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#31 of 54 Old 11-13-2006, 02:12 AM
 
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I found it a bit interesting (or elitist?) to state that "I and the rest of the Christian world" celebrate Christ birth in Dec.

Uh, nooooo~

I'm a conservative Reformed Christian and I don't...and though I might be in the minority, I'm certainly not a rarity.

Orthodox Mama
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#32 of 54 Old 11-13-2006, 05:25 AM
 
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I've heard that some people think Jesus was born in the fall, during the Feast of Tabernacles and that the stable was actually a sukkot.

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#33 of 54 Old 11-13-2006, 01:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommaduck View Post
I found it a bit interesting (or elitist?) to state that "I and the rest of the Christian world" celebrate Christ birth in Dec.

Uh, nooooo~

I'm a conservative Reformed Christian and I don't...and though I might be in the minority, I'm certainly not a rarity.
i'm pretty sure you could have corrected me without implying that i was an 'elitist'. i'm sorry if i offended. i was wrong and thank you for pointing that out. i'll add a 'MOST' to my statement in the future.

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#34 of 54 Old 11-15-2006, 06:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by canadiyank View Post
I've heard that some people think Jesus was born in the fall, during the Feast of Tabernacles and that the stable was actually a sukkot.
A succah (or sukkah)-- one succah, two succot.

My understanding is that there's really good evidence to the effect that Jesus was born in the middle of April.. maybe toward the end, I can't remember for sure but I want to say the 17th.

Is it a lie? It depends on what you're celebrating. Some people are celebrating the actual birth of Jesus and yes, that's a lie. Some are celebrating light coming to a dark world by combining their spritual connections with Pagan celebrations; that's not really a lie. Some are celebrating the fact that they have some time off of work and school, and that all of their family and friends are getting together-- that's definately not a lie.

If something religious feels wrong to you, you probably shouldn't be doing it; at the very least, you should be giving it some serious thought.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#35 of 54 Old 11-15-2006, 06:41 PM
 
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so I see Christmas as a date chosen by the church to celebrat an event that we don't acutally know the date for. It may have been chosen because of popular celebrations in pagan culture that the church wanted to offer an alternative Christian celebration for. It doesn't really matter to me. I can celebrate Jesus' birth any day of the year. I don't consider it a lie to do so on December 25th.

Santa Clause is loosely based on St. Nicholas who was known for his generosity to strangers. His actual Saint's day is December 6 or 7th I think. Not Christmas, so his inclusion in the mix is also a combining of traditions. You're supposed to leave out shoes (or stockings) for him to fill with gold coins (usually chocolates), but not many Americans do this, they leave him till the 24th or 25th to put presents under the tree.

it's all one crazy combination of various traditions at this point.

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#36 of 54 Old 11-15-2006, 07:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post
A succah (or sukkah)-- one succah, two succot.
Thanks!

Meghan, mom to 11yo, 8yo, and 3yo 

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#37 of 54 Old 11-16-2006, 03:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MattysMommaVT View Post
oh, and the pagans celebrated yule (winter sostice, the shortest day of the year) before Jesus was born. the early Christians decided to change the observation days to coincide with the other religions' celebrations becuase it would be easier to convert them. Pagans didn't steal Christmas...it was the other way around, lol.
Yup. Just annoys me that somebody tried to make it sound like it was different because they live in ignorance.
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#38 of 54 Old 11-16-2006, 04:13 PM
 
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Well technically that isn't true. There are no historical "the" pagans. There were/are seperate cultural polytheist religions in Europe but not all of them celebrated Solstice. The Romans were the ones that celebrated Saturnalia at that time of year and it's the closest to being a solstice type holiday. The Germanics celebrated Jul/Yule but it wasn't a solstice astronomical holiday tied to the shortest day of the year.

Was the Saturnalia a solstice holiday? My only knowledge of it comes from a friend's dissertation project, but she focused more on the social aspects of the holiday - who constituted a household, how the ancestors were honored, that kind of thing. I don't remember how the dates were selected although she did say it was a long holiday - more than a week, IIRC.

Would you mind talking about it a bit more?

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#39 of 54 Old 11-16-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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The Romans were the ones that celebrated Saturnalia at that time of year and it's the closest to being a solstice type holiday.
I didn't say it was, only that it would be the closest to being that type of holiday in European cultures. I haven't written a thesis on it, maybe your friend can help us out?

