Money in a manger in place of Jesus Christ

Is Christmas an expressly Christian holiday, or has it transcended religion and become a cultural event?


“Our many different cultures notwithstanding, there’s something about the holidays that makes the planet communal. Even nations that do not celebrate Christmas can’t help but be caught up in the collective spirit of their neighbors, as twinkling lights dot the landscape and carols fill the air. It’s an inspiring time of the year.” – Marlo Thomas

Just before Christmas, Pew Research Center published a report showing how different people view the popular holiday. Overall, it revealed that about 90 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas. Interestingly, though, only about half of them celebrate it as a religious holiday. Roughly 32 percent of people see Christmas more as a cultural holiday. Furthermore, researchers were surprised to learn how many non-Christians in the United States celebrate Christmas: a surprising 81 percent say that they do.

How Is Christmas Being Celebrated?

Pew found that most people, regardless of their religious beliefs, celebrate Christmas in a uniform manner – supporting the conclusion that Christmas is more of a cultural holiday. Some of these well-known traditions include:

  • Putting up a Christmas tree
  • Buying gifts for friends and family
  • Attending family gatherings
  • Cooking a Christmas ham
  • Lighting a Yule Log
  • Decorating with boughs of holly
  • Sending holiday cards
  • Santa Claus visits
  • Going caroling
Who needs Christ during Christmas

An atheist billboard that was displayed in Times Square

Stolen Traditions?

While all of the above activities are closely associated with the Christmas holiday, none are expressly Christian. In fact, some of these Christmas traditions actually derive from other religions. For example, the tradition of cooking a “Christmas ham” stems from an old pagan ritual of the Yule boar (Sonargöltr). The boughs of holly that deck the halls? Prior to becoming a symbol of Christmas, they were associated a Celtic deity commonly known as the Holly King. Oh, and the Yule Log that burns in many fireplaces this time of year? It originates from an ancient Norse wintertime celebration of warmth.

Finally, although Christians recognize and celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ, nobody knows exactly when Jesus was born. Because the actual date has always been a mystery, a day was simply chosen; in 336 A.D., Pope Julius I declared Christ’s birthday to be December 25. Why this day? There are several competing theories. Some people point to the fact that it’s exactly 9 months after Mary was told that Jesus would be born. However, another theory says that it was chosen to compete with other European religious festivals, such as the pagan celebration of the winter solstice.

As one historian puts it: “When Christianity became the religion of the Empire, the church either had to suppress the festivals or transform them. The winter solstice seemed an appropriate time to celebrate Christ’s birth. Thus, the festival of the sun became a festival of the Son, the Light of the world.”

Future of ChristmasChristmas is about Jesus sign.

Regardless of its origins, one interesting takeaway is that Christmas seems to be losing its connection to the Christian religion. The question then becomes: is this a result of people becoming less religious, or has Christmas transcended religion and become a cultural celebration that people from all walks of life identify with? Of course, Christmas will always be associated with Christianity. However, as we move forward into the future, it will be interesting to see if the holiday continues to transform. 100 years from now, will Christmas primarily be a cultural event, with its religious significance only an afterthought?

Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States, once said, “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” In that sense, the Christmas tradition provides something for everyone.

How do you view Christmas? Is it a religious holiday with deep spiritual significance, or is it simply a blend of ancient traditions all packaged up into a fun cultural celebration?

 

69 comments

  1. Paul Rush says:

    Christmas will be entirely secular. As humanity comes to understand reality the need for superstition becomes less and less.

    1. Dreamsinger says:

      I think Christmas went secular when capitalism made it part of their holiday sales calendar, but hey don’t forget — the day after, all remaining candy’s half-off!

      1. Amber Fry says:

        I agree with Dreamsinger. I think it went secular as capitalism took hold. I know it was secular in my household but more revolved around food and family than a lot of gifts. We did exchange them, we just spend more of the time being together and sharing what the last year was for us each and what we were planning for the next year.

      2. Jessica North-O'Connell says:

        My research shows that gift-giving was very much a part of the seasonal celebrations among the Romans, Germanic and Nordic folk at least, so I don’t think we can say it’s simply commercialism.

