Our Christmas traditions: are they fact or myth?

December 2017 - Cover Story
by Mike Turner

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December 2017 - Cover Story

It’s almost Christmas, and at my house we’ve unpacked the boxes in the attic full of special decorations we only use this time of year.

My wife and I have loads of stuff. The Christmas tree decorations are my particular favorites — everything from the first bauble we bought as a newly married couple over 30 years ago to the set of loopy ceramic penguins that presides over our home from the most visible position on the tree.

Then there are the manger scenes (maybe a half dozen), lights, seasonal candles, table runners, china, and so many knick-knacks I lose count. At Christmas we pull out all the stops and make our home as festive as the holiday itself — all green, and red, and smelling of evergreen.

For those who pay attention to such things, though, the traditions and symbols we love so much pose so large a problem that some Christians refuse to participate in the modern holiday at all. Many of the ways we celebrate Christmas in our modern world actually come from pagan sources.

Christmas trees? Forget about finding any biblical origin to them. They originated in either ancient Rome as a symbol of a god’s victorious return from battle or with Germanic tribes in pre-Christian Europe as a sign of divine favor.

Why did Christ die for you?   www.whyhedied.org

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