Perfect Theology: Is Jesus Really the Reason for the Season? Facts About the History of Christmas and Saint Nicholas Part 3

Image of nativity

The Modern Day Santa Claus is Born

By the year 1809, a man became very famous for his depiction of Santa Claus. His book, The Knickerbocker History was based on the Dutch custom of a man riding a flying horse with a long, white beard. Washington Irving was the author. Following off his heels in 1822 was a professor, Clement Moore, who wrote a poem which became very famous even up to this day, Twas the Night Before Christmas.

This very graphic portrayal of Santa, his eight reindeer and chimneys inspired an illustrator from Bavaria, Thomas Nast, to sketch over 2000 cartoons. By being published in the popular Harper Weekly spanning across 20 years, Santa Claus, or Saint Nicholas, lost his gnome-like or very serious features and came to live at the North Pole having a workshop with elves that kept track of the good and bad deeds of all children.

 Until Coca Cola cornered the market with their old, red, and very fat Santa in 1931, he wore green. You might have even seen the petition and appeal on Facebook to turn him green again. It is a very trendy color these days.

Does Christ Have Anything to do with Christmas?

This time of year should be Santamas. Christ has nothing to do with Christmas. I know people who profess to be followers of Christ who sing Christmas carols while wrapping presents with Santa designs. Putting Santa on their walls and trees and cookies. He climbs up apartments and clings to balconies, too.

It has got to be one or the other, if either! Just stop and consider it for a moment. Think about the mixed messages it sends.

Your first clue, if you are a believer in Christ, is that if the world adores Christmas it must not be holy. People that walk a life apart from Christ want nothing to do with him. Nothing. Keep him as a baby in a manger, in Mary’s arms, with flocks of sheep. Put three wise men there. Sing a song about how Herod encourages the masses to “see what he sees” when in actuality he had every baby boy under the age of two slaughtered.

The Winter Solstice Festivals The history of Christmas

To bring it all together, Christmas has been celebrated for thousands of years. It used to be called Solar-mass or Saturnalia. During this holiday, which fell four days after the winter solstice, or 25th of December, people honored and celebrated the fact that their god, the sun, was coming back to life again. They made special food and passed around gifts. They had orgies. And as with all pagan holidays, some people made their children pass through fire as a living sacrifice.

Under the Roman Empire, this Saturnalia fell between December 17-25. During this time, there were no judges in court. No one was enforcing the law. So it was deemed, “The Week of Lawlessness.” People did what they wanted to people and property. This included licentiousness, fornication, rape and even murder, offering up the lives of innocent men and women. During this week it was also popular to go singing from house to house…naked. Yes. This was the birth of what we know call caroling.

The tradition at the beginning of the week was to pick someone very unpopular and make him or her the “Lord of Misrule.” During this week, people forced this poor soul to indulge in food and sexually gratified themselves with the victim.  The custom ruled that at the end of the week, the “dark force” must be destroyed. The victim was murdered. During this time, Jews were also forced to run naked through the streets.

Watch this space…

By Jori Sams

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