        I think there’s a deep need, at the darkest time of the year when the Earth isn’t yielding, to provide for those we care about by practicing the same excesses as our ancient forbears once did.

        It’s more a case of long-standing practices now superseding later ones.

        1. Amber Fry says:

          Yes, but those gifts were often made by the giver or someone in their family, not factory produced and chosen hastily from a store weeks or even just a few days before, and it was rarely a lot of gifts but just a few treasures. That’s where the commercialization came in, the mass production, expense and mass giving.

    2. rabbi jim says:

      rabbi jim here: Greetings Paul!! I agree with you fully. Being of the Jewish Faith, I always believed that Christmas was secular, as well as, commercial. As children we welcome Christmas as a time of getting gifts and wonderful new toys. But, as we grow older, we realize it’s just a kids thing after all. Let us all keep our Holy Days as our faiths dictate and remain loyal to it. The gifts we receive from our faith are the greatist gifts of all.
      I wish to extend to you and all a blessed New Year and may we all live long and prosper! Sholom!!!!

      1. Jonathan Simmonds says:

        I do agree with Rabbi Jim, however I would add that while he called Xmas a secular time I would say also pagan. The early church would never have celebrated on Dec 25, as Jesus was not born any time near that. Only after the counsel of Nica did the idea ever come into play and then Pope Silvester named Dec 25as Jesus birthday and as their new “holiday”. This had nothing to do with Christianity but rather a way to take this Jewish sect and remove it from it’s roots away from our rightful Jewish brothers and sisters.

    3. Brian Balke says:

      You’re absolutely right, Paul. And when the physicists recognize that they can’t resolve the disconnects between modern theory and observation without models that accommodate spirituality, it won’t be ‘superstition’ any longer. We’ll all understand how Jesus did what he did.

    4. Mike says:

      Give it a couple more decades and Christmas will become another Hallmark event. Too much commercialism, and not enough faith.

  2. Dreamsinger says:

    Although I’m not a Christian, I celebrate Christmas as a holiday. Why? Because while not everyone’s a Pagan, nobody in their right mind would turn down an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate with family and friends. To me, it’s always going to be Yule and the Holly King, but around others I’m happy to chill with Father Christmas and Hanukkah Harry just like Olde Times.

    Even if Christmas requires deforesting a large area of trees, while traditionally they’re kept in the ground out of respect to the whole birth/rebirth thing, it’s more than just a cultural or religious holiday. It’s more than the feasts and drinking and merrymaking and dancing and singing and gifts and Sexy Santa outfits.

    Coolidge had it right. It isn’t something you can sell or wear or eat. The magic of the holiday’s in your heart as much as your home.

    No mass-produced Starbucks paper coffee cup even comes close to what matters most: being thankful that you’re alive in an amazing universe of infinite possibilities, on a day that reminds us all of anything and everything being possible.

    1. Robert Walters says:

      I guess I’m one of those “not in their right mind” people. Although I’m quite fond of Jesus, I do not celebrate Christmas, for my own personal reasons. I’m not evangelistic about my position and don’t try to push it on others. I’m for any healthy activity that pleases people, including Christmas celebrations for those who enjoy it. I have observed one healthy thing that seems to happen at Christmas time: Some of the nastiest people seem to mellow, at least for a little while.

    2. SR Walker says:

      I agree Dreamsinger! I love the rituals of christmas, although I am not a christian at all. One comment: christmas tree farming is a great agricultural industry if done appropriately–in my mind it’s a much better crop than the masses of vineyards taking over our land!

  3. GALLET CHRIST SAMPU says:

    Brothers and sisters we must acknowledge a human kind was born under sin and going directly to your question ”IS CHRSMASS STIIL RELIGIOUS HOLYDAY?”; It is written some time it is better to refresh our memories and ask for a right guidance . A man kind run this world with it own imagination but the spirit of revelation nose the truth. Christmas time it is not a religious but to remember the Savior born in this world for our salvation but no one acknowledge the proper time and the reality but it is calling to all of us to give a love to other as we love our selves. Happy holydays season and may God bless all of you in the name of Jesus Christ Amen!

