Christmas is a heathen's holiday

December 21, 2004

Dear Editor:

The debate has been raging on these pages recently about Christmas and "Happy Holidays." I thought I might shed some historical light on where Christmas comes from, and examine if it is something that Christians really ought to do.

No one knows what day Jesus Christ was born on. From the biblical description, most historians believe that his birth probably occurred in September, about six months after Passover. One thing they agree on is that it is very unlikely that Jesus was born in December, since the Bible records shepherds tending their sheep in the fields on that night. This is quite unlikely to have happened during a cold Judean winter. So why do we celebrate Christ's birthday as Christmas on Dec. 25?

The answer lies in the pagan origins of Christmas. In ancient Babylon, the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on Dec. 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast.


The Druids of northern Europe used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies while surrounding and worshipping huge trees. This was done to honor Odin, a Northern deity which has all the aspects of Santa Claus. They decorated a tree and placed a crown on top of it. They then came forward and offered the tree presents.

In 350, Pope Julius I declared that Christ's birth would be celebrated on Dec. 25. There is little doubt that he was trying to make it as painless as possible for pagan Romans (who remained a majority at that time) to convert to Christianity. The new religion went down a bit easier, knowing that their feasts would not be taken away from them.

So clearly Christmas is in fact a heathen's holiday and real Christians do not celebrate it.

Bart McQueary


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