Dec 18, 2011

What Does Selling Merchandise Have to Do With Christmas?

The Liberty Counsel has a Naughty & Nice List taking to task stores that don't use the word Christmas in their advertisements. Apparently the crass commercialization of Christmas if perfectly fine with these Christians as long as you use the word Christmas. Silly me I thought Christmas was about celebrating the birth of Christ NOT buying stuff (at stores that use the word Christmas in their advertisements of course), setting the perfect Christmas Table and Decorating for Christmas.

And WTF (From the Liberty Counsel site)
Consumer Report: “Cracker Barrel restaurants and stores bring back memories of old Christmases-gone-by with the remembrance that Christmas is the focal point of the Season, not other modern-day holiday inventions.” 

Most of these so called "modern-day" holiday inventions have been around longer then the relatively modern Christmas.

Hanukkah -Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. It starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late November-late December on the secular calendar, this year it is December 8-16. Hannukkah was first celebrated over 2000 years ago in Judea, now known as Israel.

Winter Solstice - Knows as Saturnalia in Pagan Rome and celebrated BEFORE Christmas was. In fact since no one knew the date of Jesus' birth The Roman Catholic  Church picked the Winter Solstice (Saturnalia) in order to replace the pagan festival with a Christian holy day (holiday). The psychology was that is easier to take away one religious festival (Saturnalia) from the population, when you can replace it with another (Christmas). The Winter Solstice (Saturnalia) is still celebrated today.

Christmas - 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it.  Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians. Christians had little success, however, refining the practices of Saturnalia.  As Stephen Nissenbaum, professor history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, writes, “In return for ensuring massive observance of the anniversary of the Savior’s birth by assigning it to this resonant date, the Church for its part tacitly agreed to allow the holiday to be celebrated more or less the way it had always been.”  The earliest Christmas holidays were celebrated by drinking, sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets (a precursor of modern caroling), etc. The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston observed in 1687 that “the early Christians who  first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens’ Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian ones.”Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681. 

I'll be doing my shopping at the stores on the Liberty Counsel's Naughty List.

Happy Holidays!!!!!!!

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