The True Meaning of Christmas

The True Meaning of Christmas is LOVE!



For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.

Luke 2:11-12 

As I look at the picture of baby Jesus and then I look at my sleeping baby, Hairy (my cat), I cannot comprehend the magnitude of love that was needed to send Jesus into this world as a baby; completely vulnerable and completely dependent on others.  I can’t imagine entrusting my cat to someone else and he’s just a stray cat that we adopted, not my only child.  Take a moment and just imagine giving your child away.  Now imagine giving your only child away so he could die to save another life.  I’ll just be honest – I don’t love anyone that much.  BUT GOD LOVES us so much that He was willing give us the greatest gift we will ever receive – Jesus, the Christ.  TRUE LOVE came down from Heaven when Jesus was born. 

Why Christmas?

The word Christmas is a combination of Christ and Mass

  • Christ is a title for Jesus just as President is a title for Obama.  Christ is from the Greek word “Christos” and the Hebrew word “Messiah”.  Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Savior of mankind. 
  • Mass is derived from the Latin word “missa” which means dismissal.  Mass is a celebration primarily of the Eucharist (aka Holy Communion).  During Communion Christians remember Jesus by eating bread and drinking wine (or grape juice) to represent the body and blood of Jesus, the Christ.  Jesus gave us this example in Luke 22:17-20 when He and the disciples ate the Last Supper before He died on the cross.

So, while Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, we always view His birth in respect to His death on the cross.  It was love that sent Him into this world and it was love that sent Him to the cross to die for your sins and mine.

7 Christian Meanings for Christmas Traditions

The birth of Jesus, the Christ, has been celebrated on December 25 by many Christians for about 1500 years.  Although Christmas has become less about Jesus and more about gifts, decorations and parties, I encourage you to incorporate these Biblical meanings into your Christmas celebration: 

  1. Gifts – Jesus is the greatest gift the world will ever receive – the gift of true love (John 3:16).  The best gifts are those given out of love.
  2. Christmas Tree – An evergreen tree represents everlasting life which we receive through Jesus.  The tree of life was in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2) and in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22).  A cut tree serves as a reminder of the death of Jesus on the cross (a tree).
  3. Star – We have a lighted star on the top of our tree to represent the star in the East that shone in Bethlehem to direct the wise men to Jesus (Matthew 2:2).
  4. Lights – Lights are a reminder that Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12), and when we follow Him we will be a light in this dark, sinful world.   It’s wonderful to celebrate His entrance into the world on the darkest day of the year (2014 Winter Solstice is 12/21).
  5. Decorations – A wreath represents eternity.  Red or crimson ribbons represent the blood of Jesus and because of His cleansing blood, we have eternal life.  Candy canes remind us of the blood of Jesus (red) that makes us pure and holy (white) and their hook shape reminds us that Jesus is our good shepherd (Psalm 23). 
  6. Cards/Letters –God, through His people, wrote us a letter (the Bible) to tell us how much He loves us.  Take the time to read His letter to you.
  7. Nativity – Matthew 1-2; Luke 2 – A Nativity is a physical representation of the scene of the birth of Jesus. 
    • The manger (feeding trough) in which baby Jesus was placed points to Jesus as the bread of life (John 6).  When we accept the sacrifice of His body as payment for our sins, we spiritually eat His body and it becomes our eternal life.
    • The swaddling cloths in which baby Jesus was wrapped point to His burial and being wrapped in linen.
    • The expensive “perfumes” of frankincense and myrrh from the wise men also point to His burial since these were used to anoint His body for burial.
    • The gold from the wise men points to His anointing as King.  The sign on His cross said “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”.  Jesus is the King of Kings.

Your Gift to God:  The best gift you can give Jesus is to not let His death be in vain.  Tell Him you believe that He died for your sins and rose from the dead so you could have eternal life.  Receive and enjoy His gift of love and eternal life. 

QUESTION:  Do you think of God’s gift of love for you through Jesus when you think about Christmas?  Use the comment form below to share your thoughts. 

Merry CHRISTmas!
  • Sheri Geyer

    Beautiful reminder and I love your closing! I use that too

  • Marianne Clements

    Thank you Sheri!
    Merry CHRISTmas
    and Happy New Year!

  • Ann Musico

    Marianne I love that you gave the Christian meanings behind the traditions which so easily get lost. I do think of His gift of love. The Bible was on the History Channel yesterday and it was the part about His crucifixion and resurrection. It hit me all over again that this was why He came! I have thought many times of how it must’ve been for Mary watching her baby boy – her beloved son suffer for people who didn’t even care! Having my 2 sons I can’t even imagine that and what you shared must be true for me – I don’t think I love anyone enough to send one of my boys to die for them. But I am eternally grateful God did and does.

    • Marianne Clements


      It really puts it in perspective when you really think about what it would be like to let your child die to save someone else. It’s true love. I agree – I’m eternally grateful that God loves me so much.

      Have a Victorious Day!


  • Caroline Gavin

    Such a beautiful presentation of powerful Scriptural truths! Thank you so much for sharing, sweet Marianne! Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours!!!

    • Marianne Clements

      Thank you so much! Merry CHRISTmas to you and your family too!