Not Celebrating Holidays = A Sad Life

Christmas Tree in RoomWhen I was growing up, I remember being surprised that the Jehovah’s Witnesses in my classes didn’t observe Christmas or Halloween. I remember there being a mini-debate among the JWs in the class about whether “Teddy Bear Week” constituted a holiday or not, which I found amusing even in first grade.

I support the right of any person to celebrate whatever they want (or don’t want) so long as nobody is harmed, but nonetheless, I think living a life without a lot of holidays is a sad life indeed. Holidays give us meaning. They help us orient in our live in time and space. They provide us with rituals to adjust to changing seasons. In other words, celebrating holidays is deeply human. Animals don’t celebrate them, so I dare say celebrating holidays are part of being created in God’s image! Fortunately, as a Catholic, my calendar is loaded with celebrations, feasts, and fasts!

I can make Scriptural arguments about why celebrating Christian holidays is good. I can make good historical arguments for why Christmas, Easter, and other holidays are pretty darn ancient, and in the case of Easter, apostolic. I can make a philosophical case for why a holiday can’t be “pagan” anyway, because God created every day, and isn’t going to let a pagan “own” a day.

Yet, that is not what I am saying here. What I am saying here is that denying yourself the chance to feast, fast, switch seasons, and meaningfully orient yourself within time is tantamount to denying your basic humanity. I don’t want to get into a big debate, because I won’t do that here (I have better things to do), but I will say that I hope any reader that comes here that hates Christian holidays will at the very least ponder how something that brings such joy and meaning can be “evil.” I am not sure if I could imagine a god that would create people with a deep need for holidays and then send you to hell (or annihilation – pick your poison) for celebrating them.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is an author, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother Jonathan. The site gets over one million visitors a year, and Bennett's writings have appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.

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