Sunday, December 15, 2019

"Christmas is not pagan"? ROTFLMAO. Sorry. It is.

I wish this had been a spoof, it's just too ridiculous

In the end this discussion isn't about whose facts about the history are correct and whose aren't.
It's not about who is worshiping "false gods", why one should or shouldn't celebrate Winter Solstice, or any other such things.

It's about one simple thing: 
if I am right and you are wrong, 
you are not going to rejoice eternal life with your God in heaven.
It a question of whether 
you love Christmas more than your God and His word.

Disclaimer. In the following I am talking about Jesus as if he had been born on some day, but that doesn't mean that I believe he was. I don't think there ever was a person like Jesus, and the whole book is pure fiction written with an agenda. I believe the Christian theology is loathsome, twisted and wicked, and responsible for a lot of suffering, in past and today and most likely will be in the future.
It's not about the tree or evergreens. Yule is much more than that. But it would be good if you stopped incorporating these Pagan traditions to your spirituality.

It's not about Yule. Or, not precisely about Yule. But if you strip all the Yule traditions from your Christmas celebration, that would be great.

Yule is the name of The Feast. The Feast is the Winter Solstice.
The month is named after the feast, not the other way around.
We don't know for sure what the etymology of the word is, but it is likely it's of the same origin as the name of the Winter Solstice celebration in Iran, Yalda (birth), and that name for the longest and darkest night of the year could be the origin of the Arabic Yelda (dark night). 

Burn all logs you want, but separating one, an extra special one, putting it some rules on how it should be cut and dried and stored and burned and adding superstition and beliefs on it, giving it a special name and place, even dedicating pastry to it, that you should forget.  

So - let me repeat this: burning firewood, great, having a Yule Log in your home (even a chocolate one), that's Pagan. Still great, I think, but definitely Pagan.

Among Germanic Pagan traditions were- everybody gathering in the temple to worship the divine
- everyone gathering to eat well and to drink and to be merry
- caroling/wassailing
- visiting visiting each others' homes and exchanging gifts

Now, of course you are totally free to have family dinners and exchange gifts at any day of the year just as you wish, but when it happens on the Pagan Yule date every year, it gets a bit suspicious.

About the fact that Germanic Pagans didn't much interact with Christians and the Christian Christmas - Christmas IS a rather old celebration. The first recorded Christmas celebration was in Rome on 25 December 336, and as the article says: "St. Hippolytus said in his commentary on Daniel (written ca. AD 202-211) that Jesus’ birthdate is December 25". BUT most modern Christmas "traditions" are from 19th century OR NEWER. Most "family traditions" are ONLY ONE GENERATION OLD. It isn't the 3rd century Christmas we are talking about here, is it? We are talking about the whole package.
But - stripping your Christmas celebration of all the Germanic Pagan traditions is a good start. 

It's not about giving gifts.
And giving gifts is not a Pagan tradition... although... giving gifts in Christmas time... Romans were very generous gift givers during the Winter Solstice celebrations. And the three kings carrying gifts to baby Jesus were also Pagan. And when you think about it, our gift giving is more akin to that kind of gift giving than playing a secret santa trying to see that good girls don't get into prostitution. Isn't it?
So maybe giving gifts in Christmas IS a Pagan tradition after all.
But - as Christmas isn't about giving gifts, you can easily stop that habit now, and avoid any and all risk of following Pagan ways.

It's not about commercialism. And commercialism isn't Pagan either.

It's not about Santa Claus, though the "jolly old elf" is 100% Pagan, what ever you call him.
Saint Nicholas of  Myra was a real saint, which doesn't really mean he was a real person. The Catholic Church has been going through their saints and are making most of the early ones mere legends, as there is no what so ever evidence of them ever having existed. All the thousands of relics are no proof of anything, as there are more acclaimed bones of most saints, especially the popular ones, than there are bones in a human body.(Also, the existence of a tomb is not a proof of that there ever was anyone in the tomb or that it was the person they say was there. It's rather easy to build tombs. Maybe people had other reasons to build a tomb to a famous and popular saint than to bury him in it before he was famous and popular?

