From The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Author: Jamison, Mary Ellen Stewart
Christmas is the holiday when Latter-day Saints and other Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This epochal event, seen in vision by ancient prophets, heralded the entry into mortality of the Son of God, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, and the promised Messiah. Even though Latter-day Saints believe that the birth of Jesus actually occurred in the spring of the year (D&C 20:1; see April 6), they observe the December celebration when, more than at any other time of year, the Christian world unites in remembering Christ's birth and practicing his teachings of love, charity, self-sacrifice, and tolerance.
Most Latter-day Saints include some of the traditions, games, decorations, music, and food associated with the Christmas customs of their homelands in their family celebrations. Such items as Christmas trees, stockings, gifts, and greeting cards add to the beauty of the holiday and are not discouraged. But the recommended focus is religious. The Church encourages family closeness, concern for neighbors, thoughtfulness for fellow workers, renewal of friendships, and acts of Christlike love, giving, and celebration. Appropriate sermons, lessons, songs, and programs are presented in Sabbath services during the Christmas season. Latter-day Saints are cautioned that holiday shopping, decorating, and festivities should not obscure the remembrance of Christ nor hinder the quest for peace on earth.
Packer, Boyd K. "Keeping Christmas." In BYU Speeches of the Year, 1966 -1967. Provo, Utah, 1967.
MARY ELLEN STEWART JAMISON