This is the first year in over 20 years that I can remember not having decorated my house for Christmas on Thanksgiving weekend. And you know what? As much as this season has always been the highlight of my year, it really doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. I’m not saying that there won’t be difficult days coming, but I’m thankful for every day that is not so hard. =)
I put together a short essay based on the research I did last year.
The Christmas Affair
Long ago, in the ancient days, there was a false god named Thor. Thor, also called Old Nick (see below), was the Norse god of thunder.
An ancient and highly revered divinity, Thor was the patron and protector of peasants and warriors. As a god of might and war he was represented as extremely powerful and fearless, occasionally slow-witted, armed with a magical hammer (which returned to him when he threw it), iron gloves, and a belt of strength. Being a god of the people he was also associated with marriage, with the hearth, and with agriculture.
Thor was the god of the peasants and the common people. He was represented as an elderly man, jovial and friendly, of heavy build, with a long white beard. His element was the fire, his color red. The rumble and roar of thunder were said to be caused by the rolling of his chariot, for he alone among the gods never rode on horseback but drove in a chariot drawn by two white goats (called Cracker and Gnasher). He was fighting the giants of ice and snow, and thus became the Yule-god. He was said to live in the “Northland” where he had his palace among icebergs. By our pagan forefathers he was considered as the cheerful and friendly god, never harming the humans but rather helping and protecting them. 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.
Every Yule, the good god Thor would visit every home with an altar to him (i.e., every home with a fireplace!) and bring gifts to children, who would put out their sabots (wooden shoes) the night before. Good children would receive gifts of fruit, candy and pieces of coal to burn in the fireplace.
H.A. Grueber’s Myths of Northern Lands, published in 1895.
Thor rode around in a chariot pulled by two large white goats and became known as the Yule-god. His palace was in the Northland among the icebergs.
Here is information from a professing witch’s website:
Yule is the shortest day and longest night of the year.
The Holly King is Lord of the Waning Year, from midsummer to midwinter. The reign of the Holly King culminates in the festivities of Yuletide, before he is slain by his brother the Oak King. (See Historic Midsummer). The evergreen holly and its bright red berries, when seen against the barren oaks of winter, came to symbolize the life that continues and sustains itself during the bitterest time of the year.
It was the Dies Natalis Solis Invictus — Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. The Gods Attis, Dionysus, Osiris, Baal and Mithras were all said to have been born on the winter solstice. Each of these gods was known to his people as “Light of the World”, “Sun of Righteousness” and “Savior”. In the far North, the god Frey and the god Thor were said to have been born on this day, the nadir of the sun, or Yule
Much of what Christians do to celebrate Christmas today has pagan origins.
Greenery would be brought indoors as a sign of life even in the darkest of days, Holly and Mistletoe would be hung to honor the Holly king and to ensure another prosperous year. Placing a holly wreath on your door symbolises the circle of life itself.
The tree would be decorated with amulets and talismans, made to ensure good fortune and a happy time ahead.
Candles and the Yule log would be lit to encourage the Sun’s return. Eager celebrants would gather throughout the longest night, keeping watch as the Mother labored and brought forth the new-born Sun king. (It was not difficult for the early Christians to convince their pagan converts that Christ was the same new-born that they had always celebrated at this time of year). The Christmas colours of gold and red are the colours of the Sun, and green the colour of the Earth.
Though Santa and his reindeer are a fairly recent addition to the festivities, they, too, have their roots in Pagan tradition. It is very possible that before the American advertising agencies got hold of Santa and gave him the appearance with which we are familiar today, he was based on the popular view of the God Thor.
The people loved him so much that they made a feast for him each year. Eventually they chose December 25th because it was Winter Solstice and also the birthday of Nimrod, (also called Santa in Asia Minor) the father of Babylon.
NOTE: have you ever noticed that if you move the “n” in Santa to the end of the word, it becomes satan? Coincidence?
“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,
“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
It was a time of reveling, drunkenness, gift exchanges and honoring many other gods. They decorated with the symbols of these gods – holly, ivy, mistletoe – to keep away the evil spirits; they worshiped evergreen trees and decorated them with gold and silver and hung wreaths on their doors. Gifts were exchanged as good luck emblems. It was a season to be remembered and anticipated all year long.
As time went on, 8 reindeer were added to the celebration, signifying the 8 Sabbats. Ceremonies using reindeer antlers were often performed at Yuletide, during the twelve days of Christmas…stags represented strength, sexuality and fertility.
“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
Soon Santa had elves, or house gnomes. These were originally from the Scandinavian culture and could cast spells and guard homes against evil.
BUT! Those who followed the One Supreme God, Creator of the Universe, were told by their prophets not to learn the way of the heathens and they were told by the apostles not to mix light with darkness. They stayed away from these pagan days. There are written records as early as 155 AD stating their position.
“On your day of gladness, we 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 …”
“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).
Here are words taken from the website of a high priestess of satan :
Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the “Invincible Sun” in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations.
One day a Roman leader decided that becoming a Christian would be in his best interest politically. He claimed Christianity for everyone and began to force changes. Initially it was regarding moving the day of Sabbath to Sunday and also moving Passover to a Sunday. More from the website of the satanic priestess:
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.
