Christmas is a holiday that people in the United States take very serious. It is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. It has been celebrated for over 2000 years in countries and cultures all over the world with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. As an international student you are aware of Christmas… you have just never seen it celebrated like we do here in the United States.

International Students Club is a Christian club at ASU so we celebrate Christmas Day as the annual birthday of Jesus Christ. The story of His birth was foretold in the Bible (see examples). The actual record of Jesus’ birth is also in the Bible (see Luke 2). This special birthday of our spiritual leader is celebrated with exchanging gifts, decorating with lights, going to church and sharing meals with family and friends. Each year our club has a Christmas Party for all students to come and learn more about the true meaning of Christmas.

As a student, you’re already celebrating the “Winter Holiday” with a break from the regular school schedule and time to relax and have some fun. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the tinsel and trappings that surround Christmas here in the US. Lights are twinkling everywhere, festive music is playing in all the stores where shopping frenzies take place, even during a pandemic. And Santa Claus doesn’t wait to come down the chimney, he seems to be everywhere. The Christmas Christians celebrate is much more than this “holly jolly folly.”

Jesus’ birth came with a supernatural message of hope… an angel appeared to share “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior–yes, the Messiah, the Lord– has been born today!” Then the angel was joined by a vast host of others–the armies of heaven–praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” This good news that brings great joy is for all people… and it is received by faith. If you’re looking for hope… celebrate Christmas with Jesus!