Happy Saturnalia! It’s that time of year again. It’s the Most Ignorant Time of the year. We have come to that time of year when the xtians complain about the secular war on “their” holiday. My kids and I have to endure the dirty looks, snide comments and general inconsiderate natures of most xtians who make the usual crude assumption that everyone in this country believes the way they do. From a factual standpoint, they don’t care, or even want to know that much of what people associate with Christmas actually pre-dates Christianity.
Traditional Christianity celebrates the DEATH of its holy people, not their birth. In 274 CE, though, pagan emperor Aurelian proclaimed December 25th Natalis Solis Invicti, the festival of the birth of the invincible sun. Saturnalia already occurred around this time along with many other celebrations. Christians usurped this and other Roman festivals to forward their own beliefs. Xmas is actually a large number of ancient pagan practices. It actually only contains a few pieces of xtian traditions. It is made up mostly of a large number of modern creations which are almost ENTIRELY secular in nature. It does not matter where they got their inspiration from. I see little room and little need for any “Christ” in all of this – but more importantly, I see little place where a “Christ” could be put back into the mix.
As a person without supernatural beliefs, the holidays have no nominal connection to what is “up there” for me. Rather, they are about what is “down here.” We don’t live in utopia. Instead, for this small period of the year we put aside our concerns, worries and grievances, and celebrate all that there is to celebrate. The more religiously diverse a society is, the harder it is for a holiday of just one religion to maintain a status of dominance. My hope is that one day xmas will be changed to the point where it’s no longer recognizably Christian.
So, when you find someone talking about putting Christ back into Christmas, you can ask them what part? What part did this “person” really play in xmas to begin with? Although you may not be interested in celebrating holidays with any religious trappings whatsoever, Christianity’s hold on Christmas, from a religious perspective, is rather tenuous. If you’re an atheist who would like to enjoy the holiday, you should be able to do so without giving Christianity a second thought.