Every year around this time, it is common for many people (mainly Christians) to ask why so many people of various ethnicities and religions celebrate Christmas when the holiday is supposed to propagate Christian beliefs. However, when looked at on a more analytical level, it becomes blatantly apparent that the holiday as we know it is actually antagonistic to the beliefs that modern day Christians uphold.
First, the holiday itself has become commercialized, to the point where any person can pragmatically extrapolate that the holiday is more about anticipation of receiving than it is about Jesus Christ or any of the morals he perpetuated. If any find this hard to believe, then you must ask yourself why the holiday that is supposedly made to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ calls attention to a separate deity: Santa Claus. We have constructed and enforced this idea of the mythological being Santa, who flies around the entire world delivering presents to all children, despite the fact that some countries don’t even celebrate the holiday. In many ways, through our vast overstimulation via media we have given Santa Claus more precedence on this day than Jesus, the man the holiday was made for … Or was it?
Next, Christmas wasn’t always Christmas. In fact, most religious historians agree that there was no way Jesus would have been born in the winter. So, why is Christmas celebrated in the winter? Well, it turns out the Romans were one of the first major zeitgeist to adopt Christianity, but why would they give up on all of their other gods? After all, before 4th century CE, they were devout pagans.
The original advocates of Christianity realized this; therefore, they provided an incentive to convert these Romans. The Romans initially had a holiday called Saturnalia, a holiday made to celebrate the Roman Titan, a being similar to a god, Saturn. It was celebrated Dec. 17 – 25. During this time, citizens of the Roman Empire were given complete autonomy from any social contract and allowed to commit any crime or action, similar to the concept of The Purge film with less awkwardly masked caucasians. At this point, there was no Christmas, only Saturnalia, so Christians of the time commandeered the holiday and promised that any Roman convert would still be able to celebrate Saturnalia. The only problem was that Saturnalia had nothing to do with any of the principles set forth in the bible. In fact, the holiday was the personification of everything that the bible stood against. In order to try and change this, the Christians renamed Saturnalia “Christmas” and then society slowly incorporated new aspects to the holiday and excluded old ones seen as archaic.
Therefore, next time you tell your kid that the spirit of Christmas was originally about giving and not receiving, remember that it was in fact, about robbing, murdering, and pillaging, so maybe we don’t have the right to penalize people of other faiths for celebrating. After all, we stole the holiday.