Christmas Truths

I am proposing renaming Christmas and calling it Shopathon because that is all what people do in preparation for xmas, they shop. Everybody agrees that Christmas has been highly commercialized in the U.S. Many say that it has lost its true meaning of celebrating Jesus’ birthday. I agree than Christmas has lost its meaning, the lost meaning is what I will debate here.

Christmas in the US and most the western Christian tradition does not fall on the correct date of Jesus’ birthday, so what are WE really celebrating? Are we celebrating a lie?

The fact is, no one knows for sure when Jesus was born. So where did Christmas come from? It is believed Jesus was born in the Spring, then why is Christmas in the Winter season?

Winter Celebrations

Why then does Christmas fall on Dec 25? Well, when Christianity spread in lands that practiced paganism, naturally pagan practices and traditions were not appreciated by christian leaders. Winter celebrations were major traditions that pagans would not abandon. They had to be re-named and adopted by the, then new religion, Christianity.

Winter Solstice falls on Dec 25th and was one major pagan holiday celebration.

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti means “the birthday of the unconquered Sun.” The use of the title Sol Invictus allowed several solar deities to be worshipped collectively, including Elah-Gabal, a Syrian sun god; Sol, the god of Emperor Aurelian; and Mithras, a soldiers’ god of Persian origin. Emperor Elagabalus introduced the festival, and it reached the height of its popularity under Aurelian, who promoted it as an empire-wide holiday. This day had held no significance in the Roman festive calendar until it was introduced in the third century.

The festival was placed on the date of the solstice because this was on this day that the Sun reversed its southward retreat and proved itself to be “unconquered.” Several early Christian writers connected the rebirth of the sun to the birth of Jesus. “O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born

From Wikipedia

You are probably seeing where this is going now. Rather than abolish these traditions they were allowed to remain only after re-purposing and re-branding them into a Christian tradition.

Winter festivals were common in ancient times due to less agricultural work, expectations of better weather in the summer and the celebration of the rebirth of the sun as the sun lasted longer in the sky (a countdown to summer).

The Roman Pagans

Roman pagans celebrated the holiday of Saturnalia. This was a week-long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25. During this period, Roman courts were closed, and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the week-long celebration. This holiday featured some ‘bad’ behavior to say the least like drinking to get drunk, sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets (later morphing into the modern caroling).

In what seems to be even more horrible, each Roman community selected a victim. This person was forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. On December 25th (the festival’s last day), this person was brutally murdered. Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by doing so.

Saturnalia festival was a major festival that pagans would not abandon. In order to convert pagans to Christianity it was decided to adopt the Sturnalia festival. As a result a large numbers of pagans became Christian after being promised to be allowed to continue celebrating the Saturnalia festival.

Since there was no significance to that date of the year, Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday replacing the original festival’s concluding day

The Scandinavian Pagans

Pagan Scandinavians celebrated a winter festival called Yule, held in the late December to early January period. As Northern Europe was the last part to Christianize, its pagan traditions had a major influence on Christmas. Scandinavians still call Christmas Jul. In English, the word Yule is synonymous with Christmas.

You see? We are not celebrating the real Christmas (Jesus’ b’day) on Dec 25.

Winter Festivals were very common! Here are but a few examples:

Brazilians

Brazilian archeologists have found an assembly of 127 granite blocks arranged equidistant from each other. They apparently form an ancient astronomical observatory. One of the stones marked the position of the sun at the time of the winter solstice and were probably used in religious rituals.

Egyptians

The god-man/savior Osiris died and was entombed on DEC-21. “At midnight, the priests emerged from an inner shrine crying ‘The Virgin has brought forth! The light is waxing” and showing the image of a baby to the worshipers.”

Greek

The winter solstice ritual was called Lenaea, the Festival of the Wild Women. In very ancient times, a man representing the harvest god Dionysos was torn to pieces and eaten by a gang of women on this day. Later in the ritual, Dionysos would be reborn as a baby. By classical times, the human sacrifice had been replaced by the killing of a goat. The women’s role had changed to that of funeral mourners and observers of the birth.

Inca’s

The ancient Incas celebrated a festival if Inti Raymi at the time of the Winter Solstice. It celebrates “the Festival of the Sun where the god of the Sun, Wiracocha, is honored.” 16 Ceremonies were banned by the Roman Catholic conquistadores in the 16th century as part of their forced conversions of the Inca people to Christianity. A local group of Quecia Indians in Cusco, Peru revived the festival about 1950. It is now a major festival which begins in Cusco and proceeds to an ancient amphitheater a few miles away.

