Christmas facts

Editor of the Reformer:

Regarding your recent editorial about the meaning of Christmas ("Remembering the true meaning of Christmas," Nov. 12), I feel this might be a good time to elucidate some facts.

According to the description of the timing of his birth, it appears that he was born in late summer, probably August not December. This is based upon the description of what was happening at the time. So how did we arrive at the date of Dec. 25? After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in about 75 A.D. the Hebrew Christian church's center moved from Jerusalem to Rome. When, under Constantine, the state religion of Rome became Christianity then, to appease the populace, many Roman pagan holidays became incorporated into Christianity including the birth of Jesus. The date of Dec. 25 was celebrated in Rome as Saturnalia or the first time the sun could be ascertained to be returning.


Christianity would then incorporate many other pagan rituals and holidays as it spread throughout the Roman Empire. Much of what we celebrate today has nothing to do with the origins or practices of the original Christianity. It was only with the writings of John that the division between the two occurred.

The true meaning of Christmas or of Christ is not the emphasis on historical inaccuracies, but on the message. It was one of the few times in human history that someone said to just be nice and kind to each other.

David Fagelson, Putney, Nov. 13