WebStamp December 17, 2016
Traditions of Christmas are for All
Since the dawn of man the winter solstice has been celebrated to bring
light and warmth to the darkest and coldest time of the year. The Norse
celebrated Yule, recognizing the return of the sun, by bringing home
large logs and would feast until the log burned out from December 21st
to early January. Europeans had time to celebrate at the end of
December and were able to enjoy the fruits of their labour from the past
year. Not having to be fed during the winter, livestock was slaughtered
and most wine and beer had fermented for consumption providing the
perfect time of the year to enjoy a fresh supply of food and beverage.
In the 4th century Christians were allowed to celebrate Saturnalia and the Christian doctrine declared December 25th as the birth of Jesus encouraging many to convert to Christianity. Celebrating Christmas for Christians at the time entailed drinking, sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets, etc.
In the Mid 17th century, realizing that Christmas was a derivative from a pagan ritual and not the actual birthday of Jesus, Christmas was banned by the Puritans in England and in the state of Massachusetts. Elsewhere in the world Christmas was a raucous carnival holiday until the 19th century when Americans began to embrace Christmas as a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. Christmas became popular when it was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.
Christmas of today has evolved from the religious festival as the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus combined with many pagan origins and ambiguous non-religious resonances. Today’s meaning of Christmas is of peace and joy and good will toward men. This is something that is reflected in all religions which means Christmas is for all. December 25th is not Jesus true birthday, but a representation of hope in the darkest times. It is a time when all should care about the less fortunate and help each other prepare for a better and more prosperous future.
Many traditions, such as gift giving, derived from giving to those unfortunate during the winter solstice celebrations when their need was most needed. This holiday season there a many more in need. If your circumstances are better than most be sure to get into the Christmas spirit and help those in need around you and spread peace and joy to all.
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