Thursday, December 25, 2008

It Is Christmas Once Again

I would just like to take the time to wish my readers a nice Christmas and hope that they got all that they asked for on their lists. I also hope that they get plenty of good food to eat and that their guests do not become too much of a burden. Finally, while you are making sure that everybody is having a wonderful time, do not forget to enjoy yourselves as well.

Although I am an atheist, I celebrate Christmas because the true meaning of Christmas which is happiness and celebration during the dreariness of winter is something that we could all appreciate. All of the religious trappings such as the legend of the birth of Jesus and Solstice celebrations are merely window dressing obscuring what is important, which is to have a good time. Christmas was never originally a Christian holiday because the idea had been stolen lock stock and barrel from the Roman holiday of Saturnalia as well as borrowing extensively from the Yule celebrations of the Germanic tribes. The legend surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ was added much later by early Christians as part of an adaptation of the pagan holiday.

This could be said to be similar how the tradition of Halloween was adapted and eventually secularized from the Celtic tradition of Samhain. Few people who go out trick or treating know the cultural origins of Halloween and how it originally became established. I know that some people have started branding Halloween as a pagan holiday as of late and are therefore refusing to celebrate it, but if that is the case, than Christmas is guilty of that offense as well.

In fact, during the Cromwell rebellion of Great Britain during the 1600's; the celebration of Christmas was banned by Cromwell because he correctly thought that it was pagan by nature and wanted to set a good example for the Puritans to follow. Needless to say, Christmas was immediately reinstated with the reestablishment of the British monarchy during the reign of Charles II.

So keep in mind that the tradition of Christmas is as pagan as holidays come. To all of those people who are saying that non-Christians are ruining the holiday, step back and consider who's holiday it was to begin with. Very few things including religious ideas are truly original, as they are merely adaptations of the things that came before them in history. Merry Christmas, everybody!

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