Every year about this time, I wonder in amazement at how Christians go to such lengths and spend so much money on this holiday to celebrate the birth of their Savior.
What do you suppose Jesus would think of this melee, Black Friday sales, gift giving, decorations, Santa Claus, bottom line, pepper spray and so on? The holiday in no way reflects its supposed meaning. Therefore, I would suggest that the holiday be renamed to reflect the actual events that take place this time of year.
First of all, I do not know how many know that Christ was not born Dec. 25, nor does the Bible say anything to reference any date for that event. It just so happens that Dec. 25 is around the time of the winter solstice when many ancient cultures celebrated the "birthday of the unconquered Sun." The days were getting longer and the hope for a new crop in the coming months was assured.
Celebration and merry making were in order. Saturnalia, Mithra, Osiris, Attis, Dionysus and many other savior-gods of the era were worshipped. Coincidentally, these Gods were also born on Dec. 25, born of virgins, performed miracles, met untimely deaths and took the pipeline to heaven. All these risen God figures were beamed up at — you guessed it — the spring equinox.
These were very popular motifs for a civilization who did not know what happened to the sun when it set and thought the Earth was flat. These ancient myths and beliefs are all astrotheological in origin, the 12 signs of the Zodiac serving as a foundation and blueprint for their beliefs.
The celebration of the "birthday of the unconquered Sun" was changed to Christmas in the fourth century and the specious belief that the Christian Savior was born on this day became an ubiquitous allegory of the Christ event still believed by many right up to the 21st century.
Maybe Christians should find another date to celebrate and venerate this religious event and leave all the merry making and debauchery to the commercial enterprise it has become. I'm sure Jesus would approve.
Maybe we should just say "Happy Holidays," but I guess for now "Merry Christmas" will have to do.