Why We Celebrate Christmas

During my last English class before the winter break, a couple friends of mine who know I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) came up and asked me, “Wait, do you celebrate Christmas?” This question surprised me because I thought it was sort of obvious that we did because we are Christians. After asking several other people, I found that in general, lots of people don’t know if we celebrate this wonderful holiday. After pausing, I answered with  “yes”. Besides providing a simple yes or no answer to this question, during this post I’d like to explain why Mormons celebrate Christmas.

To celebrate Christmas means is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, everyone (in one way or another) tends to obsess over buying presents, traveling, sending Christmas cards, preparing meals, and participating in almost every cultural norm and custom that goes along with celebrating Christmas.  As a Mormon, I can’t say we do any better! Its true, we are very busy, and get caught up in the excitement and stress of the holiday, but taking time to show respect for our Savior Jesus Christ is also a very important part of our lives during this busy time. His birth was significant because it made it possible for Jesus Christ to come to earth even with significant opposition, hardship and humble circumstances. Although the setting and circumstances of the birth of Christ are remarkable and intriguing, the real reason Mormons celebrate Christmas isn’t to fascinate over the story of the birth of the Son of God. But rather, rejoice that he was able to come to earth, making a way for Him to do what he did.  What exactly did he do that makes us so eager to celebrate?

Jesus Christ came to earth to redeem mankind.  Other than healing the sick, helping the poor and inspiring thousands in his ministry, Christ had some long term and lasting impacts for everyone who ever lived.  He provided a supreme example, showing what it meant to live an honorable life.  By dying on the cross, we believe he made it possible for everyone to live again, meaning, life won’t end when we die; there will be a life after this one.  As he suffered the pains and afflictions of the world in the garden of Gethsemane, he prepared a way for us to repent, say sorry and be forgiven for what we may have done wrong.  He called apostles who would soon record their thoughts, stories and experiences into The Holy Bible for future generations to read.  He did all these things so that anyone willing to submit to his Gospel could be saved and inherit the blessings he has in store for us in his kingdom.

As we go about our busy lives and continue to franticly fixate on the details of the holiday, its important to keep in mind that Jesus Christ has given us the greatest gift we could ever dream of; the possibility and opportunity to receive eternal life.  For that is why we celebrate Christmas.

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