Can the believer put up the Christmas tree and decorations?

The christmas is mainly a Catholic holiday, although many customs and traditions of these festivities come from other religions, especially the one practiced by the Celts, whose content and symbolism is completely different from the Catholic one or called by some as Christian.

With the arrival of the christmasis customary for many of us to enjoy in family to set up the tree, decorate the house to receive the Christmas and keep it that way until after Epiphany.

christmas tree

A bit of history

Far from the commercial character of these dates, in its beginnings these customs were only linked to the religion a the hope and bonanza. In ancient times the Germans were convinced that both the earth and the stars hung from a gigantic tree, the Divine One. Idrasil o Tree of the Universewhose roots were in hell and its cup in heaven. They, in order to celebrate the winter solstice -which occurs at this time in the Northern Hemisphere, adorned an oak tree with torches and danced around it.

An evangelist from Germany and England whose name St. BonifaceIn the year 740, he demolished that tree, whose oak represented the God Odin, and replaced it with a pine or fir tree, which would represent the symbol of God's eternal love, and was also decorated with apples, which would represent "temptations, the sin and the sins of men" and with candles representing Christ, the light of the world and the grace received by men who accept Christ. Jesus as Savior. It is worth noting that its triangular shape is related to the Holy Trinity and because the pine is a type of evergreen tree, it symbolizes eternal life. It was curious to see fir trees "loaded" with apples. In this picturesque way, the Christians of the Middle Ages painted their family celebrations with a Christian meaning.

After the conquest and colonization of America, this German custom, which had already spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, spread from Europe to these American lands.

What the Ornaments Represent

As the story goes, the triangular pine tree represents the Holy Trinity, but over time the apples and candles were replaced by spheres and garlands, the star and colored lights.  The spheres  represent the gifts that God gives to men and, of course, to the the family where they celebrate this tradition. The blue ones symbolize repentance; the red ones, petitions; the golden ones, praise; and the silver ones, gratitude. The star, represents the faith that guides our lives, just like the star of Bethlehem that served as a guide for the Three Wise Men. Ribbons and bows, represent family unity. Angelitos,  represent the messengers between us and heaven, they are also the ones in charge of protection. The Lights,  They are intended to illuminate our path in the Faith.

No matter the size of the Christmas tree, or the amount of ornaments it has, the most important thing is to celebrate as a family, with love, faith and hope.

Ornaments of various figures are also often placed on the Christmas tree. These represent the good deeds and sacrifices: the "gifts" that we will give to Jesus at Christmas.

What does the Bible tell us about this?

There is nothing in the Bible that singles out or forbids Christmas trees. Some mistakenly think that Jeremiah 10:1-16 forbids cutting down trees and decorating them in the same way we do at Christmas.

1 Hear the word which the LORD has spoken concerning you, O house of Israel.

2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn ye not the way of the heathen, neither fear ye the signs of heaven, though the heathen fear them.

3 For the customs of the people are vanity; for they cut down the wood out of the forest, the work of the hands of a craftsman with a graver.

4 With silver and gold they adorn it; with nails and hammer they fasten it so that it will not move.

5 They are as a palm tree, and speak not; they are carried about, because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither have they power to do good.

6 There is none like thee, O LORD: great art thou, and great is thy name in might.

7 Who will not fear you, O King of the nations? For fear is due to you; for among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like you.

8 They will all be infatuated and dumbed down. Teaching of vanities is the wood.

9 They shall bring beaten silver from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz, the work of the artificer, and from the hands of the smelter; they shall clothe them in blue and purple, the work of the craftsmen is all.

10 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. ira the earth trembles, and the nations cannot suffer their indignation.

11 Thus shall ye say unto them: The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth, let them disappear from the earth and from under the heavens.

12 He who made the earth by his power, who set the world in order by his knowledge, and stretched out the heavens by his wisdom;

13 At his voice there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causes the clouds to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightning with the rain, and brings forth the wind out of its reservoirs.

14 Every man is brutish, and he lacks knowledge; every caster is ashamed of his idol, because his molten work is a lie, and there is no spirit in it.

15 They are vanity, a vain work; in the time of their punishment they shall perish.

16 Not so the portion of Jacob; for he is the Maker of all, and Israel is the rod of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name.

However, even reading this text superficially, it is understood that Jeremiah establishes the prohibition of idols made of wood, covered with silver and gold and then worship them. A similar idea appears in Isaiah 44where the prophet describes the folly of the fanatics, who cut down a tree, burn part of it in the fire to warm themselves, and use the other part to carve an idol, to which they bow down. So unless we bow down to our Christmas treeIf we carve an idol and pray before it, these passages should not be applied to Christmas trees.

There is no spiritual significance in having or not having a Christmas tree more than to represent joy and family togetherness. Whatever our choice, the motive behind the believer's decision on this point, as in all matters of conscience, should be to please the Lord.

5 There are those who consider one day to be more important than another, but there are those who consider all days to be equal. Each one must be firm in his own opinions.

6 He who gives special importance to a certain day, does it for the Lord. He who eats of everything, eats for the Lord,

Romans 14:5-6

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