    Can you fast only one day on the first day of January 2017 and challenge God now and ask Him everything you want and it will be given to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
    You might fast from 6 o’clock am to 6 o’clock pm by drinking only water or juice. Please do it and wait and see the miracle. You are free to contact on my E-mail.
    PS: This message is for all religious believers.
    Thank you to all for your assistance all this year and your mercie beaucoup!!!

    YES 2017.

    1. Tatiacha says:

      “we must acknowledge a human kind was born under sin” No you must for your religion apparently, but there rest of us are free not to believe in original sin.

  4. Mystic Angel says:

    It’s whatever you make it to be. Pagans celebrated the winter solstice with Yule,but other cultures also had celebrations around the same time. Basically, it never was a religious holiday to begin with, it was merely a time of celebration after the harvest and before the long winter months arrived. People gave the holiday time their own meaning according to their belief system and that has never and will never change. It only seems more pronounced because we started off a “christian “nation and so the founding father’s followed the traditions they were raised in. Now that society is becoming more eclectic in beliefs, the holidays also reflect what it already was to begin with 🙂

    1. Bernard Moleman says:

      I’m not sure why you’re bringing devil worshippers like pagans into the conversation about our holy holiday Christmas. The devil created paganism to trick liberal fools into believing in sodomy and abortions.

      In response to the article, we need to return Christmas to it’s true meaning, the birth of the savior.

      1. Amber Fry says:

        Perhaps because Paganism predates Christianity and before it was called Christmas, it was called Yule. I’m offended by your idea that paganism has ever had anything to do with devil worship, sodomy or abortion.

        Are you not aware that it was illegal to celebrate this time of year until roughly a hundred years ago here in the states? Here is a couple articles on the history of Christmas. Feel free to dig deeper.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/judith-lewis/christmas—ancient-pagan-holiday-which-was-criminally-illegal-until-1907_b_2350974.html

        https://www.hayesgardenworld.co.uk/960/history-of-christmas

        1. Bernard Moleman says:

          WOW! Huffington Post. That isn’t an unbiased source at all. When will liberals ever learn?

          1. Amber Fry says:

            First, it wasn’t the only article I posted,and though I don’t always agree with what huff posts it is certainly a lot closer to the truth than the nonsense you posted.
            Second, at least I posted something that could be traced and learned about. All that I see you post on paganism is lies born of fear of something you haven’t had the good grace to really learn anything about.

      2. Bob says:

        Bernard Moleman…it’s close-minded people like you that turn people secular. Why would anyone want to emulate your hateful words and be like you?

      3. Brian Balke says:

        The savior brought Unconditional Love into the world. As Christians, we are to emulate him.

        Love sees what is good in the world, and strengthens it.

        Finally, Christ taught us to love our enemies. Does God tell us to do anything that he would not? I don’t see Pagans as worshipping devils, I see them as part of the process of redeeming devils with the virtues that Christ brought to humanity (whether the pagans understand it that way or not). So I celebrate their devotion to the natural world – and always ON THEIR OWN TERMS.

    2. Brother Tim says:

      Sorry but this country was not found on religious belief, as a matter of fact most of our forefathers warned us against religion. You might want to google that or snopes.com

      1. Amber Fry says:

        Not quite against religion but against mixing religion with government. Some of them were Christian but secular when it came to government. They wanted people to be free to practice what they wanted or nothing at all by choice, not by law.

  5. John MAHER says:

    I BELIEVE it to be in the EYE,HEART, SOUL and MIND of the BEHOLDER, I BELIEVE it is CELEBRATED in a VULGAR FASHION of GIVING of USELESS GIFTs, JESUS CHRIST !!!

  6. maiane santos Santos says:

    The Christmas holiday wasn’t to bad in the forties after the war, even into the fifties I remember going to see Santa at the different department stores telling him what I wanted, then I noticed that pictures became the cash draw from everyone that passed through. The baloney got worse into the sixties, then it exploded into what it is now. This morphing into the so-called Christmas spirit you see now is totally fed by people being molded into thinking the holidays have to start the end of Halloween and go into never ending debt until the new year is the same as people being told there is a need for a constant connection with their phones, computers, etc.
    It used to be called brainwashing, now its called advertising and keeping informed, baloney!

