Do Quakers Celebrate Christmas?

Quakers believe every day is sacred, that we celebrate Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection all the time, not just at Christmas and Easter. That said, many Friends take comfort in the year-end focus on the Nativity. “To think of that baby, in particular, being born in that stable is a marvel to me,” Chloe Schwenke tells us. “It’s a true spiritual gift, and I carry that with me always.”

We spoke with several Friends about the significance of this holiday season, and though they respect early Quakers’ insistence on recognizing God’s presence in our lives consistently throughout the year, they also felt a desire to acknowledge the singularity of the son of God coming to this world as a human child, born at the margins of society. In the words of Cherice Bock, “As we practice Christmas in that way, of remembering who we are and who God is in our lives, it can be really powerful.”

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4 thoughts on “Do Quakers Celebrate Christmas?

  1. Please educate me. The “story” is not that they were undocumented and homeless, but travelling to participate in a required census. Also, not sure I ever heard that they stayed in the stable because they were poor. The story I learned was that the inns were full, so they had to accept whatever. After all, Joseph was a carpenter, no? That was a respectable career. AM I behind the times?

    1. Praise our Heavenly Father for your awareness and for setting the record straight a year ago. Would be lovely to see an update on this video for those who are not so sure of the circumstances surrounding the coming of Jesus Christ through human birth.

    2. no – you are right – that’s the way the story goes. It is based on other stories which came before in other religious traditions. The date was chosen because pagan festivals traditionally came on that date. People read into the story how it speaks to them and how they need it to speak to them.

  2. Thanks Rebecca
    I watch your videos fairly regularly and really appreciate the format with a number of diverse voices from the range of Quaker types. This will help us in the Quaker Community in Southern Africa (unprogrammed) as we prepare for the 2024 FWCC World Gathering as we are a small YM (200 members) and we will be hosting the world and the rest of Africa which is predominantly programmed.
    Would it be possible in the years leading up to the World Gathering to have a number of Quaker Speaks on relevant topics involving Quakers from Southern Africa and friends from East Africa (Friends United and Evangelical Friends) and perhaps from West Africa as well. It would help us to get to know each other and make the World Gathering a success and provide a platform to cooperate and partner after the event.
    I thought you did a magnificent job in editing the interview with Nozizwe and myself.
    Jeremy Routledge

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