What does all this mean? Well, Hanukkah is not for the birthday of Yeshua because he was not born on any day in December. Hanukkah is not one of the Biblical Feasts ordained by God either.
However, Hanukkah was important enough to Yeshua that He went to the Temple for Hanukkah, just like all the other Jews. Back then it was called the feast of Dedication or the feast of Lights.
John 10:22-30 - It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter and Yeshua was walking in the Temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us openly” It was during Hanukkah that Yeshua answered them by boldly proclaiming: “I and the Father are one” Messiah entered into the Temple at the feast of Hanukkah and presented himself as the God of Israel.
Although Yeshua was not born in December, he was conceived in December. He was conceived sometime during the 8 days of Hanukkah. We know this because we know He was born during the Feast of Tabernacles. You can learn more about this here.
The conception of Yeshua during the Feast of Lights is very prophetic and significant. Hanukah is a celebration of the cleansing and the restoration of the Temple of God after it had been defiled by the Greeks. The light of the Menorah burned once again in the Temple. Therefore it is fitting that the Light of the World was conceived during a week that celebrates the restoration of the light of the Temple.
What about Christmas? We do know that Yeshua was a baby of about two months during his first December. So if someone wants to celebrate His birthday in December, I say, better late than never. Although, first century Jews like Yeshua did not celebrate birthdays. In the Bible, one will not find a single birthday celebration among the Jews. You will find joyous events of births, but there are no annual birthday celebrations.
At our house, over the years, often with my two sons leading the way more urgently than their old man, we have removed pagan things from our home and our lives. Some folks might think we are extreme in this matter but, it is a yoke God has given us to carry and one that we have found very light and easy.
We do not celebrate Christmas because of it's pagan roots, which is a subject for a whole new article. I encourage you to research the subject if you have not already done so. We take the Word of God very seriously in our house. We believe God means what he said. We believe the Hebrew Bible is still relevant.
Throughout the Hebrew Bible, one finds many warnings like this; Ezekiel 44:23 - teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. We won't throw any stones at anyone over Christmas, we will just let our example speak for itself.
One side note about Hanukkah. At it's core, it is a celebration of the refusal of God's people, Jew or Christian, to be defeated by a pagan world, even in the face of severe persecution. It is a celebration of the determination of God's people to shine a light into the darkest corners of the world, no matter what the cost.
This year, don't forget to light a candle for the holidays.