Here is a simple guide for non-Christians to understand the Christian holiday and how to be a good neighbor to Christian friends during this Christmas season.

What is Christmas?
Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah (or Savior, the promised deliverer, etc). They also believe that Jesus is himself, God. They believe that his mother Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born and God supernaturally caused his birth. It is common for Christians to participate in a special worship service on Christmas Eve (the day before Christmas), and on Christmas Day they celebrate by sharing gifts and eating a large meal. Christmas celebrations often occupy an entire month leading up to Christmas. Christians will invest in special decorations, special music and many parties with friends and family in the weeks leading up to Christmas. You can read more about the birth of Jesus in the New Testament, in the book of Luke, chapter 2, verses 1 through 21.

When is Christmas celebrated?
Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25 every year.

What greetings can I use? 
The most common greeting is “Merry Christmas!”.

How can I be a good neighbor during Christmas?
There are a number of things that can be done to be a good neighbor to your Christian friends during the Christmas season.

It is kind to bring a gift to your neighbors during Christmas. This can be a home-baked gift like cookies, a cake, or some other item that you like to prepare. You may also purchase a gift like a gift card to a favorite restaurant, or a Christmas greeting card.

When you offer a gift of some sort to your Christian neighbor during Christmas, it is a good time to offer the gift in person, and have a conversation about their celebration of Christmas, and it is a good opportunity for you to share with them about particular holidays and traditions that are important to you from your own religious tradition.

It is also best to show kindness by giving a gift in the days leading up to Christmas. It is not best to visit most neighbors on Christmas Day, itself. Many of them will travel on that day, or will have family members visit their homes, and will have a rather busy day.