An article on CNN caught my attention.
Did you know this celebration was once illegal?
“That early Christians contended that the date was, variously, May 20, April 18, April 19, May 28, January 2, November 17, November 20, March 12 and March 25 — and that December 25 probably didn’t emerge as the favored date until late in the third century.
That, intentionally or not, grafted the new Christmas onto the old Saturnalia, the most popular celebration of Roman times. The seven-day festival that started December 17 to honor the god Saturn and welcome the winter solstice gave us today’s tradition of holiday greenery, gift giving and the office party (or variations thereof), for the Saturnalia was a time of much drinking, some carousing, certainly unrestrained revelry.
The yin and yang of that has come down to us through the centuries and can be seen today in the battles over the commercialization of Christmas, the popularity of yuletide parties, too many martinis oiling the voices raised in song. A little too much “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and not enough “O Holy Night.”
Full article below.