Christmas History

Did you know that Santa Claus was a 4th century bishop in what is now Turkey? That Puritans tried to outlaw Christmas? Or Tiny Tim was originally Little Fred?

An interview with Bruce Forbes in The Browser:

ScreenHunter_04 Dec. 24 16.36What exactly is Christmas? It’s certainly not Jesus’s birthday, is it?

There are several surprises that people encounter when they start to learn about Christmas. One is that Jesus probably wasn’t born on the 25th, because we don’t know when his birthday was. Secondly, it’s a surprise for many people that the early Christians did not celebrate Christmas. It took 300 years or so before there was an annual Christian celebration.

And Christmas originated as a pagan festival long before that, right?

When one studies the history one sees that there were, especially in Europe, many mid-winter festivals that existed prior to Jesus even walking the earth. Then Christians decided to start a birthday celebration, and intentionally set it in the middle of pre-existing mid-winter festivals. So right from the very beginning, the Christmas tradition has always been a mixture of a winter party and a Christian celebration. The struggle of how we balance those two is nothing new.

More here.