  7. Minister Dave Crandall says:

    I feel that the masses that identify with Christian doctrine , are not harming anyone. When told the story will/ will not b as we perhaps thought.
    So goodness grace peace and love is warmer than controversy. Back to the upper room.
    Minister Dave 1974:)

    1. Minister Dave says:

      Thank u

      1. Minister Dave crandall says:

        Your welcome

  8. Brien DeMartino says:

    Yes, Christmas is still a time for worship for all of the catholic and offshoots of catholic belief. The retail, food, and hospitality industries have latched on to it renaming it the “Holiday” season as not everyone celebrates the religious aspect of Christmas. I assure you, Muslims’ that I know are perfectly happy to take advantage of a “holiday” sale. So I guess it all works out in the end. All I truly know is that around that time of year, people seem more forgiving of each other.

  9. Arthur Foster says:

    Christmas is suppose to be all about JESUS CHRIST, today the majority of all people think about friends, family, love ones, what to get them and who they are going to share that day with. Even Christians have that same mind set. Only a passing thought guess to JESUS and that is sad. Jesus has to start in you before it can spread any. Jesus birth is unsure by all cultures. The life and the acknowledgement of Jesus birth is all we to further what Christmas is about. So when was Christ born in you. Think of that and spread his joy daily not just one day a year

  10. rabbi jim says:

    rabbi jim here: Being of Jewish faith and tradition, I believe that Christmas has no connection with the birth of Yeshua of Nazareth at all. Many modern-day biblical scholars believe that Yeshua was born either in the Autumn of the year at the time of Tabernacles, or, In the Spring at the time of Passover. Christmas is a man made event created by the Roman Catholic Church to celebrate the birth of their Jesus Christ. But, Christmas has truly become a commercial event of materialism and economics. If people choose to engage in it, so be it. That has no interest to me. I choose to celebrate Yeshua’s Birth by paying homage to the manger as the Magi did two thousand years ago.
    SHOlOM!!!! May God our Father bless all of you and grant us all a happy New Year!!!!!

    1. Richard Johnson says:

      THANK YOU! Christmas has NOTHING to do with God or Jesus. It was a Pagan holiday named Yule that was appropriated by the Christians and turned into this season of buying instead of a true celebration of our great mother Earth.

      1. Brian Balke says:

        Just so you know: many early Christian prelates fought the mingling of the celebration of Christ’s birth with Yule. They gave up because their flocks insisted on the comingling. You might consider whether those steeped in the pagan symbolism of the rebirth of the sun might naturally associate it with the light that Christ’s love brought to their hearts.

  11. asp112015 says:

    I don’t see any of the public displays, trees, lights, gifts, etc. as being a religious event. That’s the public, commercial, aspect of the holiday season. The devout celebration is within the individual.

  12. Christian Antoine says:

    Christmas is a PAGAN UNholy day & is actually the feast of saturnalia. Easter is the PAGAN UNholy day celebrating Ishtar. There is NO DATE given in ANY bible as to the birth, death, or resurrection of Christ Jesus! IF you celebrate these PAGAN UNholy days, you are NOT a follower of Christ Jesus! If you adorn your home w/ pictures of PAGAN FAKE saints, rosaries, crosses, or anything of that nature, you serve & worship IDOLS! If you observe SUNday as your sabbath day, you serve satan! In 330 A.D. the roman emperor Constantine changed the original saturday sabbath from saturday to SUNday in observance of their UNholy PAGAN god Apollo who was the SUN God! If you believe you live on a globe, a ball planet, you do NOT know the 1st book of the bible wherein God clearly describes His creation as a FLAT LINEAR PLANE! The heliocentric globe model is a LIE! In 1535, under orders of the satanic vatican & pope, Copernicus was forced to publish his heliocentric model which in turn put us on a spinning ball hurtling through an endless FAKE outer space in which we were made to feel meaningless along with EVIL-lution, & the FAKE big bang theory! If you are a denominational christian; a catholic, protestant, methodist, baptist, etc. etc. you worship the enemy! In the time of Christ & after His ascension, there were NO bibles, NO pagan idol filled christian churches, NO being forced to confess your sins to man, no praying to Mary, Moses, Matthew, Peter, Isaiah, Jeremiah, or anyone else other than Christ Jesus! For NONE of them can intercede for you or get you into heaven! ONLY Christ Jesus can do this! “For there is 1 God & 1 mediator between God & men, the man, Christ Jesus † (1st Tim. 2:5) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYgFLmYdTmlQXt0tulgYmmQ

