Christ Was Never In Christmas. For Real.

Before people start getting all “Put Christ back in Christmas” like they do every year around this time (with monotonous regularity), maybe we should first understand that Christmas *is* for everyone. YAY!

And that’s because our most beloved holiday traditions originate from pagan religions and *have nothing to do with Christianity.* The winter solstice or Yule (December 21st or 22nd) existed long before Christianity…and so did wreaths. Mistletoe. Holly. Odin/All-Father. Romans giving gifts during the Festival of Saturnia. Wassailing. Green Leaves and Red Berries. Group Singing. The Yule Log. Candles. Flying Reindeer.

That’s right…presents, a Christmas tree, decorating, caroling, and Father Christmas are all pagan in origin. Those naughty pagans had some stellar ideas! Yule was (re)branded Christmas (“mass on Christ’s day”) by the Catholics, but there’s actually *nothing* in the bible that states Dec 25th as Jesus’ birthday — nor has there ever been any evidence of this date being his day of birth. (Most historians feel it was sometime in the Spring due to the sheep tending schedule.) It’s really just a random day that was chosen to celebrate the birth. Church officials likely settled on the 25th to coincide with existing pagan festivals honoring Saturn and Mithra. That way, it became easier to convince pagan subjects to accept Christianity as the empire’s official religion. The first three centuries of Christianity didn’t celebrate Christmas at all, opting for Epiphany (January 6th) instead.

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When Catholics aggressively started their conversion campaign, pagans declined…to put it politely. So, an agreement to blend time-honored pagan traditions with the Catholic version of Christmas was approved. This “convert or kill the infidel” process was actually quite horrible and referred to as “The Dark Ages” – for a reason. Forced conversion, seizure of property or assets, destruction of property and revered grounds, brutal killings, destruction of historical sites and statues, burning sacred texts, and much worse occurred.

Christianity has a long, violent, and bloody history that rivals terrorism. Anything that wasn’t Christian — including science, medicine, and free thought — was deemed heretical and violently suppressed. (Hence why we still don’t know much about religious history.) Goddesses were banned and women were no longer seen as (near) equals in regions where they had been.

The Norse (Vikings) were the last to hold out against conversion and fought mightily. Many are still multi-theistic or Deist pagans and religions such as Asatro, Wicca, and a Druid/Christianity hybrid are still going strong today.

Pagan beliefs tend to align with nature and being a humanitarian rather than prioritizing capitalism or turning to humans instead of Spirit for a connection.

Additional Odd Religious Fact Most May Not Know: In medieval times, priests were able to marry and have children. One day in the year 1139, after the Catholic Church had grown weary of people leaving property and fortunes to the collared ones, marriage was outlawed, current marriages were annulled, and effective immediately, all children were declared bastards. The church became wealthy.

Let’s recap, shall we?

Since there was no Christ in Yule to begin with, and Christmas is just Yule with a different name — nor does this time-frame accurately reflect Jesus’ birthday (according to biblical fact) — this holiday is not just for Christians.

And we should probably stop with the “putting Christ back into it” thing. That just makes people sound ignorant.

But Christ (without the long mass, please…) is most welcome to the party now!

I wrote about this because so many of us believe the history of Christmas IS Christmas…that it’s always been this way. The origin of Christmas/Yule has a rich history with fun, colorful traditions, and many lives were destroyed and lost in order to keep those beliefs going.

We carry on these pagan traditions but aren’t aware of the origins.It’s been buried and hardly spoken of, to the point where people get belligerent when mentioned (NO! YOU ARE WRONG!), truly believing that you’re lying, trying to ruin their faith, or disrespect Jesus. This is not the case at all. This history exists and I think we should learn it, just like we learn about the Holocaust. Tribes and tribes of people were slaughtered because of their religion if they didn’t convert. If that’s not lesson-worthy, I don’t know what is. These are our ancestors.

Oddly enough, the only people I’ve met who aren’t pagan and are aware of the history are Catholics. They must teach it in schools or churches. If so, well done. “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Lost history is tragic. It could be us next time.

*Mistletoe kiss.*
Have a cool Yule!

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Photography: Steven Griffey. Models: April Hunter & Michael Middel

April K. Hunter is a television writer, short story author, copywriter, blogger, and primarily writes thrillers and memoirs. She has her B.F.A. in Creative Writing for Entertainment and her work appears in a variety of publications, including RxMusclePage & SpineMedium, and European Journal FONT. Her first book, UNDISCLOSED DARKNESS can be found on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

A model and pro wrestler, she’s currently a part-time superhero at geek conventions, Mother of Chickens, and owned by one spoiled rotten corgi. When not crafting stories, she is learning something new each day or scouring the internet for funny memes while drinking too much coffee.

Insta: @realAprilHunter



Author: themuseherself

I'm a girl trying to find her way...and enjoy the ride along the way.

6 thoughts on “Christ Was Never In Christmas. For Real.”

