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Merry Christmas to all and to the brave men and women serving our nation who didn't get to come home to friends and family. Unselfish hero's that go about their duties without hesitation. Merry Christmas to all of the policemen and women, fire fighters EMT's and doctors and nurses that pulled a shift today so that the rest of us could enjoy our families and the holiday knowing that they are there to keep us safe and healthy. Merry Christmas to all those working today for either essential or non essential jobs. In short, merry Christmas everybody.
Thanks for remembering those who have to work today. I am grateful my firefighter son-in-law Matt is off today, my son Jaysen is not on deployment and my CHP officer son Jon has the day off. I am grateful my son-in-law Larry will stop by for brunch this morning on the way to the steam plant and I am sad for my son Jared who had to leave for Africa this morning. Holidays are for families but there are a lot of jobs that need to be covered. This is the first year so many of my kids have been able to be home for Christmas. I am also thankful for all of my friends on this forum. We may not always agree but we always try to be civil.
"Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony
Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 25 because of its pagan origins, but the holiday later became known as Christian. What may be surprising is that there are Christians who do not celebrate Christmas. For some, like members of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, it is because the church abides by the tenet “solo scriptura,” a Latin phrase which means by scripture alone. Since Jesus did not leave instructions for his followers to celebrate his birth, the FPCS does not. Other Christians stop celebrating the holiday when they discover its roots, but most disciples in the US and other countries commemorate the birth of Jesus on Christmas day.
Was Jesus born on Dec. 25?
Early Christians had no interest in the date Jesus was born. The earliest gospel, St. Mark, was written about 65 A.D. and begins with a fully grown Jesus being baptized. There is little written in the Bible about Jesus' childhood, other than prophecies of his birth, visits from wise men and his question-and-answer session with the Jewish doctors in the temple.
Pagan roots of Christmas
Romans celebrated the Saturnalia festival (Saturn was an agricultural deity) between Dec. 17 and 25, culminating in the “Dies Natalis Sol Invictus,” Latin for Birthday of the Unconquered Sun, on Dec. 25. Officials declared that no one would be punished for gross misbehavior during Saturnalia, and each community chose a scapegoat who would be abused and forced to overeat. When the festival ended on Dec. 25, Roman rulers allowed the victim to be sacrificed, which supposedly destroyed evil forces and pleased the agricultural god of excess. Other activities included over-indulgence in alcohol, sexual promiscuity, and visiting house to house au naturel while singing raucously.
Saturnalia evolved into a Christian holiday
By the fouth century A.D., the Catholic church, hoping to win converts, assured Saturnalia worshippers that they could include festival activities in Christian worship. Yet, there was nothing Christian about Saturnalia with its extreme debauchery. The church then declared Dec. 25, the denouement of a pagan festival, as Jesus’ birthday, and Christ’s mass was born. The name was later shortened to Christmas, as the holiday was adopted by Protestant churches.
According to Stephen Nissenbaum, history professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, “In return for ensuring massive observance of the anniversary of the Savior’s birth by assigning it to this resonant date, the Church for its part tacitly agreed to allow the holiday to be celebrated more or less the way it had always been.” The earliest Christmases included all the previously mentioned pagan customs, and singing nude in the streets was a precursor of modern Christmas caroling.
Christmas banned in England, then revived
In 1644, the Puritans banned Christmas in England by the authority of Parliament, but the ban was soon removed by King Charles II. The Puritans in America did not observe Christmas well into the 1800s, but by the end of the 19th century, many Americans were celebrating Christmas with many of today’s traditions, e.g., decorated trees, parties, Christmas-card exchanges, shopping and gift giving. In 1870, former President Ulysses S. Grant declared Christmas a US federal holiday.
Is modern-day Christmas secularized?
Most modern-day Christmas celebrations are a combination of pagan, Christian and secular themes. There are those who repeat “Jesus is the reason for the season” like a mantra, but the question remains, is Christ truly the reason for the season? Then there is Sarah Palin’s new book, “Good Tidings, Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas,” in which she discusses “the war on Christmas.” Is there a war on Christmas, has Christmas returned to its roots, or has it reached a median stride? The writer has not read Palin’s book, but what can be gleaned from a recent interview is that she pens her thoughts on the loss of Christmas traditions and what she and countless others perceive as a sacred holiday.
It could be argued that retailers have turned Christmas into the most commercial of holidays, but for millions, it is not a religious observance. Yet others would surmise that Christmas was never a Christian holiday, and depending upon the celebrator, festivities now lie in the middle of the spectrum for many Americans, firmly wedged between the secular and the divine.
While Dec. 25th isn't the actual birth date of Christ it is the day that his birth is celebrated. In order for his birthday to be celebrated, it's only logical that Christ himself does indeed have something to do with the holiday. It's time to end this nonsense and just acknowledge and admit that there are many more people around the world that hold some type of religious belief than there are those that don't.
Having said that, it's time that I hijack my thread back and say that I hope everyone had a great Christmas, I sure did!
~~Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long.
[QUOTE=BadgerDave;410474]While Dec. 25th isn't the actual birth date of Christ it is the day that his birth is celebrated. In order for his birthday to be celebrated, it's only logical that Christ himself does indeed have something to do with the holiday. It's time to end this nonsense and just acknowledge and admit that there are many more people around the world that hold some type of religious belief than there are those that don't.
Yes there are but understand that religion had nothing to do with the origins of what has become a quasi-religious holiday. And even a non believer like me can enjoy it.