    1. Gene says:

      You really need to get your caps lock fixed. Of course there was a Bible before Jesus, it’s called the Old Testament. Not only that, there were other faiths well established before the birth of Jesus, whenever that might have been.

    2. Millir says:

      Maybe you should try a flight up in the space shuttle and look around a little bit. That might help things for you. You really need to relax.

    3. Vitrbjorn says:

      I have never read such a mass of garbage in my life as your post, The day Christ died was when Passover started at sundown, that makes it now Good Friday and Christ rose three days later which falls on what is now Easter Sunday. Get your facts straight before you post.

    4. Bob says:

      Christian Antoine…your rant more or less demonstrates why xmas has become secular; rabid christians who refuse to acknowledge other belief systems, out and out hatred of anyone they deem ‘different’, and an almost universal inability to control the caps key when they attempt to spread their bigoted gibberish. .

  13. GALLET CHRIST SAMPU ''SG'' says:

    Brothers and sisters I thank you for taking a time to share good news and let the spirit of guidance and revelations guide you in your all pertaining question by having a correct answer from the Comforter. This year it is a year of peace and prosperity to be unify all together. I thank you again so much by taking your time to fast on the first day of January and to those who did it the light whish already and wait and see your answer’s request and your will ,will be wondering.

    May God bless all of you

  14. Terti Monaghan says:

    I still wish to celebrate honoring the birth of Jesus. It is a very sacred time for me. I am saddened when I look around and see how commercialized Christmas has become. For me, it is a peaceful time with loved ones you hold dear to your heart. Also, I take time for remembering the less fortunate and praying for peace throughout the world. Our country is in a bad state, but I will never forget my roots and my upbringing. We need to love and respect each other….. not destroy one another.

  15. Gene says:

    Whatever your beliefs and views, may we all live in peace, respect each other as equals, and share in the effort to make the world a little better each day.

  16. Pattie says:

    Although Christmas may have become commercial to benefit retailers, in my home it’s a season to celebrate the birth of Christ . From what I have extrapolated from my studies is that Christ was born somewhere around June 17 according to the astronomy of the universe at the time showing the brightest star. I will always keep Christ in Christmas and I’m happy to share Christmas with any religion or with anyone who wants to participate in the festivities. it’s my opportunity to share Christ with them, I celebrate the birth of Christ every single day of my life and I share him every single day of my life with anyone who will listen. I know where I’m going when I die and I would love to have the people I love go with me and would give them every opportunity to join me . I think that if an atheist wants to celebrate Christmas I’m happy to have him feel the joy that I feel on Christmas morning and plant the seed it only takes a seed…..

  17. Marty says:

    If Christ is no longer part of Christmas, then the holiday becomes “Mas”. In other words,….as long as His name is in the title of the holiday, then Christ remains part of it. Whether we recognize this or not,…whether we choose to honor and celebrate this holiday with Christ as our primary reason for doing so, has always been, and always will be, a personal choice. Like Joshua said so many years ago, “Choose for yourself this day who you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” For 2017, my prayer is that all would choose to enjoy the peace of Christ and good will toward men that came to us through His birth, death and resurrection throughout the new year.

  18. Scott Naylor says:

    I am not religious so there is no religion in Xmas at all for me. We have some of the traditional religious symbols in our collection of decorations but see no religious meaning in them…they’re basically characters from an old story to us😉! It seems the Christians hijacked the Dec. 25 date so it only seems fitting that the holiday turn secular and be celebrated for what it is, not what religion would like it to be.