Native American

The Hopi tribe “is dedicated to giving aid and direction to the sun which is ready to ‘return’ and give strength to budding life.” Their ceremony is called “Soyal.” It lasts for 20 days and includes “prayerstick making, purification, rituals and a concluding rabbit hunt, feast and blessing…”

Find more ancient and pagan winter celebrations that fell on winter solstice (i.e. Dec the 25th): http://www.religioustolerance.org/winter_solstice.htm

You see, the real Christmas (Jesus’ b’day) is NOT on Dec 25. The winter celebration is simply a winter celebration that has been observed by cultures for ions and called so many names.

A Lie

The commonly celebrated Christmas is a lie. There is no Christian church with a tradition that Jesus was really born on December 25th.

In fact, many of the most popular Christmas customs – including Christmas trees, mistletoe, Christmas presents, merrymaking, and Santa Claus – are modern incarnations of pagan rituals.

It is a known fact that as religions rise and spread in the lands they adopt mythology, stories and traditions of the lands thus changing the core of such religions. This is another topic that we shall leave for a different time.

On to Our Modern Day (Main Stream) Christmas

Similarly to Scandinavians and Romans, in our modern day, Christmas has also been adopted and altered, this time it was adopted by Capitalism. Now it is a Holiday for all, as long as you can BUY STUFF you deserve to celebrate Christmas. In other words, You the consumer will buy from retailers on Christmas. It is a consumer holiday, a holiday governed by of the mighty dollar.

Losing the Reason for the Season

Many Christians complain that the real meaning of Christmas has been forgotten, or lost. They urge people to remember the ‘Reason for this Season’. The irony here is that, the reason for the season is NOT Jesus, or Christian at all.

Jesus’ birth was Not in winter it was in the spring. The real season is the Spring; the real reason was to spread Christianity by adopting and re-forming pagan traditions.

The real Christmas was (and thus is) a pagan holiday, and a spiritual one. Main stream Christmas is 100% material and 0% Spiritual. It stands against everything Jesus taught, also against the real pagan christmases.

Buy Buy Buy

Buying ‘crap’ [made in China] is yet another cultural norm that is widely accepted by people without much thought and then forced on the rest of us who feel no desire to celebrate by buying.

Any person with some awareness should see this. I am not trying to dampen your joy or mess up your tradition.

Family Event

Christmas as I see it is a time to be with loved ones, to reflect on the past, to anticipate the summer, to appreciate what you have, and to celebrate winter solstice.

One should not blindly follow mainstream x-mas traditions and you should remain aware of the real x-mas by knowing the history behind our modern day Christmas. One should do all one can to not get suckered into the buying frenzy. If you have to  buy gifts look for local, American made, and less polluting gift options.

Claim It

Claim Christmas and take it back, customize it to align with your own beliefs. Finally, speak out, seeing a lie but remaining silent makes you an accomplice in that lie.  Remember the real reason for the season.

Traditions can be good, they can be better if they are informed and ethically responsible.

The Real Reason for the Season

Now that you know the truth behind Christmas, feel free to celebrate it, just remember the real history, and make Christmas special to YOU. Do not follow the crowds blindly. Celebrate the holidays, celebrate winter solstice, and celebrate in a spiritual and meaningful way that is unique, special, personal and non shopaholic.

Gifts Are Bad

Remember, gifts are a luxury that most people, take for granted. I urge you to please take a minute and meditate on gift giving and what goes into it.

Why do you buy them? What do you gain? What does the person receiving the gift gain?

Finally, what is the collateral damage of every person buying and giving gifts?

If you want to show love to someone, spending time together in nature, next to a fire place, or even taking a simple walk can be more precious than any gift money can buy. Writing a letter from the heart means much more than a gift. There are so many things you could do without buying a gift that will be more environmentally, socially and spiritually responsible.

Gifts Are Forgotten

Look back 10 years / look back to your childhood, do you remember your gifts? Who gave them to you? I know I don’t.

What is it that you remember the most? Is it the people? the event? the gathering? the fun? the location? You remember all of these but NOT the gift.

I am not anti capitalism. I am against soulless, brainless consumerism.

