah 63: 1-3

Brings rewards - Revelation 22: 12

Revelation 2:23

"His [Jesus'] hair was white and curly." LS 65; Revelation 1: 14

Talks with children - Matthew 19: 14

With horses - Revelation 19: 11. 14

With chariots - Isaiah 66: 15

 Lives on the sides of the north - Psalm 48:2

Prayers - Matthew 7:7

We should not partake in lies. Rev 22: 14-15