  19. Alice says:

    The “keep Christ on Christmas” christians answered the inquiry best when many cancelled their Sunday morning services on Christmas Day. No, there is No more Christ in Christmas, even among Christians….Interferes with gift opening and Christmas morning celebrations.

  20. Michael Willis says:

    I like celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas but my family don’t. Christmas to me is more than lights, trees,gifts,and alcohol; it’s about being with family and friends celebrating the birth of Jesus. I do have a tree up on Christmas but I don’t worship it or pay much attention to it.

  21. Nasir Esmail says:

    Christmas is the celebration of the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ. This is the time to remember his life and at the same time for us to look at our lives and our world and seek to live a life that follows his teachings and his examples. At this time when we are seeking peace in our world we should all be asking our selves: “What would Christ do?”

  22. Georgia Hollinghurst says:

    Without Christ we are nobody, I didn’t eat a dinner or put a tree up I simply wished Christ happy birthday and thanked him and went back to painting my home, without him I’m a nobody, he has blessed me in so many ways, I gave no gifts I attended church and I’m no Scrooge I assure you, if I have money I have a loose arm and give what I can to help others, but Christmas has become a selfish season to some people hitting and punching each other in shops and all awhile I stand back and think lest not forget the reason behind the season xxxxxc

    1. Carmine says:

      “Without Christ we are nobody.” Really? Billions of people are nobody?

  23. Vitrbjorn says:

    I do not celebrate Christmas, or as I call it Hercules’ birthday. I celebrate Jul on the 21st, the longest night of the year. If I want to get into debt all I have to do Is not turn off the water and let it run, we pay a ton of money for very little from the city, who is to cheap and too lazy to fix anything except raising our water bill every year.

  24. Justice Christine Marie Casella says:

    I celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ!! I also play Mrs Claus every year and that will never change in my life as soon many people try to change it. I totally understand people have different types of belief’s . I wouldn’t change them so don’t try to change mine. Thank you!!!

  25. Bryan says:

    As a practicing Wiccan, I celebrate the Winter Solstice.

    And I absolutely HATE x-mas. People preach good will towards man, as long as you’re a x-ian. Love everyone every day no matter their religion, color or views. If you can’t do that, you’re not a true x-ian.

  26. Warren Taylor says:

    For some people Xmas is religious. I told my M.D., who is Hindu, not to worry about it. “Santa is the reason for the season, not Jesus,” I said.

  27. Judy Riggenbach says:

    Christmas has many backgrounds form the Pagan to the Christian. It has always been an amalgum of symbols and mixed celebrations. the date , the christmas tree and many items from Holly and mistletoe to wassail bowls and flaming puddings had their origin in pagan celebrations. St Nicholas ( Sinterklaas,) and his accompanying pal Krampus grew from very early celebrations and became the Santa of today who does not punish the bad or leave coal in sinners shoes! Rudolph, Frosty etc were simply children’s songs of the 30’s and 40’s. Christmas is a social /religious event that has grown and continues to be celebrated in various ways in various families. Every group as its own food choices for the Holiday from the ubiquitous ham to the feast of the 7 fishes, the Fruit cake, the Plum Pudding, the mince pies etc. all vary with area and beliefs.
    How we celebrate , whether we focus on the birth of Christ or on the Winter itself, if we enter the holiday season with a love of all humanity and a wish to do well by others and to help those less fortunate than we are then the season has served its purpose and we have all been uplifted buy it. IF we enter it selfishly and focus on what it will bring us in gifts and how we can show off and lord it over others, then we have missed the point entirely and have wasted the beauty and goodness the season celebrates.

  28. Carol L Hodges says:

    I celebrate the Christ Spirit within, and Yule traditions by giving and enjoying time with family and friends. Boughs of Holly and vines of ivy along with wreaths are main decorations.

