This passage states, “Thus says the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.”
These verses illustrate an idol made out of wood. However, idols were also made out of other materials, such as stone, marble, etc. So this is not a comprehensive description of idol-making. More specifically, it speaks of Christmas tree-making, even as it is still done today.
A reference to the signs of heaven in verse 2 is better translated today as the winter solstice. Most people are unaware of the connection between Christmas and the winter solstice, and that the origin of the holiday is pagan. They observe it because of the customs in our society. We need to be aware of what some of the customs signify. In fact, we read in verse 2 above, “learn not the way of the heathen.” God commands us not to follow that way.
Although the scripture above undoubtedly reflects the ancient practices during Jeremiah’s time, we know that the book is also prophetic. Therefore, we ought to take it as an instruction for our day and age as well.