Capitalizing

People will capitalize on every special occasion, from weddings, birthdays, valentines day, graduation, to funerals. In other words, if you can spend money there will be someone out there who will make sure to convince you that you MUST spend money. You must spend to be loved. While the real truth is that we seek real love, real love is manifested in companionship and time spent together NOT in money and material gifts.

This is my humble opinion, you may disagree, but then I think that one day when you reach certain levels of awareness my words will ring true in your ears.

BE FREE

This article is here to help you be free from the mind control and lies that so many want you to live. Be free to be the individual that you are, make up intelligent decisions and live life fully in a spiritual and REAL way, un-apologetically. Do not be a mindless shopper just shopping when asked to and when others demand that you do.

Don’t Agree With Me

That’s fine, just think about this last aspect of Christmas and tell me how you could disagree

Christmas Is Harmful To Nature

Boxes, gift wrapping, gas for shipping gifts from china to the US, from the US to the mall, from them mall to your house, or USPS. Wasted energy, pollution and trash that can ALL be avoided. Driven by the desire to make money people will package things, ship them, waste and waste ans waste. When our goal is to sell products we tend to neglect the environmental impact that we set off.

The sad part is that all of this is not necessary, your rights or obligations to buy gifts and celebrate events are a luxury; they are neither rights not obligations.

If you have kids, don’t indoctrinate them into cultural norms. Don’t teach them their right to own everything they want because that IS not a right, it is only reckless, mindless, selfish and uninformed behavior that will ultimately harm your kids. Teach them their rights to live free and their responsibility to be informed.

Shopathon is a much more appropriate name for our modern day Winter Solstice or Christmas

Your comments are most welcome.

Further reading
http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christmas_TheRealStory.htm
http://www.soon.org.uk/christmas.htm
Christmas:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas
Winter Solstice celebrations: a.k.a. Christmas, Saturnalia, Yule, the Long Night: http://www.religioustolerance.org/winter_solstice.htm

Yule: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule

Disclaimer:

I write this article as an ex-Christian myself, I am an agnostic, spiritual, researcher, scientist seeker of truth. I was once a devout Christian and due to that I did extensive research into the historical aspects of Christianity. Like ANY other person who does her/his research, I found that Dec 25 was not Jesus’ birthday.


  1. December 28th, 2008 at 02:29 | #1

    Very strong points you got there. It’s deplorable extreme commercialism has taken the reins in Christmas celebrations. But we are thinking individuals. You know the real story. I presume to know what’s meaningful to me. And you and I will act accordingly.

    It’s still Christmas to me. I’ll take your suggestion of Shopathon under advisement. :)

    But how can I safely greet you then this Christmas season? Happy holidays? Here’s a toast to more thought-provoking posts. Cheers.

  2. December 28th, 2008 at 08:57 | #2

    Jan, thank you for your comment. Very good question.

    You would think that I don’t like the words “Merry Christmas” after reading this article. Actually I greet people by saying “Merry Xmas”.

    I do not care what people use to greet me. I actually prefer “Merry Xmas” over “Happy Holidays” because I grew hearing it up and got used to “Merry Xmas”, I was fine with it.

    Having said that, I do prefer “Happy Solstice” Because solstice is the true reason behind the (Christmas) season and it is a non-religious so it should work for all people.

    “Happy Holidays” just sounds a little fake, and some people say it in a sarcastic way and make comments about not being able to say Merry Xmas like they used to. For these people I say use whatever greeting that you can sincerely make.

    Many people make a very big deal about the greeting part, they do not want to insult non Christians, sometimes they feel forced into not saying the word “Christmas” to be politically correct.

    I think every person should use whatever greeting they feel sincere about. It is not the words of the greeting that matter but the actual idea of wishing happiness and wellness and meaning it.

    Most non christians are not closed minded and they go with the flow. I have not met even 1 person who was non-christian that got offended by “Merry Christmas”, even atheists that I know have no problem with Merry Xmas.

    I think the greeting debacle is one of these “fake” things that the main stream media hypes up out of proportion in order to have some story and also create controversy where there is none. It has become and part of the non-existing so called “war on Christmas” that the nut cases on FOX like Bill O’Reilly invented.

    To answer your question simply, and this is my personal opinion: I do not care how you wish me happiness as long as you do it “sincerely” and as long as it makes you feel good saying it.

