Post 17: The Not-So-Christian Origins of Christmas, and How to Respond to People Who Insist that Christmas is Only about Christ

It is that time of year when Christians come out of the woodwork to complain about the lack of red cups at Starbucks, and being “erased” and persecuted, all while proclaiming that “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

Well, they are wrong. On SOOOOO many levels.

And, unlike “fake news,” it isn’t a myth or a liberal news exaggeration that Christians complain about these things – which I know because I see it all over my social media (my private social media under my legal name that you guys don’t see).

Recently, I found and responded to one of these messages. My friend had written on her social media that she was celebrating secular Christmas, and came into contact with extremely religious carolers – for which she was very unprepared. It isn’t that they were pressuring her or anything; she had just surrounded herself with secular Christmas things for so long that she forgot how crazy religious people can get.

Most people responded with agreement that people are way over the top, and sometimes cult-ish, when it comes to Christmas. I responded with the fact that I celebrate cultural Christmas, rather than religious Christmas. But, of course, one lady comes in with something to the effect of:

Not to be preachy, but…

(you may be shocked to realize that something preachy is coming…)

The “holiday” came into existence because of the Birth of Christ, so you have to acknowledge its roots even if you don’t believe. Anyway, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, etc………. *Christmas tree emoji*

(I paraphrased so you can’t easily look this up, but you get the gist.)

I mean, normally I don’t engage. Unless I get really angry, I stay away from the negativity of social media arguments because it is super harmful to my – already not fantastic – mental health. But, this lady was so ignorant, and so proud of herself, and so haughty… Oh and she was white, so you know, with entitlement to spare. Well, I had to tear down her argument systematically. But, don’t worry, it has a not-bad ending, in that she didn’t respond with anything except a “O.O” emoji – so, I assume I rocked her entire state of existence, but she’d never speak of it to her peers. I’m hoping she’ll also never be “not preachy” about it ever again.

My argument consisted of several examples, and explaining how most things that are “Christ”mas are actually things that aren’t Christian at all, but were co-opted by the Catholic church to erase other peoples’ cultures and control them.


Yule:

  • Yule log: Duh.
  • Christmas tree: evergreen trees sacred to Baldr/Baldur/Balder
  • Wreaths: previously evergreen boughs
  • Feasting: especially with meat from animal sacrifices and hunts
  • Santa’s full white beard: based on Odin/Woden
  • Santa’s reindeer: based on Odin’s 8-legged horse, Sleipnir
  • Santa’s sleigh: Odin’s Wild Hunt and flying through the sky
  • Celebrated throughout December: then called Ylir aka Yule

Saturnalia:

  • Gift exchanging: generosity
  • Evergreen boughs: evergreens are loved by the sun god
  • Large feasts
  • Celebration: a marked time of debauchery
  • Usually on December 25th

Druidism:

  • Christmas tree: their religion is heavily based on revering trees, especially oak trees
  • Evergreen boughs: a symbol of everlasting life
  • Mistletoe: life and fertility
  • Holly: wards off evil spirits because it grows strong, despite the winter cold. Also represents upcoming life
  • Winter Solstice celebrated: winter celebrations keep people cheerful during cold times with dwindling food supplies

In addition, Jesus, aka Christ, wasn’t even born in Winter. While there is no date for his birthday in recorded lore – I say lore, because it is unclear if he actually existed – religious scholars have used clues from religious texts to determine that he was born in Autumn, likely September.

So, what I am saying is that Jesus is NOT the reason for the season. It is perfect fine to celebrate secular/cultural Christmas and/or holiday season without involving religion. (And obviously there are many, many other holidays to celebrate as well.)

Tweet me @PandoraCray!

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