What should I do about my sister's refusal to celebrate birthdays and holidays?

By February 16, 2017 Q&A

Full Question

My sister refuses to celebrate holidays and birthdays, saying the Lord told her not to do so. This has hurt our parents, who she refuses to call on special days because she thinks those days are for the worship of individuals instead of God. How do I respond?


Although we cannot presume to know your sister’s interior prayer life, you might point out to her that the Lord celebrated holidays during his earthly life (cf. Luke 2:41-43; John 6:3-5, 7:1-10, 10:22-23). In fact, one of the motifs of the Gospel of John is the Jewish holiday cycle. The purpose of holidays is not to worship days and individuals. It is to set apart time to focus attention on loving God and loving neighbors, the two great commandments (cf. Matt. 22:35-40). As in secular life where we must set aside vacation days to rest and focus our attention on family, so in the spiritual life we must set aside holy days to focus our attention more closely on God and neighbor. If left to our own devices, we might never do it. Because the days are set apart ritually, we don’t have to think about doing it because it’s already been done.

By Michelle Arnold

One Comment

  • Peter Aiello says:

    Roman 14:4-6 says: “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.”

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