Remembering what Christmas is all about (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the sun god)
I'm getting a little sick of hearing christians whine that they want to put the meaning of Christmas back into the season. They don't have a clue about the true meaning of Christmas.
The word itself is a Roman Catholic word meaning "Christ's Mass", which obviously means holding a mass to remember the death of Christ, which is kinda an odd way to celebrate his birth, but whatever. The only thing that Christmas has in common with Christ is the word. To find the real origin of Christmas you have to go back to a time before Christ's birth.
In the days of B.C., the Roman church was the church of a true empire because, like Rome itself, to keep afloat it had to bring in new members from the conquered lands. Thus it would open it's doors to anyone in the empire who wanted to enter, no matter how different or barbaric, and as long as they came to the Roman church they were allowed to bring almost any customs they had with them. It is here that we find all of our "holy" Christmas traditions all brought together in a year end orgy of celebration to honor the pegan sun god.
The Romans noticed that December 22 marked the shortest day of the year (solstice), and decided that the sun Saturn was dying on that day. But never fear, they knew Saturn would rise anew in three days to bring in another year of longer and longer days. So sometime around December 17th they started a big party called Saturnalia and they kept at it for about a week or so. Since the empire was such a melting pot of so many different cults and religions, they had many customs which ended up being celebrated all at once in honor of the sun god, and other gods as well.
Later on Christians decided that December 25th would be a good day to celebrate Jesus' birth, but they kinda forgot to do away with the traditions of worshipping other gods on that day, and those traditions are precisely what we celebrate today. In fact, I would be surprised to find a Christmas tradition which isn't related to worshipping some other god. Even the giving of presents wasn't based on the gifts of the three wise men. It was done every year in Rome during Saturnalia.
Did you hang a wreath? If so, you carried on the tradition of the dendrophori, the Roman priests of Saturn, who carried them in processions in worship of the sun god.
Did you put up a Christmas tree? Don't go to church to ask forgiveness for putting up a pagan phallic symbol for worshiping the yule god (later Santa Clause) and the sun god because the steeples on churches are also phallic symbols descended from pagan temples.
Did you deck the halls with bells of holly? Holly was used by witches to symbolize the menstural blood of Diana, the Queen of Heaven, or if you were a witch, the Queen of Witches.
Did you put lights on your house? You must have been pleading to the gods during solstice in hopes of bringing the sun.
Did you kiss anyone under the mistletoe? Mistletoe was thought to bring fertility because the white berries symbolized the semen of Saturn. People believed that the gods would enter their body and make them fertile by kissing under it.
Did you burn a yule log? If you did, you made a symbolic sacrifice to the pagan fertility god like the Druids used to do.
"Happy birthday Jesus! We're gonna worship a bunch of idols and pagan gods to celebrate, hope you don't mind"
Does anyone really want to put the true meaning back into Christmas?