The Real Ghost of Christmas Past


I am a firm believer that God brings things across my path for a reason. Especially when it keeps surfacing and I am not looking for it…none of these times was anything said because I asked, it all came about naturally in the conversation…so I am going to share with all of you and see what you think.

The first two times were earlier in December. One with a friend I rarely see and I ran into her at the grocery store. The second time was in an email with another friend of mine.

In the last 24 hours, again, the subject of Christmas Past has come to my attention at least two times without my searching it out.

The third time was last night on the phone with a dear friend of mine who shall remain nameless. She wondered if I knew the origin of Christmas. I told her I did, and we have made a lot of changes in the way we celebrate, but tonite I found out I really didn’t know or remember all of it.

The fourth time was about an hour ago when my son was watching something on YouTube and asked me who “Kris Kringle” was.

I decided to look it up. I discovered a lot of information, some of which I am sharing here.

The websites go into some major details even further back than the 12 days of Christmas origin and all the way back to Bible times, even Old Testament times. So, as much fun as I had this year, I am going to do some serious rethinking and prayerful consideration.

I have to tell you that I am wavering. I am a Sentimental Susie. I love sparkles and coziness and beautiful music and everything about Christmas. BUT, I love my Creator more. I will not make an immediate decision, but I am going to bring this before Him and seek to do what is right and if need be, I will deny myself.

Here are the main arguments:

Christmas was “invented” by the Catholic church as a compromise to the heathen celebration called “Saturnalia”, which has been celebrated since the time of the prophet Jeremiah. He writes about it in the Bible.

Many of the traditions we use during this season are taken from this heathen celebration.

“Christmas as a pagan holiday traces back
thousands of years before to a man named
Nimrod, founder of ancient pagan Babylon.”
Christmas Unwrapped– From the History Channel
by Alan Mansager

“December 25th was celebrated as
Nimrod’s birthday. Generally, all mankind
is fast asleep, dreaming this old
Babylonian dream.”
-The Story Of Nimrod, As It Relates To Christmas And Easter
by Wilhelm J Wolfaardt

“The terms in which the newly converted
Anglo-Saxons interpreted the Christian
religion were shaped by the tribal culture
impregnated by the pagan beliefs of the
old religion.”
-Stag and Earth Mother: Pagan Beliefs in Ancient Britain
by Robert W. Nicholls; Howard University
[The World And I (New York), December, 1988]

“During the sixth century Pope Gregory
sent Saint Augustine to England to establish
a church on the continental model. To facilitate
the conversion, an attempt was made to reconcile
the incoming doctrine with customs already in
existence. Any pagan symbolism that did not
positively clash with Christian doctrine
was incorporated into the new faith.”
-Stag and Earth Mother: Pagan Beliefs in Ancient Britain
by Robert W. Nicholls; Howard University
[The World And I (New York), December, 1988]

“Pope Gregory advised that Christian holy days
should be near in date to the replaced pagan
festivals. This mingling of Christianity and
paganism is the reason why Easter is named
after Eostra, an Anglo-Saxon fertility goddess
of the dawn, and why Christ’s birthday is
celebrated on December 25—the date of the
old midwinter festival commemorating the
rebirth of the sun-gods.”
Stag and Earth Mother: Pagan Beliefs in Ancient Britain
by Robert W. Nicholls; Howard University
[The World And I (New York), December, 1988]

DECORATING AN EVERGREEN TREE

Jeremiah 10: 2-5

“Today, almost the only Christian sect to oppose
celebrating Christmas is the Jehovah’s Witnesses,
who rightly recognize that the traditions carried
out are totally Pagan in their origin. Especially
so is the Christmas tree, with its garland, lights,
and ornaments; it has its roots in the Druid worship
of the Trees.”
Yule, A European Tradition
Rob Roy MacGregor
by April Gaede

SANTA CLAUS,  KRIS KRINGLE & ST NICK

“Gifts are given by the departing Holly King
as he rides his solar sleigh, pulled by the
eight Sabbats personified as reindeer,
through the sky at Yule Eve. He was called
Old Nick by the Pagan Norse, was usurped by
Christianity and is recognized today as
Santa Claus – while “Old Nick” became a name
for the Christian deity of evil.”
Wiccan Holy Days; Yule
Religion and Magick

