Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What Christmas Means to Me: Pagan Roots or Christian Traditions?

Christmas is my favorite holiday -- in fact, the holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I have always loved Christmas, and fondly recall our family traditions at this time of year. Even when my father was stationed in India and we lived there for three years during my childhood, family photos show my brother and me sitting amidst our presents under the Christmas tree which was some kind of Indian evergreen and looking much like any other Christmas tree but decorated with traditional Indian garlands of metallic cords and sequins as well as the decorations my mother brought with us. Our native housekeeper and his family piled traditional garlands of marigolds on our gifts and tables. Some of the metallic Indian garlands became part of our annual Christmas tree decorations. The marigold garlands, however, with their ties to Hinduism were left behind in India.

There is some dispute among Christians as to how appropriate it is to put up a tree and celebrate a holiday which has its share of pagan roots. At the private Christian school I attended in the 7th grade, I learned that there is little evidence Christ was born on December 25, or even in December. I have studied the myths and facts behind Christmas for 30 years. If you would be interested in a relatively brief overview of Christmas trees, Santa Claus, Moloch, Boniface, Druids, Saint Nicholas, Adam & Eve Day, and more, please read my article What Christmas Means to Me: Pagan Roots or Christian Traditions?

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