But I am troubled with myself also about the holiday. I mean, I was taught that it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, but it seems that I have learned otherwise. At least since I learned that the twelve days of Christmas actually start on the 25th and end on January 6 (the day orthodox Christians acknowledge the birth of Jesus Christ.
Of all the holidays celebrated via European tradition, Christmas is probably the most Western or European of them all. In the early days of this fledgling country, Christmas was not even celebrated and was even outlawed in certain parts of the colonies in the late 1600s. It wasn’t made a federal holiday until June 26, 1870. It was only until after the civil war; with the influx of German immigrants to the United states did it actually begin to spread across the country.
History suggest that the Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, “a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25.” It was the celebration of the “Lord of Misrule.” “Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering [these] innocent men or women.”