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Christmas: The Reason Secular Christmas Carols Came to Be

The Nativity of Christ

The Nativity of Christ

Christmas begins

Christians in the third century AD did not like the way the Winter Solstice was observed so they came up with a plan. They decided to take the focus away from what they considered debauchery, drunkenness, lewd behavior, and orgies that took place around the 21st of the month. They chose the date December 25 to celebrate the birth of Jesus and believed this would have everyone focusing on His light and love. Over time people began to say that Christ was born on December 25 but those who first began Christmas never said that. There is also the fact that even though the carol The First Noel speaks of a "cold winter night" Shepherds would not have been in the fields with their flock in the cold. There is an old saying that "turnabout is fair play" and what those early Christians did came back upon them. They wanted to interfere with a winter custom and celebrate Jesus but soon after The Great Depression those who were not Christ followers found a way to take the focus away from His birth on the holiday set up in His Name.

Blame it on racism

Prior to The Great Depression (1929-1939) all things Christmas was Fubu (for us by us). The carols that were sung like O Come All Ye Faithful and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen were based on scripture, in hymnals, and sung in church Nonchristians in Hollywood began writing songs about the season like Winter Wonderland and Jewish Americans trying to break into the entertainment business began writing holiday music like White Christmas because they had to eat. Times were tough during the Depression era and in addition, Hollywood did not embrace Jews so they did what they could in order to survive. They began writing Christmas songs without a focus on the birth of Christ. One Christmas carol that was penned by two nonbelievers did allude to the birth of Christ. Do You Hear What I Hear was written by husband and wife Noel Regney a Catholic turned Unitarianist and Gloria Shayne Baker who was Jewish. From the hard times of the Depression and the indifference and racism in Hollywood came some of the most popular holiday songs that are still sung today. The next time you hear Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer just remember from whence they came. There is also the factor of celebrities doing whatever is necessary to maintain their relevance in Tinseltown. Werner Klemperer and John Banner were both Jewish men who portrayed Colonel Wilhelm Klink and Seargent Shultz on Hogans Heroes yet they sang Silent Night on a Bing Crosby Christmas special.

The evolution of Christmas

Christmas has evolved over the years in many ways especially nonreligious people saying they love the holiday but don't acknowledge the birth of Christ. There are also Christians who believe they should not celebrate because the Bible does not mention Christmas and the fact that most historians say Christ was probably born in the late spring or early fall. Everyone has a right to believe or not believe, celebrate or not celebrate whatever they desire but here is y opinion on the matter. If you are a believer we should celebrate Christ every day of the year but there is nothing wrong with going Him extra emphasis in December because it's a matter of the heart. I grew up singing the Christian carols in the hymn books and can still recall all four stanza's off most. Those songs bear the presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit and have led people to salvation. Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater because in the world we live today we need Christ more than ever. We never know when someone listening to the lyrics may be drawn to salvation which is the ultimate point of our witnessing. I cannot tell you how many times I felt peace and comfort walking in the downtown area where I live or going through a store in the mall upon hearing a traditional carol. Even when they are played in the backdrop of soap operas I am overwhelmed by the lyrics or the melody if it's instrumental. I don't believe should throw Christmas away but rather exalt Christ within the season and every other day of the year.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Cheryl E Preston

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