I dislike the "holidays" for many reasons. Chief amongst them is the fact that it is a misunderstood holiday. Firstly it is not the birthday of Jesus. Jesus was born in the summer or fall. Firstly there were shepherds in fields, and they wouldn’t be there in the winter looking over the flock, specifically not at night. According to Luke 2:1-4 Jesus’ parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census. It is very unlikely that a censuses would be taken in winter, when temperatures are often freezing and roads are in their worst conditions.
On top of that since Elizabeth (John’s mother) two thirds of the way done with her pregnancy when Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:24-36), we can guess time of year Jesus was born if we know when John was born. John’s father, Zacharias, was a priest serving in the Jerusalem temple during the course of Abijah (Luke 1:5). According to many experts these services would be held in the middle of the summer (probably June). While doing that he learned that he and his wife Elizabeth would have a child (Luke 1:8-13). After he completed his service and traveled home, Elizabeth conceived (verses 23-24). Assuming John was conceived towards the end of June, tacking on nine months brings us to the end of March as the most likely time for John’s birth. Adding the difference in ages between John and Jesus (Six months) gives the end of September as the likely time of Jesus’ birth.
So what is Christmas the holiday really all about? A few different things, first Roman holiday (dating from the third century) Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. Meaning "the birthday of the unconquered Sun." The use of the title Sol Invictus allowed all sun gods and goddesses to be worshiped on that day. And it was held on the solstice because that’s when it reversed it’s southward motion. And in order for the Catholic Church to gain more followers it indoctrinated this holiday and incorporated Jesus into many of the Sun Deity roles. The gift giving comes from another Roman holiday–Saturnalia (December 17th). And of course the good old Scandinavian Yule. As a matter of fact, often times that one is blatantly mentioned yet oddly ignored.
And what of Santa Claus? He’s based on St. Nicholas (and possibly/probably Basil of Caesarea), true enough, but what of him now? Adding all this together for why we even celebrate let’s consider what we celebrate. Gift giving; one time of year when we buy gifts for those around us that we normally don’t buy gifts for but feel obligated to do so because it is the time of the year. It’s the only time of the year your distant cousins and various other family members come out of the wood-works to say hi and state that they are still alive and they send you a card and you have to send them one back, it’d be rude not to.
That being said no one gives anyone anything, merely they just trade one object for another and instead of giving a gift just for the sake of it which can only be done when there is no holiday for it. It’s the one of the few times we speak to parts of our family that are distant because of the guilt associated with the holidays.
All in all, why must we force ourselves to set aside specific time for gift giving and being close to our family? And then, why must we celebrate it with the most obnoxious lights and inflatable monstrosities that ten thousand years from now when archaeologists dig these things up they’re going to think we were totally insane with idol worship.
It’s the time of the year when we’re supposed to be our most giving, why do we need a season for that? Are we so bad as a species that we can’t be giving all year?
So, for the sake of all that is good and right, let’s keep the Christ out of Christmas, because he wasn’t there to begin with, and let’s just let it be another day and let’s all just strive to do things for others because it’s a Wednesday, or buy a friend something because the sky is blue. Gifts are given for many reasons, but the best ones are given for no reason at all.