Seasonal greetings

Traditions tend to lift our spirits and make the Christmas season a special time of year for all of us, believer and non-believer alike.

As the dreary days of December draw ever closer to the winter solstice, I’m always happy to see people adding lights to homes and landscapes, decorating with holly and ivy and bringing in the tree. Those and other traditions tend to lift our spirits and make the Christmas season a special time of year for all of us, believer and non-believer alike. However,at this time of year, I hear a lot of bleating and braying about Jesus being the “reason for the season.”  I’d just like to point out that the aforementioned traditions and many others predate the birth of Christ, some by centuries. The Roman festival of Saturnalia, which culminated on December 25th, was celebrated around the winter solstice and included feasting and gift-giving. Other pagan cultures in northern Europe celebrated the solstice by decorating evergreen trees and hanging mistletoe which symbolized peace and love. Even Christian scholars agree that Dec. 25th was most likely not Christ’s birthday. There is no biblical mention of Christ being born on Dec. 25th and the earliest historical record of celebrating his birthday at the winter solstice is from the 4th century AD.

Certainly, Christianity has added to the whole solstice festival in tradition, story and song, and Christians gave it a new name but they don’t own it. We all get to enjoy the trimming of trees, the giving of gifts and the other reasons for the season. In closing, I’d like to wish one and all a very merry Christmas, in a secular kind of way.

Gord Smith


Just Posted

Mother issues plea for info on missing son

The 13-year-old Chilliwack boy has not been seen since Thursday afteroon

Husband pleads guilty in relation to 2009 killing of Kulwinder Gill

Abbotsford woman died in hit-and-run conspiracy

More roundabouts slated to be built in Chilliwack

Art or trees in roundabouts as visual obstructions makes them safer, according