What to Read on Christmas

Faith and Modernity — Alan Wolfe

Yule as we celebrate it today owes more to Charles Dickens than to Thomas Aquinas. Our major solstice holiday is…a “cultural construct” rather than a sectarian ceremony… Mistakenly believing that Christmas is sacred, those who defend it find themselves propping up the profane. The Christ they want in Christmas is a product not of Nazareth but of Madison Avenue.

Axial Tilt and the Numinous — Doctor Science

Christians celebrate Jesus’ birth in late December…because there were already seasonal celebrations there that were thematically appropriate, especially the Birth of the Unconquered Sun. The season itself is the reason; Jesus became attached to it, not the other way around. The Christmas tree, the presents, the lights, the foods — none of these are in origin Christian, though there are Christian glosses or justifications for all of them.