Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree. Everybody loves celebrating Christmas by decorating an evergreen with ornaments, tinsel, and lights, but it’s easy to see how these kinds of celebrations could be taking away from the true meaning of Christmas.
Can Christians have Christmas trees? Christians can have Christmas trees if they don’t make it or other parts of Christmas an idol over Jesus. The Bible never tells Christians if they should have Christmas trees or not, but the Bible does tell Christians to reject any idols in their lives and worship Him alone. Christmas is about Jesus’ birth and God’s promise to save us, not about what we put on our Christmas trees.
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but not because of the warm aesthetic, the hot cocoa, or the decorations. Christmas is wonderful because it is when Jesus humbled himself and took on human form, all so that He could die for our sins and rise from the dead to give us eternal life with him.
Jesus came so that we could be forgiven and so that we could have a relationship with him both now and for the rest of eternity. That’s worth celebrating, and whether you celebrate that with a Christmas tree or not, your Christmas should be all about Jesus.
What The Bible Says About Christmas Trees
To have the right perspective, the Bible tells us the story of Christmas is the story of Jesus’ birth and incarnation.
He left heaven and took on human nature so that He could make a way for us to be with Him forever. So that He could be our Savior.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.Luke 2:11 ESV
His birth was lowly and humble, yet supernatural and spectacular. He was first placed in a dirty manger and born to a virgin, yet conceived by the Holy Spirit. He was more than a miracle, He was and is the Messiah.
This shows us that Jesus’ birth is the reason we celebrate Christmas and have Christmas trees to begin with.
Because of this, we can carry this knowledge with us the whole time we’re celebrating Christmas, which will inform us on whether or not we should have Christmas trees as Christians.
A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move.
Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.Jeremiah 10:3-5 ESV
To understand this verse, we have to look at some context. What the pagans from the Bible would do in this time is cut down trees, carve out idols from them, and worship them.
These people weren’t necessarily decorating Christmas trees, but at the same time, we have to be careful that we don’t worship worthless things as the people in Jeremiah did. Instead, we can glorify God in everything we do, including decorating Christmas trees.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
Christmas is fun and beautiful, and it’s the best time of the year to glorify God for sending us his Son Jesus.
So whether you worship him by loving your family well as you decorate a tree, or stick to the simplicity of Christmas, know that you can do everything for His glory.
The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious.Isaiah 60:13 ESV
The trees in this verse were used to build and beautify the Lord’s temple, but once again, this proves that anything good can be given to God and used to make His name glorious.
Can You Have A Christmas Tree?
You may be thinking that worshipping a Christmas tree or decorations is dumb and that you’d never do that. You’d be right, it is dumb. But, it’s easier to worship Christmas trees above Jesus more than you’d think.
Don’t worry, I’m guilty of it too, and that’s why I talk through some points that will help you decide if you personally can have a Christmas tree:
If you can’t imagine celebrating Christmas without a Christmas tree or your normal Christmas decorations, then you may be worshipping those things more than Jesus.
If you’re not willing to celebrate a Christmas with just the simplicity of the Christmas story of Jesus, then you may be worshipping something other than God.
Convicted? Me too.
Now there’s nothing inherently wrong with Christmas trees or spending time with your family decorating them. Those are good things, and every good thing comes from God.
I’m sure if Jesus were here physically, He’d love to put up ornaments with us because He’s all about love and spending time with us. But, when we do make Christmas trees more special than Him, we’re rejecting His goodness.
We’re missing out on Jesus because we think certain man-made traditions are better than Him.
Jesus is always better than the material things of this world.
If you’re struggling believing that, repent for making Christmas all about the material things, accept His grace, and ask Him for joy and excitement for His presence.
He is Immanuel, God with us, after all.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14 ESV
If you’re still wondering if having a Christmas tree is right for you, ask Jesus about it.
He wants to listen to you, teach you, and change your heart even if you have been worshipping things more than Him. He has grace for you.
You can know that the Holy Spirit wants to help you, and he wants you to be able to celebrate Christmas fully, with or without a Christmas tree.
Christmas Is All About Jesus
The whole reason Jesus came down to earth was because He loved us. He loves you. You were born to be loved because He was born to die and rise again to glorify the Father and love you.
Later on in His life on earth, Jesus even said that love is what matters the most.
He said to him, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.‘Matthew 22:37-39 CSB
We don’t deserve Jesus’ love but His grace is enough for us. We don’t deserve to enjoy Christmas, but through grace and faith, we do.
If we love God first and love others more than ourselves, then we can use Christmas trees as a way to connect with our families and friends and love them as Jesus would.
We can use Christmas trees as a way to glorify God through beauty because all good things come from Him and He deserves all things beautiful.
In the midst of this, we know that nothing is more incredible than what Christmas truly means, not even the best decorated Christmas tree, because it’s always all about Jesus.