Since it's this time of year I thought I would take the time to write something relevant to the season. Lets talk about the pagan origin of Christmas.
December 25 was the day the Romans celebrated the rebirth of Sol Invictus, the Sun God, and also the day which the winter solstice was celebrated.
Christmas trees are an exceptional example of pagan tradition, so exceptional that they even get a mention in the old testament.
2 This is what the LORD says:
"Do not learn the ways of the nations
or be terrified by signs in the sky,
though the nations are terrified by them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.
5 Like a scarecrow in a melon patch,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good."
The concept of Santa comes from Scandinavian paganism, Odin the god of thunder travels the skies during the winter solstice deciding who would die and who would live. The other part comes from some traditional stories of St. Nicholas where the person who would go down the chimneys was not St. Nick himself, but rather a demon he had enslaved. It is no coincidence that Santa is an anagram of Satan. This merging of Pagan imagery and tradition and christian folklore is where we get our modern day perception of what the devil looks like. Odin would often wear a helmet with horns and wield a trident.
The Yule log, was burned during the winter solstice, which was sometimes referred to by the germanic people as Yule. The yule log was a phallic shaped log burned (along with people sometimes) in worship of the scandinavian god of fertility, Yule. I don't know anyone who actually burns a yule log at christmas but the tradition is kept alive with our "Yuletide" songs and so on. This ritual was part of a 12 day process where people, yule logs and other junk were burned, and finished on december 25th. Does this ring any bells? The 12 days of christmas perhaps?
Decking the halls with holly was a pagan tradition to ward off evil spirits. The wiccans tied holly in wreaths and wore them on their heads, and was said to amplify the power of the holly.
Mistletoe was used by druids and wiccans in their spells to open a woman up to be exploited sexually.
So, if you're not a Christian and feel overwhelmed by the Christmas spirit because of it's overtly Christian overtones, fear no more, we can celebrate virtually every element of Christmas without thinking about Christianity, because the Christians stole them off the pagans in the first place.