Christians misappropriated the Winter Solstice holiday. The birth of Christ wasn't celebrated until at least 300 years after he was supposedly born. And the date of his birth is attributed to dates ranging from October until May. Many Christian sects, including the Purtitans found the celebration of Christmas to be immoral and just wrong.
I'm all for lit up Christmas trees and decorated homes. Winter's dark days are helped along by the sight of those cheery lights. Saturnalia, the Roman version of the Solstice celebration was a time of wild sex and drinking -- a tradition still found in the modern office Christmas party.
Giving gifts to each other to celebrate the date that the days finally noticablly get longer makes sense to me too. We need something to do in the dark and snowy days of winter, and something to keep the kids busy and out of our hair. New toys and winter clothes and cheery thoughtfulness brighten those dark, cold days.
I am also all for celebrating that the days are getting longer at last. Winter is tough and the darkness doesn't help. Sunset at 4:15 in the afternoon stinks. Hooray for longer days!
But I think the Christians should stop trying to keep the holiday all for themselves. Many of those Christians don't pay much attention to the teachings of Christ anyhow. They preach intolerance and anger at anyone who doesn't agree with their taking over of the winter solstice. I simply can't imagine Christ getting in a snit over that happening.
If the Christians want to make Christmas their own, I really don't have a problem with it as long as they don't insist everyone who isn't Christian celebrate in the name of Christ.
I, like so many others, love the Victorian version of Christmas with the trees, parties, gifts, family gettogethers and feasts, cookies, and decorations. But don't try to force me to believe that there should be anything religious in all of this.