The scents of the freshly cut evergreens, steaming hot cocoa, and Mom’s homemade fudge, right out of the oven, still permeate my senses so much so that if I closed my eyes and opened them again, I wouldn’t be surprised to awake and find myself there, listening to Grandpa’s stories, and nibbling on sugar cookies and candy canes. To this day, I delight in watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, Fat Albert’s Christmas Special, and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Like everything else associated with Christmas, December 25th is pagan in origin. Nowhere in the Bible does God tell us to celebrate the birth of Christ on a designated day, nor did the early Christians do any such thing. The day itself relates to the winter solstice and Yuletide celebrations, honoring the Germanic pagan deity Jul, whereby followers hung mistletoe and slaughtered pigs, hence the customary Christmas ham. Odin, another pagan god, was said to the great hunt for the wild boar, became associated with the Christmas character of Santa Clause. He is said to have rode upon an eight-legged horse and would fly down to people’s homes, leaving gifts inside the boots of children who would leave carrots and straw for his flying horse. The myth of Odin merged with St. Nicholas, and boots became stockings, yet the traditions remain (although children in various countries continue to put their shoes out for Santa on Christmas Eve).