Tuesday, November 29, 2005

DAMNED Christmas Holidays

A response to the Christmas Tree/Holiday item in the Herald, November 29th 2005

I had a great laugh today at the latest entry in the campaign to discredit our Governor General. Christmas trees. Oi. Seems one of her more keener -type staffers, in an honest effort not to alienate anyone, called the Governor General's tree a holiday tree. That set off a great hew and cry. What the hell? Don't people have shopping to do and an election to consider?

First of all, Christmas trees are a stolen tradition that does not originate with Christians. Secondly, the Christmas celebration itself has it roots firmly in and is hijacked from ancient pagan tradition.

A quick Google search turns up hundreds of articles on the origins of both the tradition of using trees at festivals and how the Romans, in an effort to spread their politics and manage the masses, spread Christianity by outlawing pagan traditions and replacing ancient festivals with re-named, watered down versions.

Check out any of these:

According to an article on FabulousFoods.com, at their festivals and celebrations, ancient druids and Celts usedthe ‘christmas’ type tree trees to represent their gods as that tree never browned or lost its leaves, but remained perpetually alive. Ancient Scandinavian pagans brought live trees into their homes in order to entice faeries to follow.

The use of live trees at festivals greatly pre-dates Christianity’s very existence. The first use of cut trees at any Christian festival occurred barely 500 years ago.

The origins of the December holiday have far more to do with pagan traditions than anything to do with Christ’s birth. What Christians take as their holy holiday is based on a 4000 year-old Iranian tradition celebrating Mithra, the god of Light.

Further, according biblical references to sheep in the fields, Christ’s birth did not occur in the winter months, given December is rainy and cold in the part of the world where Christ was born. Sheep and shepherds would have been well into the fold by then, not hanging out in soggy, cold fields.

The reality is that when the Romans were on their path of domination, they outlawed the old ways and the old traditions. What modern Christians claim as their traditions simply are not. All Christian holidays are borrowed, revised traditions that were enforced by a powerful political engine intent on major social control.

In light of the limitless information on the origins of Christmas trees and the Christmas holiday, this insignificant issue of what flavour-of-the-week name should be applied to a cut tree hardly bears discussing. For those who claim certain groups are taking Christ out of Christmas, it behooves them to understand how and why Christ got in there in the first place.


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  2. It always surprises me that when something gets repeated enough on the internet, there develops an often undeserved unquestioning acceptance.

    One of the better documents I have read talking through some of the actual history and debate is posted here.

    You are right however that it IS funny how people react so strongly to such oddly insignificant issues.

  3. Yah, you're right. I don't say people shouldn't celebrate Christmas however they see fit, but it is important that everybody understand the fluidity of festivals and celebrations and how they change over time -- and why!

    I'm not anything approaching a christian but I love the season, mostly 'cause it is so fun to hang out with my kids, strew christmas wrap all over the place, eat a ton of oranges and chocolate and just nest in the house. My poor mom thinks we're all a bunch of doomed heathens but she still invites us over for turkey.

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