Not in the mood for celebrating the Nativity? Well, there are other events you can observe:
There is the Roman pagan holiday commemorating the “birthday of the unconquered sun” or the winter solstice. The god of agriculture Saturn was honored with a festival that began December 17 and ended on or around December 25.
Today in 1066 William the Conqueror was crowned King of England.
Today in 1926 Hirohito became Emperor of Japan.
Today in 1989 ousted dictator Necole Ceausescu and his wife were executed by a pro-democracy coalition in Romania.
Today is Isaac Newton’s birthday (1642).
Also the birthday of Mohammed Ali Jinnah (1876), founder of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
There are probably a few more happenings that occurred on December 25, but the above are good openers.
I’m sure the most of us are well aware that Christ was not born today; that many of our Christmas customs can be traced to pagan holidays and have nothing to do with Christ’s birth; that the holiday is commercialized; that Christmas is one major event that measures and effects the economy; that the sentiment and hope of “Peace on Earth” is often lost in the mad shuffle of gifts and parties—all kinds of hypocrisy we can acknowledge with a clear conscience. I am beginning to think Ebenezer Scrooge was chastised for being right.
Rather than condemn us for blasphemy, I’d prefer to take stock in what our diverse adopted customs have become: a spirited celebration of hope, peace, and joy. And in that spirit, have a merry Christmas.