As I am a pagan myself I get asked from time to time about Christianity. Let me be clear, I respect other religions and I think Christians are fine people. But what about the notion that “Christians stole Christmas, they don’t even know when Christ was born”.
This is mostly true, at least the part about when Christ was born. It’s very unlikely he was not born on December 25. That said I have a very simple answer for my pagan friends who believe Christians stole “Yule Tide” and made it Christmas. It’s done, railing against the past means you never move forward. Or as one of my Christian friends explained to me once in a reply blog post:
“The traditional date of December 25 goes back as far as A.D. 273. Two pagan festivals honoring the sun were also celebrated on that day and it is possible that December 25 was chosen to counteract the influence of paganism. To this day some people feel uncomfortable with Christmas because they think it is somehow tainted by the pagan festivals held on that day. But Christians have long believed that the gospel not only transcends culture, it also transforms it. In A.D. 320 one theologian answered this criticism by noting, “We hold this day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of him who made it.”
I’m pretty sure he/she copied that from somewhere else but I like the ending. Have a great holiday no matter what path your spirit travels and for my Christian friends, Merry Christmas!
Do you celebrate Christmas? Well it might be time to start decorating because according to the article here people who decorate for Christmas early are happier.
From the article: “In a world full of stress and anxiety, people like to associate to things that make them happy, and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of the childhood,” psychoanalyst Steve McKeown told Unilad. “Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early extends the excitement!” That seems logical enough.
It’s a short article but a positive one so I wanted to cover it. The theory here is that decorating for Christmas engages pleasant memories of the past. I know in my area of the world at Christmas people put out lights and displays and it’s awesome. Every year my wife and I take a ride around the area and look for lights, it’s a lot of fun.
I think anything we can do that pushes us in the right direction as people with anxiety is a good thing. If decorating for Christmas brings about positive feelings and happiness why not? Normally we start decorating our house the first weekend in December but many people begin the day after thanksgiving (in the U.S.).
Of course for many people Christmas season is the kick off to a lot more stress and anxiety. Seasonal depression is real, when winter hits some are affected tremendously. You also have gift giving, family, work parties… The Christmas season can be extremely stressful for some people and this isn’t meant to dismiss that.
That said, Christmas tree’s, Lights, Santa Claus and of course for our religious friends the celebration of Christ. Those are all positive things and if decorating your world for Christmas makes you happy why not start a little earlier this year? Today, maybe not but maybe this coming holiday season you start a little earlier. It will be here before you know it!