Is it about December 25th? Sort of is.  
Is it about Saturnalia? Sort of.

Because it is about Winter Solstice. Try to deny it as much as you want to, but if you celebrate a God's birthday (God with a birthday, how is that not a Pagan idea :-D) at Midwinter, you are celebrating a Pagan festivity.

Not all Christians celebrate Jesus' birthday on the same day.  Some celebrate it on January 6th, or even later, some December 25th, or earlier. 

What? They noted the birthdays of Caesars, but not Jesus? No-one asked Jesus or his friends on which date he was born? No-one remembers it? 

The truth is that no-one cared. Only the Pagans celebrated birthdays. The exact date of your birth is only important if you believe in astrology. Otherwise it's only the year that is important. And to a lot of people, even the year is irrelevant. Jesus did not care about his birthday, nor did any who might have known him. Nobody knew, nobody cared. 
Until about 200 years later someone did... why?

At the time when the Christians decided to make December 25th Jesus' birthday, the Romans celebrated THREE DIFFERENT SOLAR DEITIES' birthdays at Winter Solstice.
Sol Invictus, Mithra and Osiris. All three were very popular deities of very popular religions. 

(And, yes, Sol Invictus' birthday was mentioned first in the list of OFFICIAL holidays 274. If that means it didn't exist before that, Jesus' birthday as December 25th didn't exist before 336.)

Now - the date was Winter Solstice. 

What is the date of the Winter Solstice? 

Back in the days, people weren't too precise about the exact date of Midwinter, so they kind of celebrated it "around" the time of the year, and then one adds the calendar and dates, and all that Julian and Gregorian calendar stuff and that, so people celebrate Winter Solstice 21st of December ± 2 weeks. 

According to Rome it was 25th of December. In Greece it was January 6th. 
(Funny that, when one knows that in Eastern Christianity, Jesus' birthday was celebrated on January 6th and in West December 25th...)

And let's look at the Candlemass (The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple). It is celebrated on February 2nd, 40 days after Jesus' birth. (That places his birth on 25th of December)

The idea that people thought Jesus was conceived on March 25th and December 25th happens 9 months later is somewhat correct - with the little distinction that it was the other way around. December 25th - the Winter Solstice - was chosen to be Jesus' birthday, and then they counted 9 months back, and placed the conception at March 25th.
Which fitted them very nicely, because the Roman empire celebrated the Spring Equinox.
The Bible mentions Elizabeth being 6 months pregnant at that time (Actually, in her 6th month), so they count three months on from that and get John the Baptist's birth date at June 25th.
Which happens to be the date of Summer Equinox in the Roman empire.

Is there anything in the Bible to support these dates?
No. Of course not.

"Before the introduction of Sol Invictus in AD 274, there were no pagan solstice celebrations going on near where Christians were. (True story.)"

That's the value of that writer's truth :-D

Here's a couple of Pagan Winter Solstice celebrations going on during the first two centuries after common reckoning in Rome and around there:

Romans celebrated Winter Solstice a whole month before - Brumalia - and it ended with Saturnalia and the day of Winter Solstice on 25th of December.
The Zoroastrians celebrated Winter Solstice. They had been around for at least 500 years before Jesus was born.
Mithraism was developed from Zoroastrianism and was VERY popular among the Roman soldiers the first centuries of common era. They celebrated 25th of December as the birthday of their God.
The Persians celebrated the Birth of the Sun, which they have been doing for some 5000 years. Not 500. Five thousand years.
In Petra a Virgin mother and her Divine Son was celebrated at Winter Solstice.
In Egypt Osiris rebirth on Winter Solstice was celebrated.
Another large group of Roman soldiers followed the Egyptian Gods and they celebrated Horus' birthday on Winter Solstice day, 25th of December.

