Oh yes, it's the most wonderful time of the year. The time where we all come together to wish each other well and good cheer. A time to spend with family and friends, and to count our blessings. A time to share good food and good times with all. So why all the stress? Why all the arguing and bickering over who's holiday trumps who's? Why all the animosity? Where is it all coming from?
This is the time of year where I see so many posts online, and hear so many people talking about how everyone is taking the "Christ" out of Christmas. And how everyone is getting too sensitive and they are going to say "Merry Christmas" to everyone whether they like it or not and they will be really offended if the person doesn't say "Merry Christmas" right back. I see and hear all of "Jesus is the reason for the season" plastered everywhere. And it seems to me like the majority of the strife is coming from some, not all, Christians who feel "their" holiday is being taken over. So let's take a closer look at this, shall we?
What is Christmas all about anyway? Well, the Christian celebration is the birth of Jesus in a manger, with three wise men, and some animals. So basically the birth of Jesus. This is celebrated on the 25th of December. So this man, called Jesus, was presumably born on the 25th of December, right? Actually, no. Scholars and historians have calculated Jesus's birthdate to be some time in June. Feel free to search for yourself or check out this link here for more information. So why would the Christians start a false holiday?
Well, you see there were these pesky heathens running around worshipping all these other gods and goddesses, and the Christians very much wanted to convert them to Christianity. In order to make the transition smoother the church created Christian celebrations that mirrored the Pagan ones. One of them being Christmas. Christmas was used to replace Yule also known as the Winter Solstice. This is a time of year when the night is the longest and the Pagans are celebrating the birth of the Sun God who will return to the earth and brighten the days. Hmmm, birth of the Sun God, birth of Jesus. Trees, being male phallic symbols were decorated with edible treats for the birds and wildlife to help them through the last of Winter until the Sun God was strong enough to help the earth grow again.
And to this day there are still people who celebrate the Winter Solstice and the birth of the Sun God. Now, that doesn't make Christmas any less of a holiday. After all it's been around long enough now to earn itself a place at the December holiday table right up there with Hanukkah and Kawanzaa.
There is another pesky little thing I would like to address, the dreaded "X". SO , so often through the holidays I get lectured on how I shouldn't use Xmas as an abbreviation for Christmas as it is disrespectful to Christ. Guess what, it's not. Please read up here for the full explanation. For the short version, "X" has replaced Christ's name in Christianity for centuries because it is from the Greek alphabet. It has nothing to do with disrespect.
One last thing, if someone wishes you a "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", "Seasons Greetings", "Happy Hanukkah", "Happy Kawanzaa", "Merry Yule", or a "Merry Happy ChristmaKawanzHanuYule!", just remember they are all doing it with the same intention, to wish you and yours a well and a Happy New Year!
Next lesson, how to stop commercializing whatever you celebrate!