Where did the word Christmas and its celebration come from? Actually, just like many of our other holiday celebrations it was derived from a popular Pagan celebration.
Our Pagan ancestors celebrated this time of the year in December as the birth of the Sun. The actual word we use today comes from Christ Mass derived from an early Catholic Church ceremony to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Did you know Jesus’s name was never Jesus Christ? His only name was Jesus son of Joseph of Nazareth? Christ is a Greek word or term meaning “Chosen One.” He remained a follower of the Hebrew religion his entire life.
Jesus was most likely born in the spring because that coincides with the story of Joseph, his father, having to go to his birthplace of Bethlehem that was located 90 miles south of his home in Nazareth to be annually counted in accordance with Roman law.
Down through the ages his birth has been deemed to probably be in the month of September or the spring.
One of the most plausible stories of Jesus and his family says Jesus’ father Joshua ben Joseph was a carpenter working for his mother Mary’s father. Joseph was about 21 year of age and Mary was a teenager at the time they married. Stories say Joshua ben Joseph died when Jesus was just 14 years old.
Many of the stories say that Jesus had brothers and sisters. These stories even give them names: James, Joseph, Judas and Simon. The girl’s names were Mary and Salome. There might be some truth to the sibling’s story because it is said his brother James was a disciple of Jesus and that later cost James’ life in Israel.
There are so many stories about Jesus’ life, his father, his mother and siblings that any family history is suspect. After the 4th century the Catholic Church created a new story every century to fit their latest dogma.
Sadly there is no actual written record brought down to us of a man called Jesus of Nazareth having been born, crucified or ascended to Heaven during his lifetime.
Saint Paul, about 25 years (55 A.D.) after Jesus death in 30 or 32 A.D. gave us the first written record of a sainted man called Jesus. This is also the first mention (62 A.D.) of Jesus’ followers as Christian. The word then meant “little” Christ, a demeaning term in Greek and a heinous criminal term to the Romans.
These new Christians and this new Catholic Church realized that the best way to get the people involved with this new religion (300 years later) was to mesh the new religion and church with long standing Pagan celebrations.
The word Catholic comes from Greek (Katholikos) meaning “whole or in general.”
This probably started about 380 A. D. when Roman Emperor Theodosius converted the Roman people’s various Pagan religious practices to one dominate religion eventually named Christianity.
The zealots Peter and Paul, two of Jesus’ other disciples, died under Roman Emperor Nero by taking this new religion to Rome in an attempt to convert the Romans.
As we all know none of Jesus’ disciples who lived in his lifetime ever lived to see their efforts succeed.
In this 21st century, Christianity is represented by 33 percent of our world’s population. Islam at 21 percent, Atheist at 16 percent, Chinese at 6 percent, Buddhism at 6 percent, and the world’s oldest organized religion of Hinduism at 14 percent following that percentage all other religions are smaller than 1 perceent.
Almost all of our planet’s 195 countries now celebrate Christmas. There are just a handful of Muslin countries that ban this holiday celebration.
However, Christmas was not always celebrated even in Christian countries down through the years. Even Catholic Popes and Protestants banned Christmas at various times.
Did you know our Pilgrim brothers and sisters banned Christmas for many years after coming to Colonial America? England lifted its ban on Christmas only in 1660. Boston, Massachusetts banned Christmas in 1659. During the American Revolution Christmas was again banned.
Finally President U.S. Grant declared Christmas a national holiday in 1870 and it has been our national holiday ever since.
The first recorded Christmas tree was in Alsace in Central Europe on the Rhine River in 1576. At the same time Medieval Livonia – present day Estonia – and modern Germany began celebrating this time of year with a Yule Tree.
It then moved to all over Europe and to the British Isles then over to America.
The idea of a decorated tree perhaps came from Adam and Eve, representing the Tree of Life. The first trees had fruit as gifts and decorations as in the Garden of Eden.
Yule time came from Scandinavian Norse mythology and the Pagan celebration of this time of year.
Little children all look forward to Santa Claus, so how could anything be better than that?
Now you have a little history of this time of year and the holiday we all celebrate. Our Pagan ancestors say it was the birth of the Sun and now most of us say how true – it was the birth of the Son of God.
Does it really make any difference what time of year Jesus was born? All our calendars today show 2018 – so at least 2.1 billion of us believe it was 2018 years ago.