Hey guys! Today, I want to talk about *gasp* Xmas.
Now, as you all know, Xmas is apparently some Christian thing that they seem to think they have dibs on, or something. So, as a rather vocal Atheist I get crap about celebrating Xmas with my (also) non-religious friends.
Let me explain why ‘Christmas’ never really started with Christ. Really, it’s a mish-mash of pagan and other traditions they’ve picked up over the years, like:
Roman Saturnalia. Saturnalia was a December celebration of the god Saturn. It was a time of great partying and celebration of egalitarianism and rebirth. Gifts were given freely as symbols of friendship.
Gift giving at winter, trees, holly and mistletoe:
Thor/Yuletide festival . This one is rather similar to Saturnalia as well, although it celebrates several gods and the winter solstice. The evergreen trees were a symbol of survival through winter and were celebrated and decorated where they grew. Mistletoe originally was a symbol of female fertility, so the smooching was a natural step.
Gift bearing figures:
There are MANY of them.
There are other traditions that have been incorporated, but it’s not my point.
Early Christians, in order to help the spread of their message, incorporated popular traditions and festivities of their respective areas. These traditions were around LONG before the rise of Christianity. Like, hundreds of years before in some cases. This helped greatly to ingratiate themselves to the locals. This was before they just went ‘Fuck it’ and decided on the Moron Crusades. Don’t get me started on the whole ‘rebirth of the deity’ thing that’s been done a hundred times over by religions much, much older than Christianity.
In any case, I find nothing much of it to be traced to JUST Christianity…or even one religion in general. It’s more like ‘general winter/summer end of year party hard time’.
Christians: You can’t keep the Christ in Xmas when it wasn’t really there to begin with.
So, those points covered – I don’t see anything wrong about celebrating the end of the year. It’s what you make of it, really. Every year I get together with a bunch of my mates (not even on Xmas day sometimes). We eat, drink, and generally make merry. Pressies are exchanged, but just making merry with my friends and stuffing ourselves silly is the main thing 🙂
You don’t have to be religious, or Christian to celebrate something like Xmas. I see it as the end of the year, and a celebration of things to come, friends, family and a time to let loose.
Enjoy it, don’t use it as a tool to hate. We already have enough of that around.
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