Anyway dates and length of festival would depend on which time period we are talking about and whos calendar was in effect. My understanding is that varied in length from 3-7 days over the years. I was thinking that Sol Invictus had been incorporated into the festivities.
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#40 of 54 Old 11-17-2006, 05:41 PM
 
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The way our priest (actually, he's not our priest anymore, but he used to be at our parish until he retired) explained it is that that's just the day the Catholic Church picked to celebrate Jesus. It was chosen on that day to coincide with the Pagan holidays. Kind of like "Well, they're celebrating, so lets celebrate."

Santa Claus is really Saint Nicholas. I believe it's the german. Saint Nicholas travelled around and gave gifts to children. I can't remember if he did it all year long or just towards the end of the year. Anyways, we celebrate St. Nicholas' feast day here (Dec. 6.) Our dd opens up stocking gifts on that day. On Christmas day, we don't do Santa. That day is for gifts from family and friends.

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#41 of 54 Old 11-19-2006, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for responding. I'm still not sure exactly how we will celebrate the season, but I am feeling more perspective about it.

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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#42 of 54 Old 12-06-2006, 11:00 PM
 
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I ran across an article in a http://www.ucg.org magazine, and it was basically, why they don't celebrate Christmas, they had some very good points and scriptural references as to why Christmas isn't an appropriate holiday - God stating in various places that we were only to celebrate the Holy Days handed down by him, and not to mingle them with pagan customs. I know as a new Christian (previously pagan) it feels VERY iffy to celebrate it , not sure what to do! They have a free booklet on the subject that I am waiting for -http://www.ucg.org/booklets/
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#43 of 54 Old 12-07-2006, 02:49 AM
 
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In our house, it's all a big lie but a fun one. And I don't care. We aren't Christian but we do santa and so that is where it is obviously a lie. We talk about santa to the kids, santa fills their stockings and eats the cookies and milk they leave by the fireplace for him. That's about it. I am pretty sure my 13 year old is the only one who has ever even heard of Jesus (except for in the explicative form) so we haven't told any story about that yet to the little ones.

My personal life aside, I love the stories of the ancient religious festivals and the evolutions of the more recent holiday celebrations. The whole thing is so interesting to me, I love learning about it. It isn't something we have discussed with the kids though, that is more like the post wine adult discussion around here. Except I have talked about Christmas and early Christians and the pagan celebrations that preceeded Christmas and all that with my oldest. Anyway, I don't have anything to add, I've just enjoyed the discussion.
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#44 of 54 Old 12-07-2006, 07:44 AM
 
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I'm actually grateful that Christians stole some Pagan customs and now we have Christmas lights near and through the shortest day of the year. Gives me hope that light will soon return.

My dh the atheist likes communal rituals so we celebrate Christmas and do Santa. We're all about the lies. :
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#45 of 54 Old 12-13-2006, 11:57 AM
 
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We are Christian and don't celebrate Christmas either. For the reasons that JenniferC pointed out.

Jesse, wife to DH , mama to DD 13, DS 11, DS 8, DD 6, DS 3 & bean EDD 12/18/13
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#46 of 54 Old 12-15-2006, 07:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Meiri View Post
I would say that as long as the speaker is saying that "Christmas when the birth of Jesus is celebrated," rather than "Christmas is when Jesus was born" or "Christmas is Jesus's birthday", that there is no lie.

Historical accuracy may be up for debate, but that's another discussion.
Being a pagan who was raised as a christian and having heard all the differant side about the whole historical aspect I have to agree with Meiri.
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#47 of 54 Old 12-19-2006, 05:30 PM
 
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to me christmas is not a lie. no matter what semantics u use - birth or season. it is a personal 'holiday' for me. it is a spiritual celebration. it really doesnt matter when christ was born or even where or even what year.

i see it the same as celebrating my dd's bday. not a woohoo thing but more as a birthingday day - grateful that she is in my life. same thing with christmas. grateful that christ was born. of course as she grows older we have her party on a different day - the weekend so eveyrone will be there. but her birthday is v. special to me that i celebrate in my own way.

