Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas!

Okay, I'm sure thousands, if not millions, of people are blogging about Christmas this week, but I couldn't resist doing it too.

While there's a lot of doubt that Jesus was actually born at this time of year, Christians have celebrated his coming into the world at this time for nearly a thousand years.

Caesar Augustus would have been stupid to require everyone in the Roman empire to travel to the homes of their ancestors in the winter because lots of people in the northern areas would have died from the extreme weather. The best time to collect taxes would have been at the end of the harvest season and, being from the Mediterranean area, he would probably have chosen early Fall for the date, although many scholars think it was in late August.

But most cultures in areas where winter is a bleak season had some sort of celebration when the days began to get longer again. The Romans' Saturnalia was held at that time and early Christians who were being persecuted needed to celebrate or risk being arrested, so they chose to honor the birth of Christ at that time.

Today lots of people who aren't Christians celebrate Christmas, partly because it's something people in our society have always done, and partly because it brightens the winter. Unfortunately, many people in our culture seem to worship Mammon, the god of money, and celebrate Christmas by showing off how much they can afford to spend on gifts, etc.

But there are still plenty of us who focus on Christmas as a celebration of the Incarnation. So be it.

2 comments:

Rena and Denny said...

The correct date of Christ's birth has never bothered me, although I've seen some pretty heated discussions over it.

Merry Christmas, Janet.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks.