Every Christmas season the internet becomes flooded with well-meaning zealots who must warn the world that Christmas is a pagan festival; the trees are pagan, the gifts are pagan, Santa is pagan, and most of all the date is pagan. Yes, December 25th – thoroughly pagan.
And every year it seems that new and creative means of proving the pagan’ness’ of Christmas become available. I think I’ve heard them all, though, no doubt, someone will come up with a zinger from left field this year that will cause me a few seconds of pause. I’ll admit, this annual business of bashing Christmas irritates me terribly. So, to strike back in my own little way, I’d like to focus on one of these claims and demonstrate its ridiculousness.
For the sake of argument, let us agree that the date set for Christmas really does have its root in ancient pagan festivals, whether it was the ancient date for Sun god (Sol Invictus) worship, Emperor worship, or some other pagan equinox-linked worship (personally, I’m not particularly convinced of these assertions but lets pretend they’re true). Does that in fact demonstrate that Christmas is a pagan holiday and that the early Church was corrupted by such influences?
Actually, it’s exactly the reverse.
If the Christmas date was purposely set on December 25th in order to thwart a pagan festival it demonstrates the total domination of early Christianity over said paganism. It is proof that the worship of the Sun god was so thoroughly routed that this “god” even lost his special day. He was not only defeated, he was replaced and forgotten.
To help illustrate the point, imagine for a moment that America was one day overrun by China and, choosing a random date, let’s say the final victory happened on June 7th. In addition, imagine that China wished to commemorate the victory with an annual holiday, but rather than using the actual victory date they used July 4th instead. Would that then make the Chinese conquering holiday a covert celebration of American independence?
Only if you’re a complete moron. No offence, of course.
In reality it would be a humiliating slap in the face of American independence; an eternal reminder that America was not independent but a slave to its conquering master. July 4th would be the perfect date with which to celebrate the holiday. Likewise, December 25th has been forever claimed by the conquering Lord, Jesus Christ, and all false gods – deities, emperors, and planets alike – served their eternal eviction notice.
So, please zealots, give it a rest this season. December 25th is a more than adequate date for the celebration of our Lord’s entrance into the world.