I Celebrate Christmas

Coca-Cola's Iconic Santa ClausI’m Pagan and I celebrate Christmas. I also celebrate Yule. To my mind there’s no inherent conflict in this. Yule is my religious holiday and Christmas is my American holiday and is largely secular in nature.

Perhaps this should be of some concern to Christians, a wee bit more so than arguments about “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas.”

After all, the customs, trappings, and imagery of an American Christmas: Santa, Frosty The Snow Man, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Christmas Trees and decorations, and so very many others have nothing to do with Missa Christi aka Crīstesmsse aka Christ’s Mass.

I think that “the war on Christmas” is one that Christians have already largely lost and that the current trend towards anti-theism and anti-Christianity is just a mopping up operation, the Christians, by and large, having already ceded the field.

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4 Responses to “I Celebrate Christmas”

  1. Moe Says:

    I would have called Christmas the religious observance and Yule the secular, solstice, happy festive lets eat a lot and have fun season. Although, the word has been hijacked – you’re irght about that.

    One thing that’s never mentioned and – despite my own secularism – it really annoys me. Christmas is 12 days and begins on Dec. 25 and goes through the Feast of hte Epiphany on January 6. But here in USA (apparently elsewhere, especially Europe, they still acknowledge the 12 days) that’s been forgotten. By Jan 6 the merchants have put up Valentine merchandise!

  2. jonolan Says:

    Moe,

    Here’s where we have a religious difference. Yule is the name of my religion’s winter solstice holy day and it’s a somewhat somber yet hopeful celebration.

    Christmas, on the other hand, as it is most often celebrated in America has little Christ left in it and a great deal of Americana.

    You’re essentially right about the dates though and the fact that Advent ends at the Nativity and the Christmas season is supposed to start then and continue to the Epiphany.

  3. Moe Says:

    We actually don’t disagree Jonolan – the only diff is htat I didn’t know the origin of hte word Yule.

    A for the ‘season’ – I think we both know it goes back millenia, and probably started with Mithras. Certainly pagan solstice celebrations all over the world.

    In Catholicism (I was brought up that way), Christmas is not a serious or solemn holy day. It’s meant to be celebratory. For most Christians, certainlyu for the Catholic church I grew up in, the solemn holy day is Easter, the absolute centerpiece of Christianity and the Lenten season leading up to it.

    I think here in the US we may as just surrender – Christmas is the retail season and no amount of ‘war on Chrsitmas’ stuff is going to change that!

    By the way, I have a Wiccan friend whose actual birthday is 12/21. Very cool, yes?

  4. jonolan Says:

    Ahh! That makes sense. The word Yule has lost its association with the holiday for most people, something I keep forgetting.

    Yeah, I was brought up Catholic as well, though it never took, and my experiences were about the same regarding the tenor of Christmas.

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