Controversial Holidays

A Quick Look at the History of Christmas

https://www.history.com/embed/10639427779

To answer my son’s question this morning: “So, what is mistletoe, and why do people kiss under it?” I flipped open my smart phone and began a Google search. The first article that caught my attention was from a website that also presented the interesting video above (click on the link–it’s only a couple minutes).

I’d already heard it before, as have most of you, probably. Isn’t it interesting that facts about the true origin of our modern Christmas holiday are so easily known? Information such as what follows is only a mouse click away:

  • The early Christians did not celebrate Christmas.
  • Different people groups, from different times and places, celebrated festivals on or near December 25 to commemorate their pagan beliefs.
  • The Puritans did not celebrate Christmas, and outlawed it’s observance in Boston between 1659-1681.
  • Many of our current Christmas traditions are actually a mixture of pagan practices and modern creativity.

To find out more, read the *History of Christmas from that same website. Basic yet informative, you’ll get through it in less than ten minutes, but will come away with a general feel for this holiday’s origins. Keep on viewing related articles and videos to get more in depth. I plan on coming back later to learn more.

I know this was a little out of order from my study plan! Actually, I’m already starting to read what Answers in Genesis has on the topic of Christmas, from oldest articles to newest. I hope you don’t mind this little detour.

And what about the mistletoe? It’ a parasitic plant that lives on trees or shrubs, which blossoms during winter. The Greeks and Romans used it to cure various bodily ailments. According to pagan Druid tradition, it promotes fertility. Norse legend describes how the goddess of love, Frigg, promised to kiss anybody who passed under it to demonstrate her joy over the resurrection of her son, Baldor, who had been killed by a mistletoe arrow. Read about it here.


*Article Details:

History of Christmas

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