here are some facts that you may or may not find interesting about the holiday lovingly referred to as Christmas. Atheists get a bad rap in my opinion. We like a good party just like the rest of the world. We like Evergreen trees and wreaths and twinkly lights and delicious home cooked meals as much as all the theists out there. We ge spanked pretty hard by the theists at this time of year. I think we should start a movement to take back this holiday for ourselves. After all, it belonged to us first. In fact, one could make an intelligent argument that it was stolen from us. Myself, personally, I also have this nagging need to know why people do the things they do.
– No one celebrated “Christmas” until over 300 years AFTER the death of the man called Jesus
– December the 25th was originally a Holiday called the Natalis Solis Invicti, the Birth of the Unconquerable Sun celebrated by the Romans. This feast, which took place just after the winter solstice of the Julian calendar, was in honor of the supposed sun god, Mithras. You should note that the Romans were around at the same time as the man called Jesus.
– According to Biblical evidence surrounding his birth, Jesus could not have born in the wintertime, but is thought to have born in the fall, perhaps October. The date of Christ’s birth is not known. The Gospels themselves indicate neither the day nor the month.
– The practice of Christmas gift giving is not based on what was done by the Magi (or wise men). They did not arrive at the time of Jesus’ birth. The scriptures indicate that Jesus was a young child, possibly as much as two years old, living in a house by the time they arrived.
– In an attempt persuade pagans to accept the Catholic faith, the church took the celebration of the Saturnalia and a few other sundry pagan festivals, renamed it “Christ’s Mass,” and declared it “Christian.”
– Other aspects of Christmas were adopted later from other Pagan sources, such as the Christmas tree, the mistletoe, and the wreath, which were originally used by Pagans as symbols of fertility and life.
So, in reality it is the Christians, the Catholics in particular, that in essence hijacked the holiday of “Christmas” to persuade the rest of we pagans to join them. Thus we have the great “Christmas” caper.sources : Encyclopedia Americana; The New Catholic Encyclopedia; The book Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays by Robert J. Myers