The main reason I do not observe Christmas as many do is ably summed up by a pastor whose email updates I enjoy receiving:
Christmas itself really has nothing to do with the Bible. Christmas is not Christ's day. The first day of the week is the Lord's Day, the day of His resurrection, and it is the only special day God has given Christians. We are specifically commanded to honor Christ's resurrection. As for His birth, the Bible is silent about honoring it in some special way.
Someone protests, "That is the point; the Bible doesn't say anything about it." True, but the Bible also doesn't say anything about not doing something in honor of Christ's [alleged] birthday. When the Bible is silent, God's people have liberty to follow the personal leading of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14). We are not free to make laws for others in such matters, and we are also not free to judge others.*
My participation in Christmas goes as far as exchanging gifts with friends (I also like to send gifts anonymously) and sending cards. However, I do this not in observance of the holiday per se but as a polite courtesy in response to established social conventions. As Sir Robert Anderson wrote over a century ago in The Way,
A friend of mine who began his business life in the office of Lord ______ asked me once whether I thought he was justified as a Christian in raising his hat when he met his lordship. I answered, of course, that to be a Christian was higher than to be a gentleman, and that he was not even a gentleman if he omitted to do it.
To refuse participation when others are going out of their way to express kindness to you is less than gentlemanly. It is ungracious and tactless. For a Christian, it is inexcusably rude.
At the same time, I naturally want my family to recognize and avoid the unquestionably pagan, falsely "Christian" trappings that are inextricably wrapped up with most of the traditional American Christmas. The Bible believing ambassador for Christ does well to keep in mind that this falsely sacred holiday so obscures the true "reason for the season" that one has to defy the strong currents of tradition (and thereby risk offending many) to make Him truly known at this time of year. In fact, it can be even more offensive to pious unbelievers to hear the Gospel of Christ at this time of year** than at any other! But the once-a-year opportunity to drop Gospel tracts en masse into card envelopes and gift bags is solid gold and should not be passed up.
Christmas is also a good time to witness for Christ. Most people even in North America do not know the true gospel, and Christmas can be a good occasion for explaining who Jesus Christ is and why He came into the world. Many people will go to church at Christmas time who never darken the doors other times of the year. At this time of the year, scriptural churches will focus on Christ's cross more than Christ's birth. This is also true for the Lord's work in many places overseas. Hindus, for example, know that Christmas is a special "Christian festival" of some sort, and oftentimes they are more open on such occasions to attending church meetings or going to believers' homes. There is less stigma among their Hindu friends about mingling with Christians on such occasions. We have a special evangelistic meeting every Christmas and hundreds of Hindus have heard the gospel through this means who probably would not otherwise have attended church.
In my estimation, wise Christians should spend less time "bah humbugging" Christmas and more time using these things for the gospel's sake. *
So while there is no hint of Christmas encouraged, commanded or exemplified in the Bible, there are nonetheless some harmless aspects of Christmas that can be freely enjoyed or, failing that, simply complied with out of common courtesy, and in either case most definitely used for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God.
Dear Christian friends, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Avoid evil, but enjoy your freedom in Christ during the Christmas season or any season. If your activities are not condemned in Scripture and you have a clear conscience before the Lord (Rom. 14), you are free to enjoy yourself.
"Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks" (Romans 14:4-6). *
In closing, some serious food for thought...
Of the people you know who genuinely love and look forward to Christmastime (perhaps including yourself), how many keep the death, burial and resurrection of Christ first and foremost in their minds and hearts this time of year** much less year round?
That the vast majority of Christmas-lovers do not do so reveals how Christmas has taken on the nature of a very subtle works-salvation gospel. Many professing Christians evidently believe that observing Christmas has some spiritual merit before God - that a cursory faith in, and even a warm sentimentality for, the events depicted in manger scenes - combined with card-sending, gift-giving, tossing coins in a red bucket, caroling and seasonal churchgoing - somehow pleases God. The unspoken mindset seems to be that doing these things "in the Christmas spirit" somehow atones for their sins from the other 364 days of the year during which they give no thought whatsoever to their sin nor to the crucified and risen Christ Who died for their sin.
That's the fundamental reason Christmas as we know it is not merely false but potentially dangerous: no degree of honoring the perpetual Baby in the manger, however sincere, can save anyone. Only the Man crucified, buried and risen again for our sins and for our justification can do that. Apart from Him, Christmas is ultimately meaningless, empty and vain.
Do you know Him? Does He know you?
* "Have a Blessed Christmas New Year's Season," David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, www.wayoflife.org, 12/24/2013.
** which isn't even the right time of year for Christ's birth.