Christmas Crazy

A friend recently told me that she was suffering from "the Christmas Crazy."  What she was referring to is the commercialism, stress, anxiety, materialism, and selfishness that the season of "giving" and spirit of Christmas has become.  If you google Christmas, you will likely find that it is a "Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus (Britannica.com 2019)."  However, when you study the origins of Christmas, you will find that most scholars believe that Christmas represents the pagan celebration of the winter solstice and that Jesus was likely born in the spring, not in the winter. 

December 25th was chosen to represent the birth of Jesus by the powers of this world because, "It was a very dark occult festival that celebrated the birthday of the 'sun god' in all his various forms.  Unfortunately, most Christians have never learned about the pagan origins of Christmas.  Most Christians seem to believe that the history of Christmas began when Jesus was born.  But that is not the truth.  [...]  ...the Roman Catholic religion latched on to the birthday of the sun god and married it to the birth of Christ.  This birthday of the sun god can be traced all the way back to ancient Babylon (http://thefinalhour.blogspot.com/2010/12/history-of-christmas-december-25th-was.html 2019)."

I had heard that the name "Santa" is anagram for "Satan" and that he is dressed in all red because this is the color of blood or sacrifice.  I did some research of origins of the name and liked what one website, https://www.lnstar.com/mall/main-areas/xmas-santa-origin2.htm, had to say: 

The origin of Santa Claus depends on which country's story you choose to adopt. Santa Claus comes from the Dutch words "Sinter Klaas", which is what they call their favorite saint, St. Nicholas. He is said to have died on December 6, A.D. 342. December 6th is celebrated as his feast day, and in many countries this is the day he arrives with his presents and punishments.

Nicholas lived in what is now called Turkey. He was born about A.D. 280 in the town of Patras. [...] He was renowned for his extreme kindness and generosity – often going out at night and taking presents to the needy.

In newly Christianized areas where the pagan Celtic and Germanic cults remained strong, legends of the god Wodan were blended with those of various Christian saints; Saint Nicholas was one of these. There were Christian areas where Saint Nicholas ruled alone; in other locations, he was assisted by the pagan Dark Helper (the slave he had inherited from the Germanic god Wodan). In other remote areas, where the Church held little power, ancient pockets of the Olde Religion controlled traditions. Here the Dark Helper ruled alone, sometimes in a most confusing manner, using the cover name of Saint Nicholas or "Klaus," without in any way changing his threatening, Herne/Pan, fur-clad appearance. (This was the figure later used by the artist Nast as the model for the early American Santa Claus.)

By absorbing such pagan feasts and traditions, the Christian Church could subtly bring in its own theology: in this case, establishing the good Saint Nicholas, bringer of love and gifts, while grudgingly allowing the presence of the Olde Religion's Herne/Pan, but only as a slave to Saint Nicholas. Thus, in parts of Europe, the Church turned Herne into Saint Nicholas' captive, chained Dark Helper; none other than Satan, the Dark One, symbolic of all evil. His only remaining tasks now were to carry the bag, scare maidens and children into devout behavior, and drag sinners and pagans off to the Christian hell. Yet, in spite of this character assassination, the poor masses continued to see in this enslaved Dark Helper a reflection of their own enslavement. He remained their Herne, thumbing his nose at the Christian Church; a mischievous, nostalgic reminder of the days of their own free and lusty pagan past.

In other words, perhaps we are collectively buying into a holiday, both figuratively and literally, that was created to conjure up the very drama, chaos, confusion, frustration, irritability, anger, sadness, fear and anxiety that the dark forces of this world feed off of.  We worry about having enough money to buy gifts for our loved ones.  We fear that our loved ones will be upset with us if we don't give them a gift.  We encounter family drama and unresolved trauma that bubbles to the surface longing for resolution.  But in our busyness, in our dissociation, in our craziness, we miss the true meaning of Christmas:  to love one another, to be kind to one another, to be compassionate and understanding of one another, to help each other out especially those who are suffering, and most importantly, never lose faith and always have hope.  After all, Jesus was born to give us hope, to show us the way to enlightenment and spread his message of love.   

Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV)

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

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