Cameron, Christmas and Pagans

Kirk Cameron by Gage Skidmore.jpgKirk Cameron, that wise and sometimes gothic voice of the Christian faith (I am still wondering which Christian faith he represents), is making a bold statement in his upcoming film “Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas.” His claim? The pagans are hijacking Christmas. I am really quite sure it was the other way around.

You have to watch the trailer for this movie to get the drift of Cameron’s “epic” work. Well, maybe you don’t need to watch it to understand that this is a feeble attempt to glorify and already over-the-top holiday.

We all know that the Christmas tree was taken from the pagan Yule tree; that the Yule log was meant to show that the light will return after the winter solstice. We give presents in stocking based on Nordic religion of placing gold coins in stocking as wedding gifts. December 25 was when the Romans celebrated Saturnalia, the rebirth of the sun. Even New Year’s Day started as a Roman holiday, complete with decorations of evergreens symbolizing the rebirth of the earth, not the celebration of the circumcision of the child Jesus.

What makes Cameron think that Christmas came first? Though the Dutch brought their version of Christmas to the New World, the celebration of Christmas, the giving of gifts, having family dinners, etc., is relatively new in society. It was the end of the 19th century when we begin to see Christmas being celebrated as we see today.

What makes me wonder is that most of the modern history of Christmas concerns the legend of Santa Claus, St. Nicholas and Sinterklaas. There were multiple St. Nicholas: from Russia, the Netherlands and Turkey. None were depicted as that jolly old man in a red suit riding a sled pulled by reindeer.

What makes Cameron’s argument so potent is the fact that others wish to make Christmas a national holid… Damn it already is, isn’t it. Why? Because so many people wanted that day off from work it was easier to declare it a national holiday than fight with the masses. Or so the story goes.

If the Christian fundamentalists have their way “Merry Christmas” would be the national greeting of the season of the holiday of lights celebrated by multiple religious groups. Personally, I can name five modern religious holidays surrounding the winter solstice. Thus answering Cameron’s question as to what “Season’s Greetings” is all about.

You can read Cameron’s entire interview on the Christian Post web site. I did and was amazed that a grown and rather intelligent man not only can believe the myths but is so inarticulate concerning the entire enterprise of today’s Christmas.

What does Cameron wish to achieve from his movie? In his words, “I hope people will walk out of there and throw both arms around their Christmas tree, and both arms around the gifts and their children and the feasting and say, ‘Christmas is all about Christ. We want to dive headfirst in telling the whole world this story of God and his kingdom and how they have been invited to join it.'” Damn – poor trees.

If the tree and gifts are the greatest parts of Cameron’s Christmas, then I feel genuinely sorry for the man. He really has no idea of the facts of his holiday, the origins of the stories and the true meaning of the birth of Christ.

I am genuinely glad that most pagans, Humanists and atheists, as well as Christians, know more about the Christmas holiday season than this evangelical former child star.

About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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