It’s a really creepy, crazy history.
Posts have previously appeared on this blog explaining why polytheistic belief systems are not the traditions of serenity, wisdom, feminine power, and cuddly nature as portrayed by Western society.
Likewise, popular wintertime traditions possess many spiritually repulsive elements—which American colonists originally recognized.
Despite being Europeans themselves, American settlers were on their way to becoming a society of Bnei Noach (then took the wrong fork in the road). In fact, the American Puritans ignored the December holiday and some even prohibited any celebration of it because it wasn’t mentioned in the Torah or their gospels. (Hint, hint!)
For example, seasonal trees are a newer tradition in America—dating only from the 1840s-50s. The custom was brought by German immigrants who decorated their trees with candles, presents, and flowers.
One American newspaper initially reported on the custom with suspicion and frowned upon the pagan aspect of going into the forests at that time to decorate trees with candles and the like.
Their suspicions were well-founded.
Emuna against...Pine Needles?
Pagan systems vary in flavor, but they basically believed that the winter solstice indicated a sick god who would eventually be “reborn” again.
You’d think it’s very scary to believe that one’s god could get the snuffles (“Sorry, no prayer service today; our god just called in sick”), but rather than changing to authentic monotheism, people just developed different customs to make themselves feel better.
Egyptians used green palm decorations to reassure themselves while Europeans and Scandinavians used evergreens.
Okay…but why not just believe in the truth:
God is Eternal, All-Powerful, and cannot get sick or weak.
So put down the green stuff and have faith!
But some people prefer palm leaves and pine needles to emuna. Oh well.
Many people also romanticize the nature-loving Celts.
But archaeologists in Britain discovered evidence of human sacrifice before a tree. They also found mistletoe in the victim’s stomach. (Oh, so THAT’S what you’re supposed to do with the mistletoe… everyone’s been doing it all wrong this whole time!)
But it’s not just the old-time Brits who sacrificed people to trees.
Many Europeans kept up a remnant of this tradition by burning a “Yule log” (rather than a person, I guess) on their hearths until the 1900s. Then people decided to make the Yule log into a rolled-up jelly-and-cream-filled sponge cake and eat it instead of burning it.
Actually, it's funny that church-going people still use the term "Yule" to describe their cakes and season. Yule was an ancient Germanic pagan festival that revered imaginary gods, predatory spirits, and sacrifices.
Anyway, it’s not surprising that davka the Germans brought the tree tradition over to America. With a few exceptions, they never managed to completely drop their nature-worshiping tendencies. Contrary to the popular belief that Nazism was an atheist movement, Nazism idealized and observed many occult nature-worshiping customs in an effort to get back to their pre-Christian roots (roots like “Thor's Oak”).
For example, the racist occult society on which Nazi ideology is based hosted secret ceremonies based on nature-worship and even included background music sung by a choir of “forest elves.” (Presumably, these were creepy Aryans dressed up as forest elves and not actual forest elves.)
Continuing along these lines, Nazi SS officers married in pagan ceremonies that took place in special parts of forests with occult significance. Nazis chose fortresses and castles located in forests for the occult significance of those particular areas.
Actually, West German tribes called Thor "Donar" and they knew the tree for human sacrifice as "Donar's Oak." An allusion to this tradition remains today as the name of one of Santa's reindeer, Donner. (Donner & Blitzen are "Thunder" (Thor) "Lightening.")
Anyway, the point is that Aryans traditionally have been really into trees.
And it’s not for good reasons.
'Tis the Season to be Savage
Jolly pagans ran amuck violating women, looting, vandalizing, committing human sacrifice, and passing out pastries in the shape of—how do I say this in polite company?--erva parts.
Then they got rid of the human sacrifice and made due with passing out dolls made of wax or pottery instead. Ooh, presents!
Europeans actually kept up some of these violent traditions, but only against the Jews until they ran out of Jews after the devastation of the Shoah. (Actually, not completely true. Several brutal pogroms were committed against surviving who Jews who returned.)
And they also modified the vulgar pastries into gingerbread men.
Prior to the merry Romans, Persians celebrated December 25th as the birthday of their sun-god. They shouted from their shrines about how a betulah has brought forth issue. (Gosh, that sounds so familiar...)
If you go back even further, you find a woman who seems to have been the wife of the Babylonian tyrant Nimrod and gave birth to a baby long after he had died—like, a lot longer than 9 months after he died. Oops!
But no worries—she simply claimed to have been impregnated by a sunbeam and that the child was an incarnation of Nimrod. And with that, she inspired immaculate-conception mother-goddess/child-god worship.
Ancient Egyptians also celebrated this time as the birth of their sun-god, which they represented with the image of an infant. They ate goose and decorated their homes with greenery. They also had celebrations similar to the Romans, but less violent.
I'll Stick with Judaism, Thank You Very Much
And it’s so typical of Esavite culture to make everything look pretty and attractive.
But all those trees with their lights and decorations? Think human sacrifice.
Rolled-up jelly-cream cakes? Think human sacrifice.
And all that partying & feasting & gingerbread? Think pagan reign of terror.
Yeah. It’s really not so nice.
Frankly, I prefer Chanukah.
And Purim. And Pesach. And even Tisha B’Av…
Blessed is our God Who created us for His Glory and separated us from the erring ones…