Jason Engwer at Triablogue recently linked to a short eBook by J.P. Holding, called “Christmas is Pagan and Other Myths.” Thanks to Amazon Prime, I was able to borrow and read the eBook for free. I expected it to be good, but was pleasantly surprised by his refreshingly rational perspective, as well as his thorough research and documentation.
Christmas-bashing is very popular among conservative Christians, for a couple reasons. Some “anti-Christmas crusaders,” especially the historical examples, are reacting to the Catholic church and the traditions associated with it. On the other hand, many modern “anti-Christmas crusaders” are reacting to the materialistic, self-centered version of Christmas that has been popularized in the West today.
Both of these motivations are fundamentally flawed, because they define their positions based on the people they disagree with. Pagans used evergreen wreaths? We shouldn’t use evergreen wreaths! Catholics invented Christmas? We shouldn’t celebrate Christmas!
Holding thoroughly works through the logical fallacies, “historical” fairy tales, and mis-quoted Scripture references that are brought to bear against Christmas. Even after establishing his point on a Biblical and logical basis, he continues to rigorously investigate and document the many misleading historical claims about Christmas and its origins.
This may not be the book to put in the hands of an “anti-Christmas crusader.” The author’s combative personality will no doubt tend to put his opponents on edge. But this is an excellent book if you are on the fence, or would like to better understand your own position for the next time it comes up.
You can find the Kindle version here.