The truth is that people love their festivals and celebrations. So - getting people to STOP celebrating is not going to work. If you make them choose between a party and a religion they know nothing about, they are going to choose the party. So, the Christians did what everyone always does. They ate the cake and kept it, too. They converted, and adjusted the religion to fit their habits, morals, values and traditions, renamed everything that wasn't "kosher" - like the Pagan Midwinter celebrations (not one specific one, all of them) were renamed Christmas. The God whose birth was being celebrated was said to be Jesus. 
How do I know they did this? They still do this. This is what Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick does in this article. Let's adopt the Pagan ways and NAME them "Christian", so we can pretend we are still Christian.

One thing I fully agree on with this is that - Christmas wasn't much even celebrated by early Christians. It went pretty much unnoticed more than 1000 years. Christians celebrated the Easter and Annunciation (Spring Equinox... have you ever wondered WHY the Christian Easter is bound to Spring Equinox?)

"But surely a reference to something happening in nature ought to be considered pagan and not Christian! 
Says who? Are you saying that Christians ought not pay attention to the rhythms of the natural world that they believe God created for His people to live in? Really? Nature stuff is pagan? Please."

Pay attention, sure, but celebrating it? Yes, that is definitely Pagan, and Christians shouldn't be doing any such things.

"The idea that certain days should be set aside for special religious occasions isn’t unique to pagans."

No-one has said it is. This is a question of HOW certain days are set aside, and WHICH days.

"So when early Christians decided to start having Christian feast days, they did so originally based on the Jewish inheritance"

Originally, perhaps, but that was over when they started talking about Jesus' birthday and celebrating equinoxes and solstices. That was basing their feast days on Pagan inheritance. Jews didn't celebrate birthdays.

"Marking time with religious significance isn’t pagan. It’s just human. To deny this part of our religious consciousness is essentially to deny that time and creation in general can be sanctified by the presence of God."

Well... that can be discussed. It nevertheless isn't any argument about Christmas not being Pagan.

ALL the early religions were Pagan. Human nature is Pagan. The thing with Christianity is kind of denying the "being just human". The whole religion is an effort to become Godlike, pure, good, perfect, like the son of God born as human, to show every human what a human can be.
Jesus managed fine without celebrating Christmas. You should be able too.
You said even in your writing that a lot of Christians manage just fine without celebrating Christmas. So you should be, too.
Frankly, it's only Christian apologists who try to deny the Pagan roots of Christmas. Everyone else admits it, because it's obvious. You should be asking yourself why you are so hard trying to deny that.

"So even if that thing was once pagan in some way, we’re taking it and making it not pagan now. So there. That’s what we do. BAM. It’s not pagan any more, that thing. It’s been transformed. So it’s Christian now."

"It's not Pagan, because I say it's not, and there isn't anything Pagan anyway, and if you insist, I'm gonna tell dad, and then you'll be sorry!" :-D

Renaming things to sound less Pagan and more Christian is cheating. I don't care that you rename them and pretend they aren't Pagan, God doesn't care, we know the truth and we will judge you by the truth. You are the only one you are cheating here, and the people who listen to you. You are lying to yourself and justifying your wrongdoing because you don't want to stop.

"Real paganism resolved into one basic action: Making sacrifices (often of animals, but always of food) to false gods and sharing that meal with them so that you can commune with the demon who is masquerading as a god worthy of worship."

I suppose you think it would be so nice if you could reduce Pagans into some horrors of imaginary past, but you are wrong about this as well. Real Paganism is any spirituality that isn't Abrahamic, that is Jewish, Christian or Islamic. Which means that what you find in a book store next to tarot cards is just as much Paganism as the prehistoric religions, the Greco-Roman Paganism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and any of the other thousands of religions the people on this planet engage in. Assuming that they are all wrong, that all the millions of people before them and after them, are all... uh, I don't even know what that little twit thinks everyone else but people who SAY they believe "right" are, and frankly, no-one should give a dime for opinions like that either. Let's say that I agree with C.S.Lewis on that matter.

