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View Diary: Ten Things You Might Not Know About Christmas (193 comments)

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  •  Too many errors in this article .... (9+ / 0-)

    The origin of the christmas tree is when christians cut down Pagans' living Yule Trees, decorated with foodstuffs and "majick" symbols to pay homage to wildlife, all life, and help the other living things (which they knew their own lives depended on) through the harshest time of year. Similar to all northern Pagan tribes that shared whatever they had with others to help their whole community survive, not just a greedy few. This being the origin of "gift giving" and "pot-latch" ceremonies during the Winter Solstice on many continents from many northern cultures.

    They also decorated their Yule Trees with majickal symbols and ornaments; such as mirrored glass balls, then called "witches' orbs", that revealed hidden things from all directions. (Revealing what happened back then to this very day. That's some powerful "majick".) Pagans revered the Evergreen symbol of life that survived through winter and worshiped it, honored it, admired it, cherished it; they didn't kill it and bring it in their homes where it would die.

    These christian vandals who had cut down the Pagans' decorated living Yule Trees, to destroy their holiday and beliefs, couldn't burn the still-green wood for heating. They also didn't want to be found out either. (Try to explain to your neighbors why there's a cut-down tree with decorations on it outside your door. Let alone explaining it being there to anyone that might be your neighboring Pagan.) So they hid these decorated and cut-down trees in their homes in a less-used corner until they dried out and could be used for heating. Some even hanging them upside-down in the rafters to keep them out of the way as they dried (hence the Germanic custom of the upside-down tree hung from the ceiling).

    These murderous and destructive christians then invented the "christmas" holiday fable to tell their children and visitors, to cover-up their vandalism and destruction of yet another Pagan Solstice festival and ritual and property. As recorded by Charlemagne, "And they cut down the mighty Pagan tree, and up sprang the birth of our christ." As christianity was forced on others by death or threat (the same way it was spread throughout all the Americas), it became more common to display the tree in a prominent place. Near a window or main entry, displaying it proudly like a rack of antlers from your most recent hunt. A badge-of-honor that you were a "good christian" and weren't one of those "evil" Pagans. You did your required christian duty by destroying yet another Pagan's property, life, and beliefs. (Usually just to save your own life from being taken by thieving murderous christians.)

    By putting up a tree IN your home you're only worshiping and recreating the vandalism of lying and deceitful christians. Decorate a living one outside, decked-out with foods for your native wildlife (and symbols of importance to you). All life will thank you.

    Have you never once asked yourself, "Now why on earth would I cut down a perfectly good living tree and bring it IN my home? I can't even burn it for heat. And what's with all those strange ornaments? This whole practice is just absurd, no matter which way you look at it."

    Now you have the answers to those questions.

    •  Good comment, (4+ / 0-)

      but I'd like to know who these "pagans" were... no one at that time would have thought of themselves that way; "pagan" was a term applied to non-Christians by Christians. Just like there is no group who refers to themselves as "gentiles". What was the time period this was happening?
      My impression is that we're talking about the early middle ages in Northern Europe, Germanic and Norse groups, but I'd like to know more specifically. Thanks.

      Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

      by ubertar on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:42:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, Pagan refers to many, EVERYONE's ancestors (1+ / 2-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        Timaeus, AaronInSanDiego

        If you are lucky enough to have an original copy of The Oxford English Dictionary v2 (on CD) or earlier, because christian editors deleted all these definitions on v3 and after, you will read:

        Pagan Definition - OED v2: [ad. L. pagan-us, orig. 'villager, rustic; civilian, non-militant', opposed to m_les 'soldier, one of the army', in Christian L. (Tertullian, Augustine) 'heathen' as opposed to Christian or Jewish. The Christians called themselves m_lites 'enrolled soldiers' of Christ, members of his militant church, and applied to non-Christians the term applied by soldiers to all who were 'not enrolled in the army'.

        1. One of a nation or community which does not hold to the non-nature-based (unnatural) christian religion, or does not worship a christian god; a heathen (i.e. 'dweller on the heath', one who lives among the heather). In earlier use practically = non-Christian, and so including Muslims and, sometimes, Jews. (clarifications in parens, mine)

        So when I use the term Pagan, it refers to any culture which was non-christian -- absolutely everyone's ancestors on earth. The only true "christians" are those that were birthed from their fictional jesus' family line. And just like Micky Mouse never had any real ancestors, that means there are no real christians today. Never were.

