All of this nonsense about putting “Christ back into Christmas” is driving me absolutely bonkers. For Christians to say that having equal share over the winter holiday season is diminishing Christ is such a sleazy and conniving thing to do. Secularization does not remove anyone’s ability to celebrate whatever they want – be it Zombie Jesus or a bottle of Coca Cola. It just makes it possible so that you are indeed able to celebrate those things.
So, after my nerdrage settled down, I started to wonder why we celebrate the things we do during the month of December. And not only why, but where it started and for what reasons. What I’ve discovered aren’t the only supposed reasons people celebrate, but they happen to be the most popular in America – and most are supposedly Christian.
1. The birth of Christ was on December 25
I don’t happen to believe that the evidence is outstanding that Jesus even existed, but if he did it is highly unlikely that he would be born in the middle of winter. Biblical stories barely mention his birth, let alone when it was. So, for Christians to ever say that Christmas (on Dec 25) comes from the bible is… bullshit. So, let’s deconstruct the story a little bit so as to understand why a birth would be improbable considering the surrounding elements. Before Jesus was born, Mary lived in Nazareth but traveled to Bethlehem (about 70 miles). What woman that’s 9-months pregnant would (or could) want to travel days, if not weeks, in the middle of winter? Not only that, but for Jesus to have received visitors (which isn’t in the bible… sorry three wise men) during a frigid time in the desert would have been ridiculous. Shepherds, even today, don’t generally keep their flocks out in the cold of night. Biblical scholars even claim that the notion of a winter birth is highly unlikely and would make more sense (if it makes sense at all) happening in the spring.
2. But my church says he was born on December 25th – why would they say that?
Well, the most obvious reason is that the winter solstice happens just a few days before and was widely celebrated amongst non-Christians. The Roman Catholics picked this time of the year as the easiest, sneakiest way to convert everyone to Christianity by melding a holiday with one that the people had already been celebrating. So, the reason? Fucking evil, conniving greed. Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th, Christians, your churches just pretended he did so they could brainwash more people. Celebrating anything on this day, insert idols here, is continuing a pagan tradition.
3. Christmas trees are ways to celebrate Christ! Duh!
Actually, no. The taking in of greenery was a widespread tradition. It can be traced back to Germanic traditions, but an Estonian friend of mine even says his ancestors did the same. Romans, Egyptians, and many Europeans all participated. Having plants around that remained green during the winter was especially important to these people. It makes sense, right? How else to survive the winter blues than by having some bright green reminders of spring/summer indoors? The solstice meant that the following days and months would provide more and more sunshine, so part of celebrating was by honoring those things that thrive on it. The actual decorating of trees with lights and baubles (as we do today) didn’t start until the 16th century, or so and wasn’t even popular until the 1800’s. Again, using/decorating green trees and boughs is continuing a pagan tradition. Sorry, Jesus, no tree for you! In fact, having a decorated tree in the home is specifically condemned in the bible. Yup, check out Jeremiah.
4. Gift-giving was because of the ‘Three Kings’ bringing gifts for baby Jesus!
No. Like I mentioned previously, the bible never mentions three wise men visiting Jesus in the manger. There is a mention of “wise men” but their visitation isn’t corroborated along with the traditional story – nor does it even say how many of them were around and it definitely doesn’t say that they were kings. There is a mention of the gifts that they supposedly brought, but again, for what reasons they were brought is unknown. If it was for Jesus’ birth, then it still doesn’t make sense because it never specifies that they even saw Jesus as baby. He might’ve been a toddler by that point for all we know.
So, most of the reasons that anyone celebrates Christmas are usually quite secular – whether they’d admit it or not. Shopping for gifts to give, decorating a tree, putting up lawn ornaments, and getting together with family are traditions that aren’t really Christian in origin at all. There is little-to-no mention in the bible about Jesus’ birth so it’s quite obvious that the stories surrounding this specific holiday are just bits of made up tales. The next time you hear someone whine about how the heathens are “taking Christ out of Christmas” you can tell them that he was never really there to begin with.