12/25/2004 06:09:00 pm

The True Meaning of Christmas

Posted by Unknown |

I was reading an article the other day where Dominic Knight (whoever he is) called Christmas "everyone's favourite pagan-made-Christian-made-pagan-again holiday."

It's common knowledge that Christmas was a pagan festival that was appropriated by the Christians thousands of years ago to help the simple folk celebrate Christian things rather than non-Christian things. As far as I can tell from my extensive research Christmas was originally a festival to the Roman god Saturnalia. The festival was to celebrate the solstice (21st December). Jesus wasn't born in December, it was probably around March. But instead of creating a whole new holiday to celebrate the Christians just used an old one. Why build a new house when you can just renovate an old one?

Anyway my thought was, we Christians stand up and declare that the real meaning of Christmas is Jesus birth. It's not about Santa or shopping, it's about the incarnation.

But by that same token Wiccans can stand up and say, the real meaning of Christmas is not Santa and shopping, it's not babies and incarnations, it's the about the Sun and the god that Saturday is named after. It's just as valid, or perhaps more valid than most of the Christian talks that happen in churches and Christmas assemblies all over the western world.

I think the real meaning of Christmas may be that humanity likes to get together, eat food and give presents. We just like to chuck different names and ideas behind it but they're all just an excuse to bring out the best and worst in people.

But don't let me be a spoil sport. I love celebrating Christmas. And I think it's a wonderful excuse to talk about Jesus and God's gift to us. I'll celebrate at the drop of a hat so Jesus' birth is a wonderful excuse for a family get-together.

So Happy Christmas everyone. And when you've forgotten what you ate for lunch today, and you've forgotten what presents you've been given, remember that God's visit to planet Earth is just as wondrous on Christmas Day as it is every other day of the year.