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#48 of 54 Old 12-20-2006, 03:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ChasingPeace View Post
I don't see it as a lie. I see it as a practical move on the early Church's part as well as an expression of need to celebrate the coming of light into darkness. For Christians, Jesus is the Light. I actually find it a beautiful way that all religions are expressing deep, similar truths.
: I learned early on that Jesus wasn't actually born in December, and I'm not a Christian according to most Christians. But I've always loved the stories and symbolism surrounding Christmas. We adore the whole Santa thing, too. Myths are not lies. They are deeply meaningful, they resonate in our souls, they guide us.
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#49 of 54 Old 12-22-2006, 03:45 AM
 
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Myths are not lies. They are deeply meaningful, they resonate in our souls, they guide us.
YES!!! I agree. Santa, the Spirit of Giving as DD informed me this year (after I've been explaining this to her for the last 4 years), is very much not a lie.

Of course every person/family doesn't have to use the same Myths.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#50 of 54 Old 12-23-2006, 02:52 AM
 
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YES!!! I agree. Santa, the Spirit of Giving as DD informed me this year (after I've been explaining this to her for the last 4 years), is very much not a lie.

Of course every person/family doesn't have to use the same Myths.
So glad to see this. I don't see it as a lie either. Myth is much more appropriate. When it comes time to explain the reality of Santa Claus I intend to talk about how we are all Santa Claus for each other---with a lot of emphasis on the spirit of giving and of looking out for each other. And to combine this teaching with an invitation to join me in some holiday-time giving (a la mdc hh, hefer international, letters to santa from families in need, etc.)

This can serve as an initiation/transformation. At the same time I have to say that I feel very confused this year about why/what I am celebrating . I guess what means the most to me at this time of year is giving till it hurts first, showering gifts of gratitude and appreciation on family and friends second. Doing the first somehow makes the second more pleasurable.

...not trying to kill the thread. really.

still seeking...
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#51 of 54 Old 12-23-2006, 03:52 AM
 
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I don't know in what season Jesus was born... However, I don't think that *any* single date in the Gregorian calendar could adequately represent Jesus's birthday, since Jesus was Jewish. For those who are unaware, the Jewish calendar is based on the lunar month cycle. Thus, dates fixed in the Jewish calendar seem to "move around" in the Gregorian calendar, and vice versa.

http://www.jewfaq.org/calendar.htm

Therefore, it doesn't really make sense to me to say that December 25 is the "wrong" or "right" anniversary date of Jesus's birth. It's simply the date on which Jesus's birth is observed. I think of it as similar to the holiday of Washington's birthday (which has now become Presidents' Day):
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Originally Posted by wikipedia
George Washington was actually born on February 11, 1731 of the Julian calendar, in use before England's calendar reformation in September 1752. His birthday is equivalent to February 22, 1732 in the Gregorian calendar used since 1752. [...] Observance of Washington's Birthday on the third Monday of February dates to the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill of 1968, which became effective in 1971. [...] Supporters of the bill assured Congress the Monday selected would be a day on which Washington's birth date would occasionally fall, but this was incorrect. The Monday on which Washington's birth date would have occasionally fallen would have been the fourth Monday in February.
Disclaimer: I'm Jewish, and I believe that Jesus was a historical figure.
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#52 of 54 Old 12-24-2006, 06:28 AM
 
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Santa Claus is really Saint Nicholas. I believe it's the german. Saint Nicholas travelled around and gave gifts to children.
Nope, St. Nicholas was from Asia Minor, the land that we now call Turkey (Turkiye). (Side note: all of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse of St. Paul are also located on Asia Minor.) There are many different tales about the generosity of St. Nicholas, including stories of how he provided dowries to poor girls, enabling them to marry. The Church of St. Nicholas is located in Demre, Turkiye.
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#53 of 54 Old 01-09-2007, 06:22 PM
 
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I wouldn't call Christmas a lie, but its certainly an oddity. Jesus was not born in December, (as a pp mentioned) he was Jewish and living in Israel and therefore using the Hebrew lunar calendar and the symbolisms of Christmas (the date, hanging greens, trees, Santa, etc.) are all ripped off from various pagan religions (which is forbidden in the Bible). For this reason some Christians are begining to question the irony and possible error of celebrating this day. I myself don't celebrate it.

Kristi

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#54 of 54 Old 01-17-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OTMomma View Post
Ok, historians are pretty sure Jesus was born in the spring. The holiday was stolen from the pagans. (If you are unaware of these things, please start a new thread to ask or do some research).
Sorry, I haven't read the whole thread yet, but fwiw, it's generally considered to be sometime in Fall, around Sukkot.
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