Origins of Things About Christmas, Part 2

mistletoe.jpg

Mistletoe.

This shrub has been thought to have magic power to ward evil off. Branches of which were hung over doorways to keep evil spirits out. Another pagan ritual. In Scandinavia, mistletoe has been a long time regarded as a protection against fire and lightning as it also was thought to have the power to heal and ensure fertility.

While as for the kissing under a mistletoe, it goes back to ancient fertility rites where the early Scandinavian people based their belief.

stockings.jpg

Stockings.

The custom of hanging stockings on Christmas Eve is connected with the origin of St. Nicolas. The tale has it there was a time when St. Nicolas threw some gold coins down a chimney and they landed in a stocking which was drying on the hearth.

tree.jpg

Tree.

This symbol has no doubt evolved from a pagan tradition. Both Norse pagans and Celtic Druids (pre-Christian, ancient societies) revered evergreens as manifestations of deity for it stays alive from year to year. For them it represents everlasting life. The Druids decorate their trees with coins for wealth and various charms for love and fertility. While as the Saxons, the early Germanic pagans, were the first to decorate their trees with lights from candles.

A story is told that one Christmas Eve an English missionary came across a child who was a bout to be sacrificed beneath an oak tree to the god Odin. He rescued the child and ordered the oak tree to be cut down. When this was done, he found a small fir tree growing beside the stump of the oak tree. The fir tree then became a symbol of the Christian faith taking the place of the old pagan religion represented by the oak tree.

Europeans favor smaller trees, from three to four feet in height as opposed to how Americans want theirs as usual, big and grand.

wreath.jpg

Wreath.

These custom directs back from the United States. The Americans were the first to design evergreens and hang them on doors and inside the windows.

Clearly, most, if not all Christmas symbols go back to early pagan traditions. But I dare say that we should not allow the past wrongs of our ancestors dictate how we live presently. It is but imperative to know the cause of the things we do and if at all dictated by the Spirit, renounce all these things and reclaim (as I’ve repeatedly said in the previous article -Part 1) these things back to God. For He owns the world and everything in it.

Allow me to share with you a Psalm chapter that I remember quoting during a worship service in our old church when I was around ten years old. This further reiterates my point on the Lord owning everything and the devil having no place and nothing to claim for himself.

Have a merry and blessed Christmas to us all! 🙂

Psalm Chapter 24

 

 The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. His is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.

Origins of Things About Christmas, Part 2
Tagged on:             

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.