First I'll say that I don't care for Christmas because it's not even really the day Jesus Christ was born. No one knows the real date but they estimate it was December 25th. I'm starting to not take things at face value anymore. I have learned that I must examine, scrutinize, and question everything. Though I believe in a creator whom I call God, I have begun to doubt many of the words written my man used in the religions of the book. I still consider myself a Christian but truthfully it was a religion created by a man. The things written in the Bible were written by men. The New Testament was written by men decades after Jesus's murder by the Romans. It is a second hand account of things that were supposed to have happened. I really do not know if Jesus is who they say he was. If anything I will just say that I think he was a teacher and possibly a prophet. I just have the feeling that things are not what they seem. But how can one ever really know until the experience the supernatural for themselves? All we have to rely on are words and the faith in those words.

Before I go more into some of the origins of the Christmas tradition specifically the Christmas tree. I want to recommend a book by James Carroll called Constantine's Sword after reading it you may start to wake up and realize that things are really not what they seem.

All of the material I will be citing simply comes from the History Channel and it's Christmas feature. I have chosen a source that is rather mainstream other than some obscure author who could be thrown about by some dissidents.

The Christmas tree did not begin with Christianity so tell those fools over at Fox News to cease with their war on Christmas. Even that war is not a new one they are merely recycling it from the early 1900's.

"Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return."

Witches, ghosts, evil spirits, illness and a sun God you don't say? Will someone tell Speaker of the US House Dennis Hastert that?

The ancient Egyptians worshipped a god called Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a blazing disk in his crown. At the solstice, when Ra began to recover from the illness, the Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes which symbolized for them the triumph of life over death.

Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called the Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To mark the occasion, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs.

Interesting. Maybe we need to change the name to happy Ra day? Or happy Saturn day?

"In Northern Europe the mysterious Druids, the priests of the ancient Celts, also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. The fierce Vikings in Scandinavia thought that evergreens were the special plant of the sun god, Balder.

Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles."

Even the Druids and Vikings got in on the fun. Finally Christians decided to do the Christmas tree thing. Leave it to Christians to take something that everyone else was celebrating and try to claim it as solely their own as hundreds of years passed.

"Most 19th-century Americans found Christmas trees an oddity. The first record of one being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania, although trees had been a tradition in many German homes much earlier. The Pennsylvania German settlements had community trees as early as 1747. But, as late as the 1840s Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and not accepted by most Americans.

It is not surprising that, like many other festive Christmas customs, the tree was adopted so late in America. To the New England Puritans, Christmas was sacred. The pilgrims's second governor, William Bradford, wrote that he tried hard to stamp out "pagan mockery" of the observance, penalizing any frivolity. The influential Oliver Cromwell preached against "the heathen traditions" of Christmas carols, decorated trees, and any joyful expression that desecrated "that sacred event." In 1659, the General Court of Massachusetts enacted a law making any observance of December 25 (other than a church service) a penal offense; people were fined for hanging decorations. That stern solemnity continued until the 19th century, when the influx of German and Irish immigrants undermined the Puritan legacy."

Tsk, tsk, tsk all ye heathens. Thou makest a mockery of a most sacred event upheld by ahem, other Christians of the time! Oh, the mockery! Damn those Treasure Island pagans and their $30 miniature fake Christmas tree! Eventually Queen Victoria and Prince Albert took up the "trend" and it has been the tradition of Bill O'Reilly, John Gibson, and Jerry Falwell ever since.

Awwwww...., now excuse while I go and drown my disgust in non-alcoholic egg nog. By the way where did that tradition come from?

My Christmas gift to you all is a quote from a man most hated by many of the capitalists who have their stockings hung by the chimney with care, waiting for them to be overstuffed with the gift of tax cuts, subsidies, privitization, and deregulation that Saint George will be bringing in the night.

"Religion is the opiate of the masses" --- Karl Marx

On Cheney, on Rumsefld, on Perle, and on Norquist........