“Santa” was a common name for Nimrod
throughout Asia Minor. This was also the same
fire god who came down the chimneys of the
ancient pagans.”
-Langer’s Encyclopedia of World History,

(article “Santa”)

SANTA COMING DOWN THE FIREPLACE

“Thor was the god represented as an elderly man,
jovial and friendly, of heavy build, with a long
white beard. His element was the fire, his color red.
…he alone among the gods…drove in a chariot
drawn by two white goats called Cracker and Gnasher.
He became the Yule-god and was said to live in
the “Northland” where he had his palace among
icebergs. According to our pagan forefathers
he was considered as the cheerful and friendly god.
The fireplace in every home was especially sacred
to him, and he was said to come down through the
chimney into his element, the fire.”
–Myths of Northern Lands,

H.A. Grueber; 1895.

“The fireplace in every home was especially
sacred to the god THOR, and he was said to
come down through the chimney into his
element, the fire.”
-Francis X. Weiser, (Catholic Priest)
Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs
(New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1958)

THE YULE LOG

(had to do with keeping evil spirits away)

HOLLY AND IVY

“Ancient pagans fashioned ivy “into wreaths
and garlands for decorations during the winter
months.” Ivy had close ties with the Roman god
of wine, Bacchus. Holly, meanwhile, figured
prominently in the Roman celebration of the
Saturnalia (upon which the Christmas holiday
was directly modeled), as it was considered
sacred to the god Saturn. Among the Celts,
holly played a major role in summer and
winter pagan solstice observances.”
– “The Green Mountain Gardener”
Dr. Leonard Perry,

“Holly and other evergreens were subsequently
adopted by common Christians as Christmas
decorations in Roman times. This, despite
protests from disapproving Church Fathers,
who regarded the decorations as “too pagan.”
Such protests notwithstanding, evergreen
decorations were well on their way to becoming
Christmas institutions, symbols of the pagan
past co-opted by the new religion.”
“The Green Mountain Gardener”
Dr. Leonard Perry,

MISTLETOE

(hung over doors to protect against evil)

8 REINDEER

“Although reindeer have been extinct in the
British Isles since the 12th Century, the Horned God
continued to be commemorated. Ceremonies using the
reindeer antlers were often performed at Yuletide,
during the twelve days of Christmas.”
-Sacred Sexuality; pg. 150
By A. T. Mann, Jane Lyle
Sterling Publishing Co.; 2003
ISBN 1843335832, 9781843335832

“Santa’s reindeer evolved from the Celtic
Horned God. Eight reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh,
representative of the eight solar sabbats.
From their late Autumn dramatic rutting displays,
stags represented strength, sexuality and
fertility.”
The Holly King and Other Lore
Yule- the Winter Solstice
“Reindeer”

SANTAS ELVES

(based on house gnomes who could cast spells)

“Modern Christmas elves find their origin
in the house gnomes of the Scandinavians,
which were present since the pagan times.
It was believed that these gnomes guarded
homes against evil.”
Christmas World; (ABC family)
– Santa’s Elves –
Christmas Elf Assistants of Santa Claus

GIFT EXCHANGES DURING THIS SEASON

(gifts were given as good luck emblems)

LEAVING TREATS UNDER A TREE

Ezekiel 6: 13

So Santa Claus is not as innocent as many think he is and the whole story revolving around Christmas is based on many Pagan practices. Is it coincidence? Is it possible that the plan all along was to deceive us into unknowingly participating in a pagan celebration? And it’s not just one coincidence… look at all of these things listed above that were used in the celebration of Saturnalia and Winter and Nimrod’s birthday… all demonic.