  29. Patrick Campbell says:

    I (we) celebrate the End of the Year Holidays for what they represent, a recognition of one natural year of human experience coming to a conclusion, and the beginning of a new year in our life. The ‘Holidays’ are celebrated at the Solstice, the shortest day of the old year, with each following day growing in length for the first half of the new year, giving us more and more time each day to create and rejuvenate and to enjoy the coming summer, which will then be at a maximum of light and opportunity.
    This End of the Year occurrence was recognized by the ancients who chose to celebrate on this shortest day, knowing that from here on, things would be looking up!
    It is merely a matter of political opportunity that the Romans converted the celebration to a religious celebration so as to attempt to cover over the Pagan identification, and then the Christians compounding the matter by declaring the date the Birth of Christ in their attempt to cover over the Roman’s identification.
    I find it sickening that Christian religious leaders all over the world, promote this holiday period as a flat out celebration of Jesus’ actual birthday when the bulk of them know full well that this is an outright falsehood.

  30. Grant Martin says:

    We all know why Dec. 25th was chosen for the birth of Christ. From what I have read many believe it was more likely around April. I believe, that both the birth of Christ is as equally important as his death; although, it what is between is the most important. I do put up lights, and maybe a small tree, but I also read Matthew on Christmas eve. I will keep Christ in Christmas!

  31. Susan Richardson says:

    “Christmas” is a pagan holiday. Plain and simple. The traditions of it are from many different pagan cultures, and honestly I get sick and tired of hearing that it’s all about the Christian Jesus and God. I welcome it becoming more cultural instead of religious, but I will always celebrate Yule in my own way.

  32. Caroll D. Reimer says:

    I don’t celebrate the Christ-mas at all. I celebrate Yule.

    1. Brian Balke says:

      Thank-you. “Christmas” is a religious observation sacred to those that honor Christ. To call it “Christmas” without that honor is a cultural misappropriation.

      1. Amber Fry says:

        Unfortunately Christmas became a national holiday in the US when it was marked as such. There were bans against celebrating it for a very long time. This article is a bit older but if you really don’t trust it then use the information to find more about it.
        http://www.livescience.com/32891-why-was-christmas-banned-in-america-.html

      2. Amber Fry says:

        I’d like to add also that cultural misappropriation happened when Christianity traveled out of the middle east and into Europe so I’m not sure that would even be a consideration at this point. Even the image of Jesus was made pale to make him more acceptable to the new culture.

        1. Brian Balke says:

          Historical records report that the many of the prelates fought against association of Christ with Yule, relenting only when it became clear that their flocks insisted on linking the two. I don’t think that it’s “appropriation” when the members of a culture chose to enhance and unify their faith experience.

  33. Mike313 says:

    Really! You state – “Even nations that do not celebrate Christmas can’t help but be caught up in the collective spirit of their neighbors, as twinkling lights dot the landscape and carols fill the air.” Obviously you have not spent Christmas in India, China, most of South-East Asia, Israel and most Muslim countries.

  34. Kevin Zeller says:

    None of this matters, even a bit, because the REASON FOR THE SEASON never even was… http://jesusneverexisted.com

  35. Zoran (RZBK) says:

    Some of my Christmas traditions include:

    Putting up a Christmas tree
    Buying gifts for friends and family
    Attending family gatherings
    Christmas Eve : Eating 7 different fish (or 12 different fish)
    NOT cooking a Christmas ham
    Decorating with boughs of holly
    Sending Christmas cards or internet Christmas cards

  36. malamalamakala says:

    In Hawai’i we have a variety of ethnic groups with separate religious doctrines all living in close proximity to each other and peacefully so.

    Hawai’ian culture celebrates Makahiki from November through January. Traditionally this is a seasonal event to rest and enjoy the fruits of harvest, play games, feast and be at peace.

    We embrace the celebration of Christmas as well the Buddhist and other religious holidays perhaps due to the foundation of Makahiki as a time to gather together in solidarity and peace.

    Mahalo ke Akua

  37. Reverend Rozalynda says:

    When I was growing up without my mom, my maternal grandma made sure we had food on the table. She would register us at the Salvation Army and they would take us presents, food. No one ever explained the meaning of Christmas. I grew up thinking it was the birth of Jesus Christ. So I kept the tradition going. Putting up a Christmas tree, buying gifts for friends and family, my sisters coming over or we would go over their house. I would send Christmas cards. To this day many of my siblings have their families & each have gone our separate ways. Though, I love to cook so I cook for my little family of 4.

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