The Pointlessness of Rejecting Christmas
Christmas was always about the excess. It was never about religion.
While talking with an atheist recently, he shared something with me that I thought was rather profound. He suggested that even though he doesn’t believe in God, he still goes to church, he still continues to search for Easter Eggs, and even puts up a Christmas tree. I found this to be perplexing given his convictions. So I asked him how he could reconcile this given his unbelief. He said, quite frankly, that mythology was never originally intended for what we now use it for. It is today’s religious zealots who would have us believe otherwise.
That blew my mind. Here’s why:
No Christmas, Ergo, No Religion
For many years I used to attend church with my parents up to my late teens. I was always that annoying kid who knew too much that the church elders would have liked to hear less from about their pagan rituals whenever that time of year came around. I was always very vocal about rejecting Christmas. So my propaganda campaign was thoroughly mapped out.
But even from the age of sixteen, what I really wanted to ask (which nobody had an answer for) was what the implications of rejecting Christmas would be. Christmas has quite literally everything to do with the birth of Christ, and by proxy the birth of Christianity. So this had become a serious problem because Christmas and Christianity were clearly inextricably linked.
So if there was no Christmas, then there would be no Christianity. Christmas and Christianity are Siamese twins if you will, bound at the hip. If you debunk Christmas, you’re half way to completely invalidating the single most popular religion on earth. Christianity is a religious cult that was born in pagan worship. So Christians follow very similar old inherited pagan rituals.
Now when you examine how Christianity came about, you’ll realize that Christmas was instrumental not only to its survival, but to that of the Roman Empire, which at the time, was on the verge of implosion due to civil war from competing pagan religions. The fusion of these religions essentially created Christianity and Christmas and Easter and all the other trappings.
Over two millennia later, most people who practice the pagan faith have all but completely forgotten why they do what they do, and like mindless automatons, put up Christmas trees, lights and effigies of the nativity scene in Church yards while exchanging gifts – completely oblivious to the original point of it all. (See my friend’s blog post on the subject for more info).
The Grinch Explains Himself
Now if you think this is the rambling of some cold hearted Grinch, I ask you to pause just one second and consider this: We all know that Christmas is a farce so there’s no point to stating the obvious. More importantly, there’s even lesser point in rejecting it. This is something I failed to understand for a long time, since I was only caught up in the whole theology of it all.
What I failed to realize all this time, is that the reason why nobody could answer these tough questions of mine, was because they either all knew it was just mythology (or more likely) they didn’t know why. Therefore I was taking it more seriously than they were. They however, were only interested in my becoming matriculated into our society’s chosen religious order.
I was far too precocious at the time. I wasn’t being dumb enough to just accept the faith in faith and go along with it blindly like all the other teenagers in Sunday school who, unlike me, were blissfully unconcerned about the plainly obvious religious contradictions that Christmas presented to Christianity. They were more concerned about receiving their new Nintendo 64.
When I reflect on my turbulent teen years wrestling with religion, I now realise that none of the elders took their faith seriously enough to have these questions answered already. You would think that after two thousand years, people would have thought about these things, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But alas, cognitive evolution has granted us the gift of reason.
In fact, the Jehovah’s Witnesses spend a great deal of time thinking about all of the tough questions young people ask so that they could come up with a manual (several in fact) to handle these circumstances. Psychologically, this is what you call an act of overcompensation, and is usually the first sign of a lie. So debunking the Jehovah’s Witnesses wasn’t too hard.
So there I was, 23 years old, and completely faithless. I got tired of hearing that “God did it” to continue such conversations — until I met a trusty Atheist who changed my mind about the whole deal. You’d think that it would be a Christian to do this, since Atheists are not preoccupied with the quality of faith. His take on the whole matter was remarkably elegant:
He said that despite the fact that Christmas is a farce and Christianity was born of pagan rituals, the source of the belief system was not originally designed to rule the world. That was the original Roman Catholic agenda — and Rome is no more. So all we’re left with is a relatively fun pagan ritual to enjoy every Sunday and Easter and Christmas. Am I missing anything? No? Well then ladies and gentlemen, the following principles shall therefore apply:
1. Commercialization Concerns are Irrelevant
Don’t worry about Santa Claus et al. He and his troupe of fantastic reindeer were nothing more than a marketing ploy to commercialize a pagan ritual. There’s no harm in that really, since it’s not very different from when the same people pay tithes to these extremely wealthy religious organisations that operate tax free. It’s really the same con, just a different scheme.
I call that poetic justice.
Ergo, all concerns about the commercialization of Christmas are irrelevant. There is no point in making a big deal about it – for all the same reasons why there’s no point in making a big deal about a con artist conning a con artist that you like. At least when you spend during Christmas, you get great deals and discounts. I cannot quite say the same for paying tithes.
If there were no Christmas, there would still be some end of year pagan holiday to take note of and the marketing gurus would’ve seized upon it anyway. Between Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, there are a myriad of other Sun/Light worshiping mythologies just waiting to be seized upon by the same brilliant department store viral marketing that gave us Santa Claus.
Finally, the banality of pagan worship doesn’t automatically invalidate how fun it is. I mean, what’s the point of living if you’re not going to enjoy it, right? So that’s why I’m going to take advantage of the price drops around this time of year and get me a wicked HDTV, another fad gadget and something equally epic for my girlfriend. Thus, I’ve only got one word for you all:
2. Religious Validation is Irrelevant
When people tell you that Christmas is about the celebration of the birth of Christ and then proceed to have pagan celebrations anyway, it shows that they neither fully understood what the implications of pagan worship were, nor the fact that the Bible never once called for a celebration of Christ’s birth in any way. Ignorance has a remarkable talent for such ubiquity.
