Generosity and charity are two things important to Christians. And yet, some Christians don’t want to share Christmas with non-Christians.
“Jesus is the Reason for the Season” sometimes even decorates windows in the homes of the most passive-aggressive Christians. I’m sure some mean that to say there is more to the holiday season than just gifts and consumerism but for many people, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ is not the reason for the season.
For one, Jesus Christ was probably born in late September and not on December 25th. This blog takes evidence straight from the Bible to come up with that time frame. If Jesus Christ’s birth really is the reason for the season and that reason alone, sorry but you missed it. See you next fall.
Christmas is celebrated on December 25th because it’s handy to the Pagan holiday of the Winter Solstice as well as the Pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. (Source) So, people were already partying down around this time, so why not add Christmas in there as well?
That’s right. The ancient Romans were able to share the holiday season just fine. And they really didn’t like sharing too much.
“Christmas” just ended up being the catch-all term for a lot of people because Christianity is the most popular religion in the Western world.
Christmas means different things to different people, none of them specifically tied to Christian traditions or beliefs. For some, it’s seeing family and friends they don’t get to see very often. For others, it’s decorating a tree or hanging twinkly lights from the house or eating as much turkey dinner as possible or listening to cheesy Christmas music or drinking eggnog. For some, it’s seeing a kid’s face light up when they get that special toy they’ve been wanting all year. For some, it’s nothing more than a few days off of work.
How do you feel about the modern Santa Claus? Santa is a generally secular figure taken from some paganism with a dash of early Christianity. Plus, the Santa we know and love today was designed by Coca-Cola in the 1930s.
Do you kiss under the mistletoe? That tradition goes back to the the ancient Greeks.
Do you bring a tree into your home and decorate it? That’s a pagan tradition but additionally dates back to the ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Hebrews. (Source)
Do you hang stockings? That’s a pagan tradition.
Do you give and receive gifts? That’s a pagan tradition.
Do you prepare and/or eat a big fancy meal during the holidays? That’s a pagan ritual too. The shortest day of the year, December 21, is dark. The goods from the fall harvest were brought out and everyone ate together to cheer people up. (Source)
If I were a jerk, I would put a sign in the front window of my house that says “Paganism is the reason for the season.”
The whole month of December is significant to a lot of people because of Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Ramadan, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year and I’m likely leaving some out. Most non-religious people celebrate Christmas because it’s a nice time of the year.
So, there’s no reason why we can’t all share Christmas and not be holiday-hogs about it.
Jillianne Hamilton is the author of Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, its two action/comedy sequels, and The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII. She is also a freelance blogger, a graphic designer, a history enthusiast, and a dog mom. Learn more.