Christmas started as pagan holiday
This is in response to a Dec. 24 letter in which the writer talked about how people have lost sight of the original theology of Christmas.
If you study the history of Christmas, you will find its original theology has nothing to do with Jesus.
Dec. 25 was celebrated long before the birth of Jesus. It was the pagan holiday to honor a sun god and the winter solstice. The Christmas tree, Santa Claus and other Christmas customs are pagan in origin.
The holly, ivy, mistletoe and evergreen were considered as symbols of immortality and fertility by ancient pagan societies because they didn’t turn brown or lose their leaves in the winter. Therefore, they were held in reverence. It was customary for people to decorate their homes with them. The early Christian church forbade this custom because they knew it was pagan. The early Christians didn’t celebrate Christmas at all because it was considered an abomination.
It became a Christian holiday when the Catholic church couldn’t get people to give up the celebration. At first, the church wanted nothing to do with the celebration; to get heathens to join the church, they accepted the celebration and all of its customs and renamed it “Christ-Mass.”
In the fifth century, the Catholic church commanded the birth of Jesus be observed forever on Dec. 25, the day of the old Roman feast of Sol, one name for the sun god.
In 1644, the English Parliament banned Christmas and in 17th century America it was also against the law. So the early Christians must have known something about it that Christians today don’t know.
So every year, when I hear Christians talk about how people don’t know the true meaning of Christmas, I think about how they don’t know it either because the true meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus.