They’ve stolen Christmas – I want it back!

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Stolen! They’ve stolen Christmas! Not just once but lots of times!


I’d quite like it back!

It started as a pagan festival to the sun! - A great celebration to recognize the winter solstice. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. After the solstice, despite the rigors of winter that lie ahead, the days begin drawing out – the sun, the giver of warmth, light and life is coming back.

This was a thanksgiving for the bounties of the sun, a last chance for revelry and ceremony to which the community could join to celebrate life, nature and the sun.

There would be a joining of religious ceremony and secular carousing, of feasting, drinking, dance and riot from which many an autumn child would open their eyes to that sunshine.

It was stolen by the Nordic tribes who made it more of a shamanic spiritual ceremony with their animistic worship of trees and use of the mystical drug-induced insights of the tribal shaman who used fly agaric, amanita muscaria, the red and white capped magic mushrooms, to journey through the dimensions to bring back wisdom and insights from the spirit world beyond.

Nowadays we see the red and white cloaked shaman, with his magic sledge and reindeer, flying through the sky, bringing back gifts for all. Those gifts used to be knowledge.

Then came the Christians who purloined it again and redirected its focus. The rebirth of the sun was now the nativity – a child in a manger. Instead of the sun we had the light of god expressed in a small child. It was a birthday. But we still kept a bit of the feasting and drinking – though the begetting of autumn babies was now frowned upon. The emphasis was more on family and worship.

The Victorians did not so much steal it again as refine it. They brought together the many elements from the various traditions and made it more into the type of Christmas to which we are now familiar.

They stole our worship of trees from the Druids and Teutonic tribes – directly from the sacred groves to the Christmas tree and the yule log – the holy yule log the bringer of warmth and light.

They brought our shamanic mysticism from the Nordic tribes with our jolly Father Christmas – Santa Claus – the magic bringer of presents.

They kept vestiges of the feasting and drinking from the pagan festivals but all toned down and civilized.

They added in the nativity and Christian ceremonies with their midnight mass.
They added in Christmas cards and the giving of presents.

Christmas had changed from a festival where the whole village, the community, came together for a day of wild revelry and celebration of life to a more sober time where families came together to share food and drink and love.

Then the corporations moved in and stole it again. They took it over. It became a festival of consumerism. Now it was all about buying, buying and more buying. Everyone had to receive a mountain of presents or it was a failure. Every tree had to be festooned with a mass of baubles and lights. Every house needed decorating and lighting with enough bulbs to light a small city. Every city centre had a Santa. Every shop had an essential set of presents or clothes. We all purchased sufficient food to feed an army of wolverines.

Even the religious icons have been reduced to mass produced consumables. We can line up our plastic nativity scene next to our luminous Jesus, our obese Santa, our chocolate yule log at the side of the artificial Christmas tree. It is easy to see that nothing much is really sacred.

So on Christmas day we don our costumes of garish glitter, exchange our presents, act merry, eat and drink ourselves silly to the point where we can do little more than watch old films that we have seen a thousand times before and wonder what on earth it was all about.

All spiritual content has been reduced to a gesture.

The next day, with a bloated upset stomach, a hangover and a body and mind sagging with exhaustion, we gloomily try to find places for the multitude of pointless presents that we neither wanted, like or need, and finally sit down with a sigh to contemplate that there are only 364 more purchasing opportunities before we do it all over again.

Baaah Humbug!! – I want my Christmas back!


opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 6:17am
I think it would be great for the community to come together in a great feast To celebrate the rebirth of the sun - like they used to do.
Stone-Eater Added Dec 14, 2018 - 6:35am
I would be happy when Christmas would be deleted, as the Hadj (trip to Macca) or other religious festivals that have become consumer feasts only, or, in case of Islam, the Hadj as a "must" to be considered a real Muslim.
I agree that faith doesn't need a church or a "holy day". It's a private thing and not something that has to be distributed all over and be forced into to be part of a "good society".
And even more so when it has become nothing but business. Jesus would rotate in his grave if he knew that LOL
George N Romey Added Dec 14, 2018 - 7:36am
SEF for the West Christmas is nothing more than an orgy in over spending, greed, crass commercialism and rudeness.  I would bet that half of school age children in the US haven't a clue that its to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  Well, the fake birth.  Jesus wasn't even born on 12/25.
opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 7:36am
I agree Stone. I like the idea of the community getting together to have a big knees up to celebrate the winter solstice and the days drawing out though! Music, fun, frolics, feasting and drinking!
Stone-Eater Added Dec 14, 2018 - 8:20am
Right !
Dino Manalis Added Dec 14, 2018 - 8:38am
 Christmas is fundamentally a religious holiday with gift-giving, so understandably it's been commercialized.
opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 9:30am
George - Yes - and even less its pagan roots.
Ryan Messano Added Dec 14, 2018 - 9:30am
Ah, the pagan is honest. Good for you, Badlose.  I've never celebrated Christmas in my entire life, and have no plans on doing so. 
Corrupt types like you are the Druids who sacrificed humans in their sick rituals at Stonehenge. 
opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 9:30am
Dino - it started out as a pagan solstice festival. That seems to have been forgotten.
JC Teecher Added Dec 14, 2018 - 10:33am
Christmas means different things to many different people, and some of those have no more meaning to the truth of the actual events that transpired and supposed to be "reverent", to the true Christian community, than; the Easter bunny.
Based on biblical facts, the December 25th date, was based on the events that transpired from biblical historians, inspired to be written, by the Creator, the Father of the Saviour Son, Emmanuel, (God with us), for the truth to be known to us.
That truth is; not of an actual birth of a child, or babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, but the truth of a conception of the life, with the soul, of the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  So; in all essence of truth, we true Christians do celebrate the conception of the birth that would follow in about 9 months, of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The other celebrations and festivals, whether pagan or so-called Christian, are not relevant in the lives of True Christians, so we continue to honor with reverence this December 25th, and also blend in a certain amount of gift giving and celebration of ritual of decorations, of an evergreen tree, and lights.
Gerrilea Added Dec 14, 2018 - 11:00am
Opher--- Nice article and quick history lesson. I'm not sure if I agree with the term "stolen", modified or evolved, seems more to my taste. You might go so far as to say the Christians "culturally appropriated" the once Pagan festival.
There is an exception, as George correctly points out, corporations stole the season for profit and turned it into anything but a spiritual celebration of darkness into light.
What I'd like back is to be able to wish others "A Merry Christmas", for me it is blessing upon them, no matter their color, creed or political belief system.
May they have a true moment of peace, happiness, love, sharing and celebration.  A moment when we put down our sabers, our guns & our hatred of one another and share in our humanity.
That's what my Mom made Christmas for us.  A beautiful moment you didn't want to end.
SO, in honor and memory of all the good my Mother taught me...
Gerrilea Added Dec 14, 2018 - 11:02am
JC Teecher--- I never heard that part that Christ was conceived on Christmas.  Grant that I was raised Catholic and our family even celebrated 3 Kings Day in January when the 3 Wise Men came bearing gifts to the Christ Child.
Ward Tipton Added Dec 14, 2018 - 11:19am
Actually, if you go back far enough, the Pagans have their beginnings in the same Babylonian stories as the Christian and Jews and even Muslims do to a degree. 
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your pagans were just precursors of the modern Christian to a great degree. 
Gerrilea Added Dec 14, 2018 - 12:35pm
Ward T--- NOW you've gone and done it, yet again!  Bringing to us actual history and with it the understanding that the Pagans came out of the same area of the planet as did the Babylonians, Christians etc!
Ugh.  Here I thought I understood that "New Age" stuff that tries to erase history and replace it with their own "newer" version.
Well, can we/I still wish you a Merry Christmas anyways?
opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 1:43pm
JC - I think you will find that the early Christians stole the pagan traditions and adapted them. The winter solstice and Easter being two such. Nothing divine about it.
opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 1:44pm
Gerri - Thanks - and Merry Solstice to you and everyone!
Yes - stolen is a bit strong. I was being provocative.
opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 1:45pm
Ward - you spoilsport! 
opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 1:46pm
Gerri/Ward/JC - never mind!! Have a great time anyway!
Ward Tipton Added Dec 14, 2018 - 1:52pm
Me? I don't really do Christmas ... especially not these past few years. However, would a "Happy Humbug" salutation serve instead? I certainly do not begrudge anyone their holiday of choice, but not getting caught up in commercial chaos either. 
Gerrilea Added Dec 14, 2018 - 2:04pm
Ward, "HAPPY HUMBUG" it is!
Stone-Eater Added Dec 14, 2018 - 4:46pm
Christmas is about faith and family.
You're too romantic. This ain't the 18th century (sorry, "isn't". pardon)
We idiot Europeans have started to introduce Black Friday. BUY BUY BUY. So that the kids are satisfied that they have the nicer present at Xmas than their friends. Xmas is maybe for 10% of the people a religious event. For all others it's wasting money, and/or, see the whole family ONCE a year and pretend "how good we all get along". That's my experience from Switzerland at least. 
Jeff Michka Added Dec 14, 2018 - 5:26pm
Happy Saturnalia, folks!!  Screw the phony sky guy holiday that allows people to glow all too easily,  Of course Ryan doesn't celebrate Xmas.  Last celebration Ryan had was after the woman was killed by the neonazi in Charlottesville.  Ryan celebrated her death until she was buried.  Now Ryan is in mourning for the convicted murderer that killed her.
opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 6:43pm
Ward - I don't do Christmas apart from n opportunity to get all my family together! That's nice.
I just think it would be great if the whole community had a big, happy celebration. That's what solstice used to be - not a consumer fest.
opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 6:46pm
Mogg - you're too romantic. I want for nothing. Exchanging of gifts is secondary. The good thing is having the family back together! I don't have any religious connotations. I would like the whole community to get together though!
opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 6:47pm
Stone - this consumerist aspect stinks, doesn't it? We all have far too much to start with! What counts is love.
opher goodwin Added Dec 14, 2018 - 6:48pm
Happy Saturnalia Jeff!!
Michael B Bagala Added Dec 14, 2018 - 7:30pm
Christmas in America is different. Coming from Sri Lanka Christmas centered around the Crib. This is the first time that the holy family is seen together. Christmas is the first birthday of baby Jesus yet he is the only baby to never get a present, except from the 3 wise men. Maybe that is what made them "wise".  I liked the Crib in my family home and in all the homes of my relatives and friends. It was around the crib that we sang Christmas Hymns, not songs. Hymns like "Silent Night Holy Night" not "Jingle Bells". 
Christmas in Sri Lanka
In America Christmas is commercial. Even the fat Santa in a red suit is due to Coca-Cola. Back in Sri Lanka Christmas was a celebration enjoyed by Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims.  Going to mass included the Priest taking the congregation on a procession around the neighborhood. Each of us would carry a candle in a cup and sing Christmas hymns.
Then after mass, we go to our relatives, It was truly joyous. Yule log, Christmas cake, Christmas dinner. Presents included bon bons. they are uniquely English. A bonbon has a little gift in it. 2 people tug at each end and after a "pop" sound the bonbon breaks and present drops. The winner is already chosen.  by 24th midnight we gather around the Crib and sing Christmas Hymns. Some families have a votive candle specially lit for Jesus. It is kind of a spiritual "present" to Christ in the form of a light.  Then comes the fireworks. that is when Christmas truly came alive. 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 15, 2018 - 12:58am
Actually, Santa and Krampus go way back far beyond Coca Cola.
Ward Tipton Added Dec 15, 2018 - 12:59am
Stone - "This ain't the 18th century (sorry, "isn't". pardon)"
Ain't, while antiquated, is actually the proper contraction of "Am I not" ... and while it is generally misused and largely discouraged, it does in fact, remain a proper word. 
opher goodwin Added Dec 15, 2018 - 4:00am
Thanks for that Michael. Very different.
opher goodwin Added Dec 15, 2018 - 4:03am
Ward - yes - lots of pagan roots. I reckon it is an amalgamation of lots of things!
Mr. Vengeance Added Dec 15, 2018 - 6:02am
Fuck fucking Xmas! Somebody needs to steal it back! I'll take human sacrifice over fucking Xmas music any fucking day, lol.
opher goodwin Added Dec 15, 2018 - 10:48am
LOL Pharoah - I don't think human sacrifice was the centre of festivities at pagan festivals - more wine, women, song and celebration.
Stone-Eater Added Dec 15, 2018 - 11:25am
Ah ok. I thought it was just a slang term. Like, "Ain't got no cash". Means "I don't have no money", so .... LOL
Stone-Eater Added Dec 15, 2018 - 11:27am
I'm all for having Ronald McDonald as the NEW SANTA. Why ? Because he reminds me of Pennywise.
Mr. Vengeance Added Dec 15, 2018 - 12:03pm
Fuck Xmas
Stone-Eater Added Dec 15, 2018 - 12:47pm
My daughter likes it - she's 15. Because each year I buy her a present for approx. 0.50 $.
opher goodwin Added Dec 15, 2018 - 1:03pm
Hey Pharoah - yes Fuck Christmas!! Merry Solstice!!
opher goodwin Added Dec 15, 2018 - 1:04pm
Stone - I think he is Pennywise.
opher goodwin Added Dec 15, 2018 - 7:18pm
Mogg - No - I think you will find you are blinded in a different way!
opher goodwin Added Dec 15, 2018 - 7:20pm
Mogg - BTW - I don't regard the sun as a God like the old pagans did (and some still do) but at least it is a tangible thing that you can see and feel.
opher goodwin Added Dec 15, 2018 - 7:20pm
Mogg - Merry Solstice - may your days be full of light, warmth and love.
opher goodwin Added Dec 15, 2018 - 7:21pm
Mogg - I think you will find that the secular greed has largely replaced the sacred.
Flying Junior Added Dec 16, 2018 - 3:03am
Christmas isn't that bad...  Ease up and truly wish your fellows a Happy New Year.  The Soviets in the 1960s weren't the humbugs that you guys are.
I think this season is more about accepting and encouraging all good peoples of the world.  It's also about keeping the celebration in the way that you see fit.  Bring the love into your community.  Have wonderful times with your family and friends.  If you are lonely, it is one of the hardest times of the year.  There are people who reach out to the lonely and try to help them through their Blue Christmases.
Inclusion and love.  That's what the liberal war on Christmas, (did I really say that?) is forgetting about.
So be happy!  Spread the love.  Don't miss out on the blessings of the season.
Merry Christmas!  Happy Hannukah!  Have a quality Kwanzaa.  Have a Soulful Solstice.  Enjoy your Saturnalian Feast.  Be glad to be alive.
And please to put a penny in the old man's hat.
Cullen Kehoe Added Dec 16, 2018 - 3:47am
Which incarnation of winter solstice-coinciding celebration does the author want back? The first one? The sun worshiping day where the spirits of the dead get to roam the earth for a day? 
Ken Added Dec 16, 2018 - 3:53am
More Opher tripe.  You say you are an atheist, yet you are complaining about christianity stealing a pagan holiday.  Yes they stole it, and Jesus birth was actually estimated to be in June or so, as they tried to stop those paganists.
But WHY THE HELL DO YOU CARE?  you are supposed to be an athiest, so what the hell difference does it make to you who celebrates what religious holiday when?
It is just astounding how offended you get at anything christian - and I am not even a christian defending this.  You are just a simple person, totally ideological, and hate anything America or Christian, or individual, because it doesn't fit into your view of a one world government (which you idiotically think will be benevolent).
You are a fraud, but sadly, you you are either too stupid or too ideologically indoctrinated (or both) to realize it.
It really is a shame that you are so intellectually dishonest and unable to accept actual facts. 
But maybe I give you too much credit by calling you "intellectually dishonest", because intellectually, you are about as smart as a clam.
opher goodwin Added Dec 16, 2018 - 6:01am
Mogg - not for me either - but for most.
opher goodwin Added Dec 16, 2018 - 6:02am
FJ - you summed it up!  Merry Solstice to you. May your days be full of sunshine!
opher goodwin Added Dec 16, 2018 - 6:05am
Ken - Lol - Merry Solstice to you too! You always make me laugh. I hope a bit of brightness enters your life in the coming year! You sure need it!
George N Romey Added Dec 16, 2018 - 10:02am
Can we see Christmas for what it has been for the last century and more so as time has progressed?  Crass commercialism at its worst.  The belief that you should go into high interest rate credit card debt to "give" gifts.  Its actually hysterical when you consider Jesus's view on debt and jubilee.  It would be like the US celebrating the fourth of July by paying homage to British Kings and Queens.  
JC Teecher Added Dec 16, 2018 - 10:13am
This reply is primarily for Gerrilea, but anyone interested may find this interesting and educational...especially the true Christians that read here.
About, December 25th being the recognized conception date of Christ, the proof comes from the writings of Luke.  

name="yui-gen29">Luk 1:5

"There was in the days of Herod, the king ofJudaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, ofthe course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth."
Elizabeth was the first cousin of Mother Mary, on her mother's side of the family of the Levites, hence the priest line.  Her father's side of the family was that of the tribe of Judah, hence the King line.  Therefore; Christ was born into this world into both the King line and the Priest line, fulfilling a literal prophetic destiny as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Anyways; the course of seminary / liturgical, duties of the priesthood was called the Course of Abia (Abijah), and had to be fulfilled at a particular time of year, on certain dates.
For further proof and the events that transpired with the timing of several of biblical written statements, one could start with the work from this site......
opher goodwin Added Dec 16, 2018 - 12:54pm
Exactly George
Riley Brown Added Dec 16, 2018 - 5:58pm
I do not see a problem if one group of folks decides to partake in festivities, or worship focusing on things they like, on a day or days when you or anyone else celebrates your own religious holiday.
As long as you are free to observe your own holiday in a way that does not require cooperation from others, or impinge on their freedom to do what they want to, I see no conflict.
Michael B Bagala Added Dec 16, 2018 - 10:21pm
Opher Goodman
Sorry I did not get back to you earlier. Yes, Christmas is quite different in Sri Lanka. I would say that holds true across the old world. 
Ward Tipton Added Dec 16, 2018 - 11:14pm
May Krampus visit everyone and bring to all that which they deserve. 
Happy Humbug ... but still not getting into the whole Catholic new year thing. 
opher goodwin Added Dec 18, 2018 - 4:00pm
Riley - you feel no obligation? When all the social pressure is building around you?
No man is an island entire of himself.
opher goodwin Added Dec 18, 2018 - 4:01pm
Michael - difference can be good.
opher goodwin Added Dec 18, 2018 - 4:01pm
Ward - Merry solstice!