I will just deal with the 2nd Q.: Well, we can know beyond doubt that there is nothing about a Christmas tree that has to do with the birth of Messiah. It seems a common perception among Biblical scholars, first of all, that Messiah was not born in the winter. The animals are not left out in the winter fields. The census probably would not have been done during the worst possible weather times. There is no story in the "New" Testament about any kind of decorated tree. In the "Old" Testament decorated trees, brought into the home, are condemned.
Originally Posted by J_sunshine4Christ
Studies of pagan literature show that the pagans did bring trees into their home and decorate them with balls - per my understanding representing the, uh, testicles of the god Tammuz - and with shiny strings representing his semen. (EEyuck!)
We are told in Scriptures not to do what the pagans do and say we are doing it for YHWH. Christmas trees are what the pagans did. Who are we doing it for? Well, I can't rightly think that there is any reason to believe we are doing it for Him.
Honestly, I don't think He likes reminders of pagan practices sort of, you know, in His face. Mho.
I got rid of all Christmas decorations some years ago - ditto Easter ones - and haven't really missed them. I have to admit though that I have an understanding family who is not bent out of shape by my not wanting such things. That's not always the case though.
In December I give Hannakah presents. Yahshua was seen going to the Temple for the Feast of Dedication, i.e. Hannakah. I figure, if HE celebrated it, I'm gonna celebrate it too! (I do not use a Menora with 8 lights, though, as I do not see this in Scriptures - only a Menora with 7 lights.)
Please pray for "the least of these" in the Persecuted Church Prayer Forum at top.
Acts 21 Now they have been informed about you that you continually teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn back from and forsake Moses...Therefore do just what we tell you. With us are 4 men who have taken a vow upon themselves. Take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses [for a temple offering],...Thus everybody will know that there is no truth in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself walk in observance of the Law of Moses.