Since I was little most of my entire family celebrated the typical Christian holidays in the typical American way. I put no thought into it or how it was done, until I was about seven and realized that my Nana didn’t celebrate holidays. She was a Jevohiah’s Witness and believed that holidays were not proper ways of religious worship; so being seven and not really understanding, I continued on with life. As I got older, this strange idea of holidays continued to circle itself around in my mind. I began to wonder where holidays came from and why they were done in such an organized and routene manor. Researching this topic, I was not so pleased with my results. I learned that the acts that are preformed by many during the holiday seasons did not always mean what they do now. Many come from Pagean or Norce religions that, in an attempt by the new Christian group to increase followers, were assimilated into new ideas but by using their same ways of worship. This seemed so strange to me, that a group would abandon their beliefs for new ideas used in the same manor or that a group would, in attempt for growth, use the customs of another and call it by a new meaning. This holiday mess made me think a lot about the origins of many now typical customs and how they evolved through time.
Joseph Thomas McNeil