Q: I’m a young person who was baptized into the Adventist Church two years ago, and I’m learning a lot every Sabbath. However, I have a friend who doesn’t celebrate Christmas because of its pagan origins. I was raised in a family that celebrates Christmas, and especially during this time my mom likes to help poor people who are in need of basic necessities of life. We usually give groceries to the less unfortunate and for me it’s also an opportunity to evangelize. I’m just curious if the origin of Christmas is really evil? — Alyssa, from the United States
A: Alyssa, first let me say I’m delighted that you have been baptized and that you are being blessed each Sabbath. Your question about Christmas is one that comes up every year, as some wonder whether or not they should celebrate this holiday.
As a Church, we base our beliefs and practices on the Bible, and at times have found it helpful to clarify those beliefs and practices by voting official statements and guidelines. However, we have not voted a statement or guidelines about celebrating Christmas — or any other holiday. Instead, that has been left up to the individual.
While we know that Jesus was probably not born on Dec. 25, this time of year does provide wonderful opportunities for ministry and outreach, just as you have described in your question above.
Some feel that because of its pagan origins they cannot celebrate this holiday, and they should not feel pressured to do so.
On the other hand, those who see this time of year as a special opportunity to show the love of Christ to others, and to bring attention to the fact that Jesus came to this world in order that we might be saved, should be able to do so without being condemned.
Ellen White had some interesting counsel regarding this topic. You may read it, along with a previous answer I gave on this subject here.