When we get drunk and fail to take responsibility of our deeds, actions and words, when we overspend and get into debt, then yes we have lost the true meaning of the spirit and tradition of Christmas



By Apostle Saeni Magaso

When I was in grade five, I remember writing a letter and putting it into a maths writing book for a girl who had touched my heart. She took the letter straight to our class teacher; the rest is history. That was then I cannot imagine my son, Saeni jnr, writing a letter to a girlfriend in this day and age. Things have

Society is dynamic. If you do not change, you will be left behind. You constantly need to keep in touch with latest trends and upgrade yourself. Society can be a combination of an organised people/community and their beliefs/way of life (culture, tradition, etc). Is Christianity a religion or a relationship between God and Man, does it change with time and setting.

Are Christmas traditions built on pagan beliefs or Christmas is just a ceremony for. Christians to celebrate the love of God through the incarnation of Jesus Christ? I always find it fascinating every festive season when we come together as family and friends to celebrate this ceremony which, to a greater extend has seen the Christian family divided on the traditions and meaning as we continue to grow in the knowledge of the bible and we challenge our behaviour and way of celebrating Christmas.



Challenging Questions

1. Should Christians celebrate Christmas?
2. What is the true meaning of Christmas?
3. Is there any meaningful difference between Christmas and Xmas
4. Is Christmas for Christians only?
5. Is Christmas a pagan holiday?
6. Do some Christmas traditions have pagan origins?
7. How should Christians respond to the War on Christmas?
8. Should we have a Christmas tree?
9. Does giving gifts take away from the true meaning of Christmas?
10. Was Jesus born on December 25th? Or In September?
11. Is Christmas related to Saturnalia?
12. Who is Santa Claus?
13. Should we believe in Stars, as The Three Wisemen?
14. What should parents tell their children about Santa Claus?

What is your position and standing on the Christmas issue?

1. Either you celebrate Christmas and do not bother yourself about the true meaning. You just follow the direction of wind at that time.
2. You completely associate Christmas with pagan worship and therefore distance yourself from anything to do with Christmas and its traditions. Or
3. You celebrate Christmas with a deep sense of attachment and belonging. Making sure you preserve all the spirituality and holiness it deserves.



There are few facts I would like to share with you as I try unpack and challenge your knowledge and belief surrounding Christmas and its traditions, within the Christian community.

1. Jesus Christ is 100% divine, born of God; and was 100% human, conceived by the virgin Mary. Jesus is, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
2. Jesus Christ is the ultimate gift of Love to mankind by God. (John 3:16)
3. Christmas is a Christian festival to celebrate and remember the birth of the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
4. By virtue of being a ceremony, celebrating Christmas does not necessarily edify one’s faith.
5. Christmas is not biblical.
6. Christmas was not commanded, ordained or blessed by God, or by Jesus or by the early church.
7. First Christmas was celebrated almost 300 years after the death of Jesus Christ.
8. Just like any other traditions and festivals, Christmas has lost its original meaning and purpose.

God’s love for you and me is seen in the sacrifice on the cross.

When sin entered the world through one Man, Adam; it separated you and me from the Love of God. Through his rebellious spirit and disobedience, Man continued to drift away from the Love of God. Eventually, God sent his Son, Jesus Christ the Saviour to save us from the pain and suffering brought by sin. You have a choice, to make a conscious decision and start “going back’ to a loving and caring father who has made himself available to you anytime. He sent his only Son to redeem you and me from pain and suffering brought by sin. You have a choice to make, make it now!!!



Christmas is no more than just a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Questions may arise on the origin of Christmas or the exact date of birth of Jesus. Fair enough. I personally think if one is not comfortable with traditions and celebrations associated with Christmas, do not judge others.

I am open-minded when it comes to beliefs and traditions. Drinking alcoholic drinks (beer or wine) is not forbidden in the bible. I therefore do not judge some members of the Christian community who drink. I am a Wesley. I always find it educative and mind challenging when I engage fellow brethren from the Seventh Day Adventist and Jehovah Witness in meaningful discourse. I always approach such discussions with an open mind, ready to learn and share. It is not advisable to judge a fellow brother
or sister based on their church doctrine.

The moment we start giving attention to the ORIGIN of names and ordinances, we may have great challenges in our day-to-day living. What we eat, what we wear, which day we set aside for worship, etc; we will be in big trouble. Do you know the ORIGIN of:
Names of the Seven days of the week?
Nike (footwear brand)?
Unveiling of Tombstone and memorial service
If you do your homework properly, you will be shocked to know the ORIGINAL
meaning of these names and ordinances



As I have stated in my opening, society is dynamic. Most of our traditions and names have lost their attachment and meaning from their original state. Did you know that hosho nengoma (rattle and drum) were not allowed as musical instruments of worship in the early days of the United Methodist Church when it was introduced in Africa, Zimbabwe in particular? These musical instruments were associated with worshiping evil spirits and demons. But with the passage of time and changes to meaning and tradition, there were slowly incorporated and accepted. Today we enjoy Vabvuwi music, which is decorated and characterised by hosho and ngoma!!!

Has Christmas been hijacked, while Christians were busy with shopping and

Christmas is about celebrating the Love of God through the birth of Jesus. There is nothing wrong in feasting, exchanging gift, helping the less privileged and poor, coming together as family and friends. That is the true meaning of Christmas, honouring and adoring the grace and kindness of Jesus Christ. Christians should be on the forefront to uphold and advance the Love of God.

When we get drunk and fail to take responsibility of our deeds, actions and words, when we overspend and get into debt, when we show off, when we compete, when we eat and throw away food, when we take advantage of the poor and the less privileged in our society, when we commit adultery and fornication; then yes we have lost the true meaning of the spirit and tradition of Christmas. We have allowed the
evil to overtake and hijack the true meaning of Christmas. There has been tremendous growth in number of non-Christian communities who are being more conversant to the true meaning of Christmas. It is so profound to see people from the largely Muslim community taking time to donate food, blankets and clothes to the poor, when Christians are too busy with braai and wine.



Society and tradition are dynamic. They change with time and setting. God never change. He is the same Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow and forever.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year




Apostle Saeni Magaso is CM Chairperson at the Gauteng United Methodist Church, based in Rosettenville. Facebook: Saeni Magaso. Twitter: Saeni_Magaso. Instagram: Saeni Snr Magaso. Whatsapp: 082 360 0871. saenimaga@gmail.com



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