"But I said, Alas Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.
Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one?
The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted."

- C.S.Lewis; The Last Battle
Quite a lot of religions - the Abrahamic included - offer many different kinds of sacrifices. We have found non-food items like gold having been sacrificed. People have sacrificed prayers, smoke, songs, votives, and many other kinds of non-edible things to Gods all over the planet.
What is very, very rare, is human sacrifice. Christianity is one of the few religions that is based on a human sacrifice, a human who was begging not to be sacrificed, and whose sacrificed is over and over re-enacted in thousands of churches all over this planet.This sacrifice was made to a God the people who made the sacrifice didn't believe in, a God who didn't ask for the sacrifice, who didn't want the sacrifice, who had explicitly told his followers to not sacrifice people to Him. This sacrifice was 100% unnecessary. There was nothing in the agreement between God and the Jewish people that needed in any way to be renegotiated or negated, and the fact that the Jewish people is still around is proof enough of that.

I think you have misunderstood the stakes here, Andrew. It's not about who's right and who's wrong. It's not about who is the ridiculous and ignorant one here. It's not about prestige, it's not about how many people you can convince. It's about your soul.
"Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them."
- Jeremiah 10:2
Is Christmas really worth it? Are you so keen on following the heathen ways, that you would risk your salvation? Do you seriously think Jesus cares about the words you use? That Jesus doesn't know your "Christmas" is badly disguised Pagan festivities mashed up into one and decorated with modern fairytales, simply because you call it "Christmas"?

You are choosing Christmas over salvation. It's totally fine with me. You do with your soul what ever you want to. And I love Christmas - or joulu as I call it - I understand fully why you love it, too. But if you seriously believe your God doesn't care that you do exactly what he told you to not to do, you are wrong.

Monday, December 2, 2019

30 Yule-y Breakfasts

This is MY Yule - Finnish, Scandinavian... you adjust the breakfasts for your own preferences.
What is important here is that it's Yule-y. Set the table in Yule colors, decorations, add candles.

* ricepudding with cinnamon

* saffron scones, muffins, french toast...

* Finnish star danishes

* winter fruit salad

* Christmas smoothie
* smoothie bowl, yogurt, fil, you can decorate your breakfast porridge like this

* christmas toast

You can use small letter cutters to press a message on toast and then toast it in the toaster - if you don't press hard, the letters won't separate.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Elf Ideas part 3

"Happy, our Elf On The Shelf, got a little bit creative with the Q-tips last night."
You could go through Christmas movies - the elf brings a new movie every day and does something related... so - watching Elf and eating spaghetti with meatballs, candy and maple syrup. Perhaps not with savory sauce.

gummy bear tree

Feel free to use the Stormtrooper 365 as inspiration

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Elf ideas 2

Perhaps a whole family?

Tiny elf pancakes for breakfast... Now, there's some work for you

The elf TPd the child's doorway... caught redhanded outside the door

Champion of cup stacking

Then, I love this Christmas decorating: it took a LOT of time of a whole team, so don't think you can do something similar in one night... but if you start cutting snowflakes and making other paper decorations NOW, you might get SOMETHING...
I love the idea, Christmas elf decorating your home...

endangering life and limb to decorate your home

making decorations...

cutting snowflakes

these snowman donuts are so cute. :-) I like a helpful elf who makes nice surprises like this.

 micro popcorn

egg faces

So... if you make your own elf and give it a face of anything that cannot be wiped clean, don't do this - or perhaps have a piece of tape over its face, that you can then just remove and have it clean. You could give it a napkin or apron that is all stained.

Bowling fun with an ugly christmas sweater

Then here's some printable elf jokes