Here is what the early Christians had to say about December 25th, Saturnalia, less than 150 years after Christ:

 

“On your day of gladness, we [Christians] neither cover
our doorposts with wreaths, nor intrude upon the day with lamps.
At the call of public festivity, you consider it a proper thing
to decorate your house like some new brothel.
We are accused of a lower sacrilege because
we do not celebrate along with you the holidays …”
Tertullian, (A.D. 155-220), 2001, p. 1176 quoted by David Bercot,
A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, 1998, p. 342.
~~~~~~~~
“The pagan Romans clad their doorposts with green and branching
laurels…In the Saturnalia…Presents come and go…There are…gifts…
and Banquets…yet Christians should have no acquaintance with
the festivals of the pagans.”
Tertullian, (A.D. 155-220),quoted by David Bercot,
A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, 1998, p. 342).

The first settlers in America also had an opinion. the following is taken from World Net Daily :

The Catholic Encyclopedia states, ‘”the word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038, and Cristes-messe, in 1131.”

It explains “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church,” pointing out “first evidence of the feast is from Egypt” around A.D. 200 with attempts by theologians to assign not only the year of Christ’s birth, but also the precise date.

Historians agree that through the subsequent centuries, traditions from ancient pagan (non-Christian) religions became intertwined with those of Christianity, and depending upon one’s point of view, either paganism became Christianized, or Christianity became paganized.

In 1644, the English Parliament outlawed the holiday, compelling shops to be open that day, and condemning plum puddings and mince pies as “heathen.”

In his Pulitzer Prize finalist, “The Battle for Christmas,” historian Stephen Nissenbaum at the University of Massachusetts documents the American development of the holiday now ensconced in popular culture.

“In New England, for the first two centuries of white settlement,” writes Nissenbaum, “most people did not celebrate Christmas. In fact, the holiday was systematically suppressed by Puritans during the colonial period and largely ignored by their descendants. It was actually illegal to celebrate Christmas in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681 (the fine was five shillings). Only in the middle of the nineteenth century did Christmas gain legal recognition as an official public holiday in New England.”

Nissenbaum agrees with other historians that the first recorded observance since the New Testament recounted Christ’s birth took place hundreds of years after Jesus’ resurrection.

“It was only in the fourth century that the Church officially decided to observe Christmas on Dec. 25. And this date was not chosen for religious reasons but simply because it happened to mark the approximate arrival of the winter solstice, an event that was celebrated long before the advent of Christianity. The Puritans were correct when they pointed out – and they pointed it out often – that Christmas was nothing but a pagan festival covered with a Christian veneer.”

And finally, here is what a wiccan high priestess (devil worshiper) has to say about Christmas on her website.

“Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a celebration of Light and the rebirth of the Sun. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel.

Today, many people in Western-based cultures refer to this holiday as “Christmas.” Yet a look into its origins of Christmas reveals its Pagan roots. Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the “Invincible Sun” in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly thereafter, in 273, the Christian church selected this day to represent the birthday of Jesus, and by 336, this Roman solar feast day was Christianized. January 6, celebrated as Epiphany in Christendom and linked with the visit of the Magi, was originally an Egyptian date for the Winter Solstice.

Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with “Christmas” actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. While Christian mythology is interwoven with contemporary observances of this holiday time, its Pagan nature is still strong and apparent. Pagans today can readily re-Paganize Christmastime and the secular New Year by giving a Pagan spiritual focus to existing holiday customs and by creating new traditions that draw on ancient ways.”

Can we then celebrate the birth of our Messiah on this pagan day and forget all the rest?

  • Well, technically, His birth was not in December. It was more likely in September during the Feast of Trumpets, which is 6 months after the Passover, when Mary and Elizabeth saw each other. December 25 is the birthday of Nimrod, the father of Babylon, where all of these pagan customs come from.
  • What would this look like without the tree, satan, er, santa and all that goes with him, the holly, ivy and the gifts (the gifts are not necessary to celebrate His birth and truthfully, no matter how hard we try to emphasize the “real meaning”, the gifts are always the most important part). That would leave lights, candles, a nativity scene, and Scripture. All of these could be done during The Feast of Tabernacles, which would be a more accurate time to celebrate His birth anyway.
  • There are many other times during the year to give gifts… promotions, marriages, births, etc… or just anytime!  Develop more spontaneity!  Wouldn’t a gift have more meaning if it was given “just because” rather than at a time when everyone feels obligated to give gifts???