    I accept all kinds of greetings because I understand the different background that people come from. Having said that, people should not expect a certain greeting from me or from any person, so I could greet someone by saying Happy Solstice and they should accept this greeting because it is what I celebrate and because I am wishing them well.

    To be politically correct I think one has to mean well and avoid insults. Instead saying a generic things like happy Holidays and feel weird saying it, every person should be able to deliver the greeting that is meaningful to them BUT at the same time, they must not expect a certain greeting back, just as they have the right to greet their own way, others have the right to respond in the most meaningful way to them. Instead of formalization I am proposing openness and acceptance of all greetings to celebrate the diversity of human thought. If I was the one making the rules this would be my way of defining politically correct on this topic.

    What matters is the intent not the method of delivery. As long as we are aware of the true Christmas story.

    Greet me in any way you like, but allow me to greet you in any way I like.

  3. January 5th, 2009 at 18:22 | #3

    I’ve always said Merry Crass mass since i could remember. It use to drive my mum crazy but it does fit, don’t you think. I think it’s crass anyway. Have fun

  4. September 27th, 2009 at 09:35 | #4

    your right,no one knows when he was born.also Christmas has become to commercialized i admit it.you believe the way you want but in my opinion you are wrong about the pagan Holiday bit.i see many many children and if they are taught the true meaning behind the Holiday what diff. does it make about the date.children no that it is a special time,some anyway.i have seen many tender hearts on Christmas just like i have seen many greedy little children that haven’t been taught the true meaning of Christmas,the one that we Christians do believe and no that the time periods of occurrences do not match the set date.but it is the principal that counts.you have probably done so much research on the subject of Christianity that you lost the concept of what is true and what is not.the only book you need to research is the holly bible.you can research anything so much and from different acct.gathered from many different sources that anything maybe possible.i fell you are mislead in many aspects and the date doesn’t mean squat.disgruntle Santa that has told many children the store of Christs birth and that Santa is just icing on the cake for the kids .as parents of children we know the diff.and in time always teach the children to understand.sorry you are so turned off with christmas.clevemagill@yahoo.com if you want to set me straight if you can.may GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU SAFE THROUGH THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS AND FOREVER.i haven’t set my blog in motion yet,having trouble maybe you can give me some pointers.love in christ.

  5. September 27th, 2009 at 17:01 | #5

    @cleve
    Thank you for your comment. I appreciate you sharing your opinions.
    Thank you for the blessings!!

  6. September 28th, 2009 at 16:45 | #6

    your very welcome,i really feel sry.for a bunch of your readers but everyone entitled to their on opinion.It is sad that a Holiday like Christmas or Xmas as you prefer turned out to be so negative to people,but i am sure,in fact i know their are more positive responses in life to Christmas.JESUS GAVE HIS LIFE FOR YOU AND ME,YOU SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE HIS BIRTHDAY EVEN IF IT IS ON THE WRONG DATE PER SAY.SANTA CLAUSE AND GIVING GIFTS IS RELAY FOR THE CHILDREN,BUT IT SEEMS THAT NUMBERS OF ADULTS ALSO ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS.but IT IS YOUR RIGHT TO CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT.HAPPY SATIN DAY IF YOU LIKE FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN CHRIST BUT DO BELIEVE IN SPENDING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS DRESSING THEIR KIDS UP AS AXE MURDERERS OR DEMONS.HAPPY XMAS TO YOU.

  7. October 4th, 2009 at 12:35 | #7

    @cleve
    There is no need to use CAPS (shouting) when leaving comments here as respect of others’ points of views and civil debate is a virtue.

    I believe that the facts I presented are just that, facts. If people, like you, decide to be blind and ignore facts that is their own decision.

    I do not share your belief system, I respect Jesus’s teachings however.

    I don’t appreciate it when people like you try to shove their “opinions” and unsupported beliefs down everybody’s throats. Did it ever occur to you that the story you so believe in may be incorrect? heh, let me guess.

    I don’t believe in your God, but I still offer you love and respect, because you are human like me, I don’t need a religion to teach me that. So, in response to your comments in CAPS, I say, I wish you happiness and peace of mind. I do not indoctrinate people, I encourage debate and open mindedness with mutual respect to our humanity in a quest for truth.

    I do not throw stones at other human beings. I believe Jesus himself said “Let Him Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone”.

    I’d like to end this with the appropriate Vulcan salute, my friend in humanity, may you live long and prosper.

  1. December 29th, 2008 at 19:19 | #1