Every year, somewhere in the Christian neighborhood, some Grinch will seek to steal the spotlight from Christ. Grinches bring up the myth that Christmas was based on a pagan holiday. Here are two articles that set the record straight. The key point is that December 25th was arrived at via the Jewish tradition that conception and death occurred on the same day for a prophet. The date of Christ's death was calculated to be 25 March With the death/conception tradition, 9 months later is December 25. (The articles do NOT claim that Dec 25th is accurate, just that it was not derived from pagan myths--keep that distinction clear in your mind.) Main Article: Prof. Wm. Tighe (Ph.D., Cambridge) LInks: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-10-012-v Dr Anthony McRoy: http://www.answering-islam.org/pagan/christmas.html "...A prominent Roman Studies specialist, Dr Steven Hijmans, has demonstrated that contrary to claims . . . Aurelian’s religion was a development of the existing Roman cult. Moreover, in Hijmans’ article, Sol Invictus, the Winter Solstice and the Origins of Christmas, we read: ‘…December 25 was neither a longstanding nor an especially important feast day of Sol… the suggestion that it was established by Aurelian cannot be proven. In fact, there is no firm evidence that this feast of Sol on December 25 antedates the feast of Christmas at all.’ He continues: ‘The traditional feast days of Sol… were August 8, August 9, August 28, and December 11[/B]. Of these, only August 28 is still mentioned in the Calendar of 354, along with October 19 and October 22, the latter being the most important, judging by the 36 chariot races with which it was celebrated.’ "He also emphasises that we must distinguish between the Sun-god - the cult of Sol - and the Sun - i.e. the astronomical body. Hijmans states that the failure to differentiate ‘between astronomy and cult’ touches upon the ‘fatal flaw in the contention that Christmas was instituted on December 25 to counteract a pagan feast.’ The winter solstice in December was an astronomical event: the major feast of Sol, the sun-god, was October 22. Christians could deal with the astronomical symbolism of the sun, without engaging the deity Sol. Thus Natalis Solis Invicti i.e. the winter solstice, observed on December 25, was recognised as the ‘birthday’ of the astronomical entity, not necessarily the solar deity! This allowed the Christians to utilise the imagery of Malachi 4:2 - that Christ was the ‘Sun of Righteousness’. "The essential point is this: if Aurelian did not initiate any festival on 25 December, and there was no major festival before that, it follows that the Christian feast of the Nativity – Christmas – cannot be construed as deriving from a pagan festival!"