Hello friends and family. How goes it?Another holiday about to happen , and you know what that means- corny poetry, stuffed animals with cute messages, serenading, and kissing your diet goodbye with large amounts of chocolate.(You know I’m right. No one will judge you.) But we’re not talking solely about ol’ Valentine’s Day. Some of you single folks must be thinking, praise Jesus. Today we’re going to discuss whether we should celebrate the holidays at all.
During last Christmas season, a couple of individuals expressed how we as followers of Christ shouldn’t celebrate certain holidays or indulge in certain customs because of pagan origins surrounding them. I’ll just give a few examples.
The Christmas tree, which is a holiday custom, originated in ancient Egypt, where evergreen trees represented immortality and fertility.(Ferrell, 40)
“Egyptian priests taught that the evergreen tree sprang forth from the grave of their god Osiris, whom after being murdered by another god, was resurrected through the energy in an evergreen tree”(Ferrell, 40)
Valentine’s Day is said to have originated in Rome, where a festival was celebrated on February 15 to honor Faunus, the Roman deity of agriculture.(“History of Valentines Day”)
Making resolutions and setting goals around New Years is believed to have dated back to ancient Babylon, where Babylonians made promises to their gods hoping they would have a great year.(“History of New Year’s)
Halloween came about during the dark ages. It was originally called devil’s night by the dominant church in Europe, which adopted pagan customs. The day was later rechristened as ‘Halloween’. It was believed that devils would walk around on this night. The Druids of ancient France and Britain were devil worshipers who pushed for a celebration on October 31 to honor their Celtic sun god and the lord of the dead. They worshiped Satan, who was the bringer of death. They believed the dead would rise from their resting places and walk amongst the living. Because of this sacrifices were made for the dead and festivals were held to honor them. The Druids taught that if you did not honor the deceased that when you yourself passed, you would be reincarnated as an animal. (Ferrell, 64;65)
There may not be anything pagan about this one, but I found it an interesting opinion. Someone I know refers to Thanksgiving as Indian Oppression Day, which I kinda get because let’s be honest, the Native Americans got a really raw deal. Their land was seized, they were enslaved, plagued with diseases brought by European settlers, and so many Native Americans passed away on the hectic journey we know as the Trail of Tears. Also, Hollywood has a history of not always portraying them in the best light. Too often they are depicted as savages.
Should we should in these customs and holidays or not?
I believe If you can find Christ or honor Christ in any of these days, go ahead and celebrate them. I celebrate Christmas in remembrance of the greatest gift God gave to us all those years ago- His only begotten son, so that we may have a chance to be saved. Thanksgiving reminds me that I should “give thanks with a grateful heart” and “give thanks to the Holy one”, as a song goes. Valentine’s Day may be a reminder of my occasional loneliness, but it also reminds me to love others as I would myself. It reminds me that I should love God because he loves me.
But why do we need to remember and celebrate these thing just on these particular days of the year, some would argue. To them I say, you don’t have to. The days can just be reminders of how we should go about the entire days of the year. Throughout the year, show love towards others; honor your father and mother so you’ll live a full life; remember it is better to give than to receive; give thanks for all the good you have in your life; and always set goals so you can grow as a human being.
Thank you for reading and God Bless.
History.com Staff. “New Year’s.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2010, http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/new-years.
History.com Staff. “History of Valentine’s Day.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009, http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day.
Ferrell, Vance. Christmas, Easter, and Halloween Where Did They Come From? Altamont: Harvestime Books.