If it is Christmas truth you’re looking for there is no deeper resource than the Internet. But be careful — the Internet lies about Christmas.
That’s right – linked in the list below are credible websites that get Christmas completely wrong. That should be sign enough for you that maybe it’s time to rethink Christmas overall.
There are many mistruths about Christmas spread online. But these are the real whoppers – just flat out lies that bear correcting:
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ.
Wrong. Nearly every big website out there gets this wrong, including Wikipedia.
Christmas is the celebration of eternal life. The birth of Christ is just one element of a broader celebratory season. Because Christ came death has lost its sting, the grave it’s victory. We will live again because He came – that is the essence of Christmas.
Christmas trees are pagan.
Not really. Pagans are broadly defined by both time and distance. What is pagan in one part of the world is none existent in another. So it is easy for historians or scientists to claim Christmas is pagan by selectively choosing where they think they see a connection.
But there is simply no proof whatsoever that ANY pagan society used trees as any form of either worship or celebration. None.
The closest pagans came to use of trees in celebration of anything was the Yule log. Those were not trees, they were not indoors and they were not decorated. Yes, many pagan societies did use evergreens in symbolic ways – but nothing like we see in a Christmas tree.
Christmas trees date back about 400 years and are clearly Christian in origin. But even to Christians, the symbolism of the tree is not clear. This video explains:
Christmas was a dead holiday before the 1800s.
Dead wrong – really wrong! Just because Christmas was not celebrated as it is today doesn’t mean it didn’t exist or wasn’t celebrated.
Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol partly because he was nostalgic for the Christmases of his youth. How could Christmas then not exist before A Christmas Carol?
Christmas was widely celebrated in both North America and Europe in the 1800s, the 1700s, the 1600s, and beyond and history tells the story over and over again.
George Washington held famous Christmas parties. Thomas Jefferson exchanged gifts in the 1700s. Lewis and Clark celebrated Christmas on the Corps of Discovery. What was the first thing Columbus and his men did after landing in Cuba in 1492? Well, they celebrated Christmas.
Just because a holiday was not “declared” or that “Congress met on Christmas day” or “stores were not closed” or “it was just a regular work day” does not mean Christmas was not observed.
Again, the world was a different place at different times. Christmas has always been a part of it.
The Puritans didn’t celebrate Christmas
Wrong. The Puritans outlawed the riotous celebration of Christmas they condemned – the drunkenness, the wife swapping, the role reversal, the outrageous parties and feasting that had been part of Church-driven culture in England for centuries. But they did not abandon the sacred observance of Christmas. In fact, they celebrated the sacred Christmas. You just don’t hear about it much because it was, well, sacred.
Christians stole Christmas from pagans
Wrong again. First of all, there are many kinds of pagans and most of them were very spiritual. And yes, you can see elements in common between Christmas celebration as we know it and pagan celebrations in various seasons.
But most Christmas elements people associated with paganism were not adopted for centuries after the advent of Christ. Historians tend to speak of pagans as people during or before the life of Christ.
Most lies told online about Christmas stems from anti-religious attitudes and agendas. The problem with most historians is that they do not look deep enough into Christian doctrine AND Christian history before Christ in their studies of the elements of Christmas. If you are really to understand fully the celebration of Christmas you need to begin with a study of Christmas before Christ.