This was originally wtitten 5 years ago as an aside/extra to my "Christmas, Yule, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice." Series of essays on the website gather.com. somebody on that site had wrote something about why people take Christ out of CHRISTmas/Christmas and this was my response to that person.
Winter holiday after winter holiday, year after year I find my response to still be relevant:
Open Letter To The People Who Presume There Is A "War" On Christmas.....
December 06, 2008 04:39 PM EST (Updated: December 18, 2008 10:08 AM EST)
views: 232 | comments: 34
I saw this posted up else where;
"Why do people take Chist out of Christmas anyways? think 2 of the reasons are (1)there scared they will affend people but dont realize that you are affending Christians and (2) they dont know how to respond to Jesus Christ. I just want to c what u guys think"
And I responded Thus;
3. There are more holiday's out there than just Christmas.
and in fact Christmas is a New Invention, the earliest known celebrations of Christmas according to the Catholic Encyclopedia was in the 6th century C.E. And the feast Day was moved to December 25th by one of the early Popes and an Roman Emperor, in attempt to fill a void and get the population to convert to Christianity because there was already Pagan Festivals celebrated at this time the Roman Saturnalia, and later on the Feast to Sol Invictus - The Unconquered Sun. December 25th was also said to be the Birth date of Mithra a Persian God, worshipped by Soldiers and Statesmen and upper class business people.
according to the website ChristianAnswers.net - The bible does not specifically mention when Christ was born, but it is suggessted it was sometime in late spring or Autumn, as the Shepards were in the fields watching thier flocks - and in December the fields in that time period and geographical area would be unproductive.
and Up until the 6th century, Early Christians celebrated the birth of Christ, at various points in time, some celebrated it in January as part of Epiphany.
Also, besides the Pagan Festivals to the gods, December 21st-25th is also the Winter Solstice when the sun is as its lowest point, and around December 25th was when the early people were able to tell the different position of the sun.
(Oh, and let's not forget the Influence of the Northern European/Nordic Festivities of Yule on our Modern Christmas Season---though that is neither here nor there.)
So Maybe, people don't celebrate Jesus' birth at Christmas/Yule/Saturnalia/Winter Solstice time because they realize Jesus wasnt born in December...and the date was only moved to December in attempt to Christianize the Soslstice Festivities centuries after Christ was said to have existed.
Just a Thought maybe.
But, Still if you want to stick to your traditions and celebrate Jesus' birthday on not his birthday...that is certainly your right and im not gonna stop you. in fact I'll do you one better - Merry Christmas!
I just hope that you extend the same courtesy to me, and not presume that I celebrate Christmas in the same way you do, and respect my right to honor this season for the original intended purpose and not the later invention of the birth of the Christ Child, Thank you.
----------So, Was my response diplomatic, and respectful? do you think it will be recieved well? or am I a raging liberal Bah humbugger?You decide, comment and weigh in with your own thoughts.