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Christmas already?

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Andyvon | 00:54 Sat 07th Nov 2009 | Society & Culture
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So then, it appears Christmas is just around the corner! My local Tesco's had their tree up Thursday evening and we've already received our first Christmas card! It was hand-delivered by a neighbour, although we won't be sending one back for at least five weeks. I have also just had a flyer through the door about saving with someone or other (it went in the bin) for Christmas - 2010!

Surely this has gone too far. Christmas decorations are supposed to be put up on Christmas Eve and taken down on Twelfth Night - January 6th. Yet it seems so many people are now putting their decorations up at the beginning of December - and some in late November.

I'm also struck by the fact that many who 'celebrate' Christmas are the very people who deride religion or religious people throughout the rest of the year. Christmas is actually a celebration of the birth of Christ. Surely it's as offensive to Christians to have the second holiest time of the year hijacked by non-believers as an excuse for a p**s up than if did the same with Yom Kippur or Ramadan. There'd be uproar and riots. The PC Brigade would class it as 'racist'. Yet it seems OK to offend Christians. They're safe it seems.
Christmas has also been hijacked by modern commerce as a means of coercing people into spending vast amounts of money at least once a year. No matter that many parents can't afford to pay even basic bills. The psychological blackmailers on the High Street tell them to start saving early, borrow money, go into debt etc. otherwise they'll be regarded as misfits and negligent parents.

So how is all that celebrating the birth of Christ? I have no time for these people who say "Well, it's for the children now isn't it". No it isn't! Christmas is purely a celebration of the birth of Christ. Let's respect that as we do Yom Kippur for the Jews and Ramadan for Islam.

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Each to their own way of celebrating I guess, live and let live and don`t let it intrude on your own beliefs, or let it worry you.
Can see where your coming from, not religious at all myself, and have always thought of Christmas as a time to be with and appreciate my family. but yes, it is too commercialised and the retail build up starts much too soon.
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Oh, hi there. I#ve just posted an addition to this in the question above as I ran out of space here and your answers beat me to it.

As I said there, despite my points here I'm not religious myself, but I do respect people who are and who live their lives accordingly. I think it wrong and offensive to disrespect peoples' religions and differences and that has caused so much suffering throughout history. What's happened with Christmas is not people celebrating in their own way but a complete disrespect for Christianity. You cannot celebrate the birth of Christ by getting drunk or spending huge sums of money at Toys 'R' Us. If Yom Kippur, Ramadan, or any other religious festival were treated in the same way it would cause great offence to millions of people. That's not right.
Anyway the period which has been denoted by Christians as the date when Christ was born, was already a major festival in the pagan calendar, so in a way it was hijacked to convert people
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I know slinkycat.

I believe the festival 'Christmas' was created by the early church to supplant the Celtic festival of Midwinter. The early Christian church was successful because it adapted and incorporated other religions as opposed to trying to stamp them out. The Eucharist - cosuming the bread and wine as body and blood of Christ - is a direct adaption of the ceremony which formed the climax of the Persian religion of Mithraism which was popular with men and the Roman Army. Devotees consumed Mithras's food which was bread and the blood of a bull. By adapting the ceremony the early church appealed to men and the Romans. The depiction of Mary and Jesus as 'Mother and Child' was adopted directly from the Egyptian worship of Isis and Horus which was popular for centuries amongst women. Isis was always depicted as carrying her son Horus in her arms or on her knee and Christianity adopted that for Mary and Jesus to encourage women to accept the new faith.
I bow to your superior knowledge andy and back humbly out of the room:-)
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Hey slinkycat - I might be wrong! It's only what I've read in the past about the early church. I do stand up to be corrected - so come back in!
No it sounds about right to me, I only had a vague idea (backed up by a quick search!) but didn't most christian festivals have their origins in pagan, or other festivals?
In fact surely all religions are based on some sort of collective world primitive beliefs
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Yes, I think so Slinkcat (I'm pleased you've come back in!).

I think the reason that Christianity has been so successful is because the early church was prepared to adapt and incorporate existing ceremonies from other religions. Before then most new religions tried to stamp out existing beliefs and ceremonies which has never been a successful idea.
Modern Christmas and Easter are both much older festivals which have been hijacked by the Christians.

Easter is actually an ancient word for fertility. Hence the rabbits and egg hunts. Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the full moon following the Vernal Equinox. Its convoluted date calculation clearly indicates no anniversary of anything to do with Jesus but a nice moonlit weekend in early Spring. It has a holiday before to prepare and one the day after to recover.

Christmas was the celebration of the Winter Solstice (also with a day off afterwards). It was celebrated on the day as measured by astronomers but the date was fixed after the Christians hijacked it. Subsequently it drifted from the soltice until the Gregorian Calander was introduced to keep the calender in step with the seasons, leaving it a couple of days late. I would be all for moving the holidays back to their rightful dates but since I currently have to work then, I settle for celebrating on the holidays as granted.

Christmas is NOT purely a time for celebrating the birth of Christ. Besides it is quie clear Jesus was not born at that time of year. The Christians should not expect others to forgo the ancient celebration just because they hijacked it. If they want to celebrate their festival then that is fine by me but stop the pathetic whimpering about others celebrating the precedent.

Personally I care nothing for Jews ritually forgiving what they do the rest of the year or Moslems thinking they are experiencing enlightment when it is simply the result of low blood sugar and dehydration. I won't be fasting for either of them. But at least they didn't try to take over someone else's celebration and then complain about it.
Beso, celebrate your Pagan ways whenever you like, however you like, but don't call it Christmas, which is after all Christ's Mass.
I don't celebrate Pagan ways. I celebrate the passing of another solstice in my own way with my family. I don't have rituals becuase they are essentially witchcraft just like the rituals performed in churches.

I will happily stop using the word Christmas as soon as the Christians drop their use of the word Easter. Easter is an ancient word derived from the same roots as estrus (and spelling variants across many languages) which means fertility. Fertility has absolutely nothing to do with the Crucifiction so the word was clearly usurped for what the Christians claim as their most holiest time of year.

Easter was the biggest celebration of the ancient year. It was the obvious choice of timing for the crucificition story in a cult obsessed with the macarbre death of Christ as the centrepiece of their salvation as human beings.
The earlier it starts the better! I love Christmas, carols at the local church, buying presents, sending cards, family get togethers, dinner, falling in front of the box watching the Bond film, quality street, turkey sandwiches in the evening, party games like Cludo, Pictionary, pub quiz dvd...it's a great time. :-)

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