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Christianity and Christmas

How do they mesh? Im a new christian, and I never went through the bible school growing up, and I would feel pretty ignorant asking someone at church about it. Im pretty sur eit has something to do with Jesus's birth? Where does Santa Clause fit in? Any details, or beliefs would be helpful.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 2:04 PM on Sep. 24, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (15)
  • It has every thing to do with Jesus being born. If your church puts on a Christmas play, this should help explain it all. The santa thing, I never taught my kids. I did not want some fat man in a red suit taking all the credit for what my husband and I do all year to make Christmas nice. Since you are a new Christian, maybe you can talk to your pastor or his wife. They are really bound as far as what they can tell others about you, so ask if you can meet with them, I am sure they will be more than happy to help.
    A.Perry

    Answer by A.Perry at 2:18 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • It's originally a pagan holiday that the Church took over... Jesus wasn't born in December. Santa Clause is actually a bastardized version of St. Nicholas (Sinterklaas in Dutch, sounds similar), a Christian saint known for secret gift giving.
    Anouck

    Answer by Anouck at 2:18 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • Crap, I meant Santa Claus.
    Anouck

    Answer by Anouck at 2:19 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • Actually, Christmas has no basis in Christianity. It was originally a pagan holiday (derived from holy day). Upon the winter solistice, they began to perform sacrifices to the sun god as they could visibly see that the sun was going away from them. The sacrifices stopped on December 25th because the sun was noticably closer on that date. So December 25th became the rebirth day the sun god. Constantine had a bit of an issue with workers. He had the Christians who were celebrating the festival of lights and then directly afterward, the pagans were celebrating the birth(rebirth) of the sun god. So to make things simple, he went to the Christians and declared that December 25th would be set aside to celebrate the son of God and the pagans to celebrate the sun god. Play on words? You bet. So in reality, christians actually keep a holiday that has no biblical basis at all and is heavily rooted in paganism.
    vampporcupine

    Answer by vampporcupine at 2:25 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • Errg, I meant to vote on Anouck's answer. Everything she said is what's associated with that time of year. The pagan holiday is referred to by most as Yule. The Christian missionaries actually made Christmas in December to get the pagans of the Olde Religion to convert to Christianity. They did this with many other pagan holidays like (this is what I believe; each pagan is different in some beliefs): Ostara - Easter and Samhain - All Hallow's Eve. The pagan holidays are about the seasons. Samain is about starting again (think New Year's), Yule is celebrating the stasis that is in nature preparing for the new birth to come at Ostara and Beltane (both spring festivals), Imbolc (beginning of February) being when the Earth is slowly starting to warm up again for the plants and animals, Summer Solstice is celebrating the longest day of the year, Lughnasadh is a harvest festival and Mabon is celebrating the season of autumn.
    _Tam_

    Answer by _Tam_ at 2:27 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • Christmas is used to celebrate the birth of Christ. While technically Jesus wasn't born in December, it is when it is celebrated. Santa Clause is a fun tradition but nothing to do with the real meaning of Christmas. We give gits to each other to symbolize the gifts the wise mean gave to the Savior and the gifts the Savior gave to us. I would agree with the woman that said go talk to you pastor or church leader, they won't make you feel dumb and won't tell anyone else either.
    jillybean703

    Answer by jillybean703 at 3:23 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • Christians has adopted or borrowed pagan traditions into its meaning of Christmas. If you say steal, that is fine. Christmas has taken on SO many meanings that I do not think stolen is appropriate anymore. I.E.-I know an Atheist can celebrate gift giving but not necessarily the "christ" part, so everyone has stolen, or rather adopted. JMO I am probably one of the few christians that do not like Christmas. Ironic. lol
    2tinyhineys

    Answer by 2tinyhineys at 6:53 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • They don't. The creation of Christmas as a Christian holiday was a tactic to convert the Pagans of the day more easily... It has NOTHING to do with Christianity, never did. Today, most people celebrate it out of habit or tradition, but even those who use it as a time to celebrate Jesus, know very well that Christmas in now way has anything to do with Jesus unless you force it... Christmas (and consequently Easter) are purely Pagan in origin...
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 7:58 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • The word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038. And yes, Christmas is when we celebrate and remember the birth of Jesus.

    Saint Nicholas is actually Nikolaos of Myra and was a Catholic Bishop in the 4th Century. He's attributed to performing many miracles, including resurrecting three children murdered by a butcher by his prayers, gave gold coins to the parents of girls to prevent them from becoming prostitutes (a cultural thing - they didn't have enough money for a dowry), and multiplying wheat during a famine.

    I don't know why St Nicholas is associated w/ Christmas, though.
    flatlanderjenn

    Answer by flatlanderjenn at 8:31 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • No, it doesn't really have ANYTHING to do with Jesus's birth. Even the bible doesn't say when that was, because no one knows. Dec. 25th was appropriated from a pagan sun god cult and from a Mithran cult, along with the pagan celebrations associated with them--gifts, christmas trees and evergreen decorations, feasting, singing of carols, etc. It is the choice of christians to celebrate this season and this day with Jesus birth, even tho it isn't possible for it to be the actual day that he was born. Jesus isn't the reason for the season--the winter solstice is. flatlanderjenn covered the origins of the Santa Claus legend very well, so I won't go into that.
    witchqueen

    Answer by witchqueen at 10:30 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

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