        Today the oft-referenced OED, the very standard of English word definitions, has but one simple definition of "Pagan": "One who does not believe in the one true god."

        (Lowercase of their god, mine; for the respect that lying, manipulative, and deceitful christians deserve. They have made themselves into a non-proper-noun. Capitalization of a title or word is deemed as a note of respect in the written language. When they renounce and give back every last custom, ritual, and holiday to their rightful cultural owners, then perhaps their names might deserve capitalization again one day. Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. Because if they did there'd be absolutely nothing left of christianity. And don't even hold your breath waiting for respect from any christian, they don't spread their beliefs that way. That's how it got this far.)

        •  Actually... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne, Temmoku, Timaeus

          I'm looking at my new OED and it has a rather nice definition of "pagan" including the paragraphs you quoted and an added definition of "a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions."

          Given the history of the term (as the OED does) that makes sense too.

        •  Thanks, but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that didn't answer my questions at all. I asked because you seem well informed on this. Who, specifically, were the groups who originated the tree-decorating rituals, and when? I'm assuming it was well before Christianity existed. At what point did Christians start cutting the trees down?

          Now that you've clarified that you're using the word "pagan" in a very broad way, it's even clearer that it's too broad to mean much in this context. It's not what these groups would have called themselves. Who were they? To call them pagan tells us as much as calling them earthlings.

          I'm curious about the details of the history of this. If you don't know, you don't know, but I was hoping you would. I've heard about this in a broad, general way for a long time, but I'd really like to know more specifics.

          Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

          by ubertar on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:25:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  wow (11+ / 0-)

      you have some serious anger issues

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:46:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I did my research. (24+ / 0-)

      I stand by it. Sorry you feel you have to dump on something so light-hearted.

      Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

      by Purple Priestess on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 05:39:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I prefer to celebrate the truth rather than lies. (1+ / 2-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        Murphoney, lazybum

        I guess I like celebrating the truth rather than some self-serving christian lie just so I and others can temporarily "feel good" in some bliss-ninny life imposed on them by an ignorance inducing religion.

        •  You'll have a hard time celebrating the "truth" (13+ / 0-)

          if it's based on the narrative you gave in your first comment here. Your highly generalized comment about "northern cultures" doesn't make a lot of sense since there were a wide range of cultures that inhabited the northern regions of the world. Are you talking about northern Asian cultures? North American cultures? Northern European cultures?

          As an example of one problematic statement: the "potlatch" was a specific ceremony used by a specific group of cultures in the Pacific Northwest. On what evidence can you argue that it took place "among all northern cultures"?

          (And lest you think that I am just critiquing your posts randomly, I have a PhD in anthropology with another degree in Religious Studies. I'm not writing that for any reason other than to give my bona fides in the discussion.)

        •  First of all (15+ / 0-)

          I am not Christian. I am Pagan. Have been for 40 years. A simple look at my profile would have told you that, had you bothered.

          Secondly, I do research with diligence. I have a personal library on the topics of Paganism, folklore and traditions that puts many actual libraries to shame. If you found a source that says what you think is the only "truth," bully for you. But don't come in to my diary and start insulting people simply because they don't stick to your very selective narrative.

          Kindly take your anger and other nasty baggage and go deal with it elsewhere. I wish you well...


          Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

          by Purple Priestess on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:08:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Fun stuff ... Christmas is a tangled web ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Temmoku, lazybum, FiredUpInCA

        ... of traditions, new and ancient, and naked hucksterism, no question.

        To give credit for the shaping of our modern Santa, Haddon Sundblom was the name of the commercial artist who did the deed for Coca-Cola. Putting aside all other baggage about the holiday and how it's evolved, his work was brilliant.

    •  Not sure how to take your post (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Temmoku, FiredUpInCA

      but I always wondered about the upside down Christmas trees that they hang above the streets in Graz every December.

    •  Do you have any citations? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stormicats, Ahianne, klompendanser

      No offense intended, but some of your information seems reminiscent of of those loopy neo-pagan-re-inventing-history narratives that don't have a solid basis in reality  (stuff written by Starhawk, for example).

      As someone who loves history and is a bit of a nature-worshipper, I wish more reliable information existed about pre-Christian, northern European pagan cosmology - but I am not convinced it does.

      And call me picky, but for anyone that burns wood for heat, the idea of "hiding" an unlimbed evergreen tree pilfered from a neighbor in an "unused" corner of the house is a bit silly.

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