The video demonstrates a cultural materialist argument by showing the various ways Christmas was celebrated throughout the world, through different time periods, and eventually how all celebrations came to be the Christmas we all know and love.
Everyone assumes Christmas was the birth of Christ but Christ wasn’t even born in December. The biblical origins of Christ is Mary and Joseph bedded down into a barn and the next day Mary gave birth to the son of God. For early Europeans Christmas was a scary time, they collected the biggest evergreen logs, set them on fire and began to feast. In Rome, Romans celebrated Saturnalia which was an orgy of food and drink that went on for a month.
Social order was turned around for the Romans, the master would become the slave and the slave would become the master. For the Roman children, Juvenilia was celebrated for the children themselves and for fertility.Mythra the sun god was born on December 25 and was announced as the holiest day of the year.
Christians didn’t even celebrate the birth of Christ because they themselves did not know when Christ was born. The bible doesn’t state when Christ was born but there seems to be evidence in the scriptures, Christ was probably born sometime in the spring due to Sheppards checking their flocks every night, they would not be checking the flocks in December. Since pagans were celebrating Mythras birthday on December 25, Christians believed December 25 seemed natural to be celebrate Christ’s birthday.Churches knew they could not outlaw the pagan traditions of Christmas so they adopted them. Evergreen trees were brought inside the houses and were decorated with apples as ornaments but were symbolized as the Garden of Eden. In Germany, evergreens were always brought into the house and decorated to celebrate Christmas. In 1848, the first ever pictured Christmas tree was captured, spread around to the English, and the English started to bring evergreens into their homes and decorated them for the holiday tradition of Christmas.
In Mexico, Joel R Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico brought a green and red plant which today we call mistletoe. The first Christmas card came out in 1843 which became an overnight sensation to Americans and Europeans. Christmas seemed to be in place with Christmas trees, christmas cards, and mistletoe but the Victorians thought a jolly elf was missing. Santa Claus originated from a Greek bishop named Saint Nicolas, on December 6, he would give presents to good children and the bad kids would walk away empty handed and crying. A minister in New York created a poem describing a saint who would come down the chimney on Christmas Eve.
Santa Claus was described in all shapes and sizes: a pagan sorcerer, frightening knome, a drunkard on a turkey driven slay, until one day in 1863 a cartoonist settled the matter by creating a rounder and jollier Saint. In 1939, Robert L. May made a sidekick for Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer to attract shoppers. In the end, the battle for Christmas was fought and won by children.