Monday, December 10, 2007

Any TRUTH to this?? How to sort historical fact from fiction?

I have always heard that the tradition of the Christmas tree was pagan and in fact, celebrating Christmas was pagan.

I am NOT trying to start a debate here (just for those of you who are curious we do celebrate Christmas and do have a tree). But I received the following in my mailbox today and am curious just how true it might be.

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Martin Luther is said to have had the first Christmas tree. He supposedly cut down a fir from a local forest and placed it in his home for his family to enjoy. He was so taken by the beautiful, dark night with snow reflecting starlight through the trees. He wanted to share it with his wife and children as a way to celebrate the birth of Christ. Once he brought it home, he decorated the tree with small, lit candles to represent the stars. After that, people began to follow his example and it wasn't long before other decorations, such as strings of popcorn, apples, and bits of colored paper were added.
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Anyone know how to check the validity of this statement? With so much re-writing of history (not only in America, but it seems all of history is being rewritten), how can one sort historical fact from fiction? I grew up believing everything you were taught in school is truth and not to be questioned (but then again, that is the purpose of public school isn't it?). But after becoming a Christian and learning about the re-writing of a lot of historical facts, I have no idea where to begin to know fact from fiction.

Thanks for ANY help on this!

2 comments:

Rebecca said...

Hate to say it-but I think it might just be a bit of hoakie. But...who knows. I read up on Christmas through a series of clicks (yeah-you know how the internet works) and the resources that I read told a very interesting story...though a tad different.

http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=1252&display_order=1&mini_id=1290

This is the link (I actually FOUND it again-miracle of miracles!) from the History.com. Follow the "Next" buttons to read more and more...it is all very interesting. Seems to me I had heard of those things before.

But again-maybe Martin Luther had something to do with it in a round about way...

Dianna (HappyApple) said...

I haven't heard that one about the tree but then again I've read (or been sent emails) over the years about pagan celebrations that have been Christianized similar to the email you recieved.
I did find this http://www.thercg.org/books/ttooc.html Which goes into the origins of Christmas. The origins of the Christmas tree is about half way down the page.
It is quite interesting and definatly something to pray about.

I've always been a "bah hum bug" when it comes to Christmas anyways because it is monotonous and boring to me, so I could care less really if I celebrate it. I do like making gifts for people though. =)
We have a tree and a nativity scene, but we keep it all real simple.

Now days with anything you read, you have to "spit and chew" and research it... then put it all to prayer.

Hugs,
Dianna