  1. This weekend I watched ‘Fatman’ starring Mel Gibson as Santa…who’s had a contract put out on him by a disgruntled rich boy. Yes, dark humour, blood and guts. As well, I’m re-writing a movie that came out recently, ‘Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey’. (Didn’t think it attained its potential.) But most importantly, I’m the author and screenwriter of ‘Bells: From Manger to Reindeer’, a story that directly connects the man on the cross with the fat man in the red suit. So for those Christians out there whose feathers get ruffled this time of year…though I’m not sure if COVID-19 is taking the edge off this seasonal umbrage of theirs…’Bells’ actually allows for ‘putting the Christ back in Christmas’ by way of jolly old St. Nick. (For the record, I’m not a Christian, have never been a practicing one, have never seen Christmas as a religious holiday…but absolutely love the season. Love the lights, love (some of) the songs, and most oddly, as someone who believes the North American capitalist system is seriously fuckled, I love (or in the past, I did) Christmas shopping.) Unfortunately, all my family have passed on, so things are definitely different than they have been in the past.

    I did a shedload of research for the story where ‘The Birth of Jesus ‘ is concerned. Learned a lot. Maybe what fascinated me the most was learning that the Hallmark card scene of the whole gang being there ‘at the manger’, JC, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, The Three Wise Men and all those cuddly aminals is…wrong. That is, the timing is wrong. The Magi didn’t do their thing for about 18 months after ‘The Birth of Jesus’. Still, it’s a pretty swell-if-contrived photo-op.

    To me, Christmas has value, if you take away the religious claptrap and view it as an occasion, an opportunity to simply ‘see’ people we love. As in ‘Avatar’s “I see you”, or the greeting ‘Namaste’, usually defined as ‘The divine in me respectfully sees the Divine in you’.

    Oh! Before I forget: One of my absolute favourite memories associated with Christmas was being taken by my brother to the McLaughlin Planetarium in Toronto to see ‘The Christmas Star’, an astronomical exploration of what it might (or might not) have been. You know, I still get the warm-and-fuzzies thinking back on the presentation in that auditorium.


    1. Did you like Fat Man? I didn’t care for it and I WANTED to. I love dark humor…but that film just sort of missed the mark for me. Bad Santa, on the other hand, nailed it.
      Loved your comment and insight, as always. Unlike you, I was christened and raised in the church. We never learned ANY of this stuff. I had to find out on my own. I was blissfully unaware of all the history behind Christmas…the tribes, the sacrifices, the wars…and what’s more, it’s alarming to me that we *don’t* learn this. That it’s been forgotten.
      This could be US next.
      We sit here and chuckle at Greek mythology, never fully realizing that their gods were GODS to them. They weren’t stories. They were real. This could very well happen to us…and then our history could be obsolete, not taught or spoken of, the exact way we eschew pagan history.
      THAT is why I wrote about it.
      That, and the fact that I really like what Yule stands for. I think if we were more pagan and embraced nature more, we’d probably have fewer issues to solve.

      And I’m taking some heat for this on social media. Some people truly believe that life started at Christmas and there was nothing before that. After all, Christ is the first 6 letters. LOL. I love that people will read a headline and start a fight instead of reading the actual article and following the footnotes or doing their own research. Brilliant! 😉
      But yeah, we spend so much time and energy holding up a giant Christmas facade…a lie. The birth of baby Jesus…which didn’t happen at that time. But people will fight over it. “Put Christ back in Christmas.” Like…WTF?

      Christmas most certainly has value. It’s beautiful. It’s what we make it. And now I’d like to see The Christmas Star.


  2. I’ll confess that with ‘Fatman’, I was battling against a) This Santa isn’t the Santa from my story, and b) Mel Gibson is one of the Hollywood talent I’d tried to get my screenplay to while he was up here filming the movie. But did I like the film? On the whole, no. I thought ‘Well, they’ve certainly created a different world, here. Created their own canon.’ Confession: I like Mel Gibson. Do I like what he’s said in the past, his racial and ethnic diatribes? Absolutely not. But I can put that stuff over there, in the corner while I enjoy what I enjoy about him. (I’d like to make a request for the topic of one of your blog entries: ‘Cancel culture’. Were the Jacksons wrong in singing ‘One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl…’?) But I hated the kid, disliked the hitman (especially for his cold-bloodedness in offing everyone he had an inkling to), and the whole US military aspect, which made no sense at all. Oh, and the elves. Those sucked. But then, because I’ve written about them, I’m extremely biased. LOL

    Oh, well; least they didn’t make a film about the Anunnaki.


    1. I haven’t and I wanted to. I didn’t get to see many this year. But faves are Klaus, A Christmas Story, National Lampoons, and the new Dickens one that just came out on Prime…that was very good.


      1. I watched ‘Jingle Jangle’. You remember the commercial where Victor Kiam says “I liked the razor so much, I bought the company.”? Well, my take on the movie was “The film disappointed and frustrated me so much that I re-wrote it.” I made it into a far, far better film. (“It’s an accepted fact that all writers are crazy; even the normal ones are weird.”) If you end up watching the flick and I’ve piqued your curiosity enough, let me know, and I’ll send you a copy.


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