In fact, for all you Christians out there, if you celebrated Christmas in any way shape or form this season, no matter how innocuous, (even attending a church service to commemorate the event), you are in fact validating a pagan sun worship ritual that has absolutely no Biblical foundation whatsoever. Therefore any corresponding justifications are ultimately irrelevant.
At this point in time however, there’s no point in launching a campaign to change any of that. The ritual is far too pervasive for any real meaningful result to come from telling every single Christian to suddenly stop what they’re doing in the name of maintaining any kind of Biblical congruency. Nobody seems to care precisely because it probably doesn’t really matter at all.
Furthermore, even if one could snap a finger and turn on the light in every Christian’s head about the obvious fallacy of their pagan worship rituals, to what end does it profit a man to take away a pagan practice from a religion that is entirely based on pagan rituals? What’s one less Solstice celebration? What good could possibly be achieved by invalidating the best part?
Ergo, religious validation by the Christian watch dog groups which are anti-Christmas (such as the Seventh Day Adventists and the Jehovah’s Witnesses) are not only effectively a pointless ruse, but they will likely be seen as being “too fringe” by the rest of Christendom to be effective ministers anyway. Kill joys aren’t taken seriously while everyone is busy having fun.
In terms of its fundamental and intrinsic value, Christmas is really an end of year celebration explicitly designed by an ancient pagan culture as a ritual of festivities. It has no religious significance whatsoever. That was the work of Pope Constantine III in a desperate attempt to unite Rome under Catholicism, thereby staving off what would be certain religious civil war.
In fact, if you hit up this checklist on the history of everything of Christmas origin, you will quickly realize that Christmas was always about the excess. It was never about religion. The idea that Jesus Christ has anything to do with Christmas is a nearly 2,000 year old lie. What really happened was that the original Saturnalia celebrations were hijacked by Christianity.
So even if there was no Christianity, there would still be an end of year tradition where the family comes together to celebrate each other. The tradition was never born in Christianity. It is really a function of a much older religion that is related to today’s Wicca movement. The Romans merely cobbled the two religions together, renaming the pagan ritual to Christmas.
If you take Rome out of the picture, all that we’re left with is a Sun God religion fused with an old Roman pagan ritual of feasting to celebrate the increase of Sunlight during the Winter Solstice. The rest of it is remnants of an age gone by, where religion and politics were joined at the hip. It does not matter that it is pagan in origin. The same can be said of Christianity.
So go ahead and hang those wreaths. Put up the Christmas tree with accompanying lights. Sing those Christmas Carols and read those passages of Scripture about the nativity scene all over again. Don’t let any of this inconsistency bother you. It doesn’t matter that there is no Biblical validity or that it’s pagan. None of it has any meaningful religious significance anyway.
3. Tradition Trumps Reason
Let’s be honest with ourselves: Christmas was never really about the babe in a manger or about Santa Claus. What’s the one thing that people do the most during Christmas? They all Celebrate Family. It’s a very strong cultural contingent of western civilization to celebrate the family unit during Christmas. That is precisely where Christmas gets almost all its momentum.
The family comes together to have a massive side of ham or turkey, or turducken, along with eggnog, lots of punch, Christmas cake and a horde of other calorie chocked goodies designed explicitly to ramp up the dopamine laced sense of excitement brimming with enough sucrose to exacerbate Grandma’s diabetes and to raise the suicide rate at all the nearby orphanages.
Then there are the gifts that are wrapped, the putting up of the Christmas tree, the wiring of the Christmas lights and other assorted activities which while in and of themselves are but a rather pointless exercise (since they’ll have to be undone come January anyway), serve the purpose of providing a series of fun activities for families to do together every winter season.
It’s made even more exciting when the cousins come over, or when the entire family goes to the home of the family patriarch for one massive family reunion where they sit around the piano while grandpa hammers out carol after carol in a giant, fun family karaoke sing-along in the wrong key, while your drunk single aunt and your gay uncle dance awkwardly in the hall.
The point is that these activities are done together to celebrate the family unit. The large majority of these activities have nothing to do with the birth of Christ or whether or not Christianity is of any significance in the grand scheme of things. Christianity may have been a contributing factor to these celebrations, but it was never the original point of them at all.
I hope you have a brilliant Christmas. I know I will. I hope you did the whole Christmas tree bit, gained some weight at the dinner table, had a blast with your family and loved ones, put up lights, sang carols and raided Amazon.com on Black Friday. For contrary to popular belief, that’s precisely what Christmas is really all about. The rest is a pointless religious distraction.
Such things do not require logical explanations or scriptural validation. So long as people think it is significant, then it becomes significant. Rituals are a celebration of human nature. We are animals bound by routine. Concordantly, so long as we believe in the significance of the ritual, the logical explanations are inconsequential — except for the sole purposes of trivial pursuit.
As I’ve elaborated before, belief is not bound by the parameters of logic. It is determined by the will of the believer. So it may prove to be a grand waste of time to attempt to debunk Christmas. Unraveling it won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things anyway. So enjoy it and shut the cuss up already. Merry Christmas everyone and have an epic New Year.
■ E-mail: accordingtoxen[at]gmail[dot]com