  • And third, Scripture says we are not to mix light and darkness and we are not to learn the way of the heathen.

Read this Christmas Parable and see what you think.

Again, I am not making any final decisions immediately, but these websites present a very strong argument and facts to back it up.

Can I continue to innocently observe a pagan holiday and “add Jesus” to it?

I just don’t know… I just don’t know.

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5 thoughts on “The Real Ghost of Christmas Past

  1. Renee says:

    Very thought-provoking, though I didn’t go to all the links. From previous study, I agree with all of the superstitious or mythical type traditions like reindeer, stockings, and mistletoe.

    I’ll have to study more about using evergreen boughs. I wonder if the Romans were the first people to do that, from which all other countries started doing it? In some ways, boughs seem like just a natural wintery decoration, and something that has often been done and enjoyed for reasons nowhere close to superstitious–like in Medieval Germany, Victorian England, or Colonial America.

    We are fully aware that Christ was not born in December, but the incarnation is such a wonderful, meaningful truth that it seems good to rejoice in it. I know the Bible does not require its celebration for the church, but I’m not sure what I believe about doing things in a household, which are not commanded or forbidden in Scripture… But then, if we have “props” in the form of decorations, to aid us in celebrating Christ’s birth, that could be viewed as akin to Catholic use of icons, emblems, and statues. We don’t need any objects to help us worship God.

    So, sorry for rambling–but I go back and forth between wanting to celebrate Jesus’s birth at Christmas, or just having a festive winter holiday and not relate it to Jesus Christ.

    I spoke with one Reformed pastor about Christmas once, and he thought that we should not let pagan philosophy have rule over things in our lives–but that Christians should reclaim Christmas for godly purposes, and define the holiday our way. Another perspective…

  2. Emily says:

    I pondered on this post for some time, my wish is that it does not come across as harsh…

    “Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon” (Zechariah 2:7).

    “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).

    Babylon (or Babel) was the capital of an ancient empire. The name means “confusion” and originates from the confusion of languages which halted the building of the tower of Babel.
    Symbolically, Babylon represents the confusion of idolatry and false religion.

    In my opinion, this post was one of great courage and shows the deliberation between flesh and serving God, His way. The Bible goes on and on warning against assimilation and charging us to be the salt and light of this world. If one feels this is possible by celebrating Christmas than that is their choice. We are each held accountable for our own actions by the one and only Judge. And of course, serving God does not render us “saved” this has already been done for us through Messiah The Christ, Hallelujah!!!

    The Messianic era is here and the fulfillment of what some refer to as “the 2 house theory” is on the horizon. Both being biblical prophecy, I am excited to be alive at a time to watch it mend together! His people will hear His voice and be prepared, waiting for the bridegroom. God desires to be close to all of us and personally I have found that the more I “die myself” the closer I become. In conclusion, I do feel it is important to one who wants to live his/her life dedicated to the Creator that he/she discerns between what is flesh or idolatry/false religion and what is His will.

  3. karebiz says:

    This is quite a while after you two wrote these comments, but I want to thank both of you for your input. =)

    Renee, if you have a chance, I would highly recommend that you visit the links to World Net Daily and the high priestess’ website and read them. There is some good information there.

    I have finally made a decision and revised this post, but it basically gives the same information, only a little easier to read, I hope.

    The thing that convinced me is that although Christmas *seems* to be Christianized in our day, it only appears that way because of so many years of mixing the pagan ways with Christian ways (started by the catholic church), which never should have been done in the first place according to 2 Corinthians 6: 14 “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” It is historically proven that originally it was a day of pagan celebration, there can be no argument about that. It seems to me that any form of celebration, including Christ or not, would still be honoring this pagan origin and I don’t see how I can participate in that. Just as I won’t have anything to do with Hallowe’en, I also do not wish to have anything to do with December 25th or the entire Christmas season. It may not be the highest day for Satan worship, as Hallowe’en is, but it’s certainly a big day for them.

    The bottom line for me is that we are commanded to forsake the heathen ways, not mix with them. I agree, Scripture doesn’t say anywhere that we are NOT to celebrate His birth. So if that is a desire, we can always celebrate His birth at God’s Festival, the Feast of Tabernacles, by decorating as described in Scripture, taking out a nativity and reading the chapters that prophecy our Messiah’s birth and then the accounts from the Gospels. There really is no need to exchange gifts for each other during HIS birthday. =) Gifts could be exchanged at other times of the year.

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