And Nissenbaum, a historian in New England, says,
“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. ”
It didn’t matter that Christ wasn’t born in December, the date was already instituted for celebration, so the two were combined Other changes were made as well, such as celebrating the fertility goddess, Eostra, and changing the day of Passover to combine the two of them.
“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…
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…
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
-Stag and Earth Mother: Pagan Beliefs in Ancient Britain
by Robert W. Nicholls; Howard University
[The World And I (New York), December, 1988]
The goal was One Holy Catholic Church and all those who refused to make these changes were persecuted.
For many years there were small groups who still continued to follow the Way of their Messiah and the apostles. One of those groups came to America so they could worship the way they believed was right. In the 1600s it was illegal to celebrate Christmas because of these people. Here is another quote from historian Stephen Nissenbaum at the University of Massachusetts
“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)…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… Only in the middle of the nineteenth century did Christmas gain legal recognition as an official public holiday in New England.”
Which brings us to the year 2010. Although Christmas in our day *seems* to be Christianized, it only appears that way because of so many years of mixing the pagan ways with Christian ways, 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?”
As seen above from a variety of sources, it is historically proven that originally this was a day of pagan celebration, there can be no argument about that. Any form of celebration, including Christ or not, would still be honoring this pagan origin and is no different for Hallowe’en, or Easter.
Christmas and the other originally pagan holidays are like a beautiful polished veneer which covers an ugly, cheap piece of furniture. Once you know what is really underneath the veneer, why would you want it anymore?
We are commanded to forsake the heathen ways, not mix with them. Jeremiah 10:1-4
1Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel.
2Thus says the LORD,
“Do not learn the way of the nations,
And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens
Although the nations are terrified by them;
3For the customs of the peoples are delusion;
Because it is wood cut from the forest,
The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
4“They decorate it with silver and with gold;
They fasten it with nails and with hammers
So that it will not totter.
If we so desire to celebrate the birth of our Savior, we can always celebrate His birth in the fall when it was more likely His birthday. There really is no need to exchange gifts for each other during HIS birthday. =) Gifts could be exchanged at many other times of the year much more appropriately, at Thanksgiving to show Thankfulness for others, maybe…
In closing, here is a parable I found at a website last year. It’s so good, that rather than just put a link, I have decided to include the entire thing here.
PARABLE OF “CHRISTMAS”
Imagine a woman named “Crystal”
who was at one time – romantically involved
with another man – whom she loved very much –
before eventually meeting and marrying “Joshua”.
Although she no longer saw her old lover anymore –
she kept trinkets and memories of their past affair.
Although – happily married now – to Joshua –
and being a faithful wife to him – Each year on
the anniversary of her old lover’s birthdate –
she would take out things that reminded her of him;
and she would surrounded herself with his old trinkets
and memorabilia. She took out her old lover’s
scarf and gloves- sprayed the house with his
favorite cologne – brought out the old jewelry
and gifts that he had given her.
She neatly arranged Old cards and pictures of him –
on her dresser and on shelves and the coffee table.
She did this each December on the anniversary of her
old lover’s birthday.
HOW WOULD HER HUSBAND – “JOSHUA” – FEEL ?
How could “Crystal” continue doing this –
and still keep her husband
from being annoyed ?
Would “Joshua” understand this tradition
that his wife did each December
– on her old boyfriend’s birthday ?
HER SIMPLE SOLUTION –
Crystal did not want to offend her husband –
but – she did not want to give up her reminiscent
celebration each December.
“Crystal” told her husband –
that she was really honoring him instead –
and that it was his birthday – that she was
really celebrating – and not that of her old lover.
Her husband argued – that he was born in
September – and not in December –
as her old boyfriend was.
She told him that it really didn’t matter
when he was born – as long as she was
doing this in honor of him – her husband .
Try to imagine that you are her husband –
imagine your feelings.
Would you be happy – knowing that your
wife was saying that she was honoring you –
but she was doing it on the day of her former
lover’s birth date and not yours.
What about the reminders that she
spread about the house on that day –
the cards, the pictures, the trinkets and
tinsel, the smell of “HIS” pine fragrance
in the air – and all the things that were
once “his” ? Would you be offended ?
But alas – Your wife says they are being
done in “YOUR” honor –
and NOT his.
Would you really believe this ?
How would you feel
and what would you think.?
IN THE SAME SCENARIO
So here we have (Y’shua) –
the husband to His bride of faithful followers –
who He asks to remain chaste and pure for Him.
“…for I have betrothed you to one Husband,
to present you as a chaste virgin to (Messiah).
But now, I am fearful, lest that even
as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning,
so your minds may be corrupted and seduced
from wholehearted and sincere and pure
devotion to (Messiah).”
(2 Corinthians 11:2,3)(AMP)-BibleGateway
For hundreds of years after (Messiah’s) death –
His followers refuse to partake in any birthday
Then suddenly after several hundred years –
They begin to compromise with old pagan lovers
that they once had. The ancient gods whose
birth day celebrations “all” coincide with the
“winter solstice ” of December. – The Saturnalia
in December. They take on the tree worship –
the pine and holly and mistletoe magic of
the pagan gods – the merry making and gift
giving of their old pagan lovers –
the gods of ancient mythology and folklore.
And now – they say to (Messiah) – “It is in “YOUR”
honor – that we are doing this. “
How would (Messiah) feel ?
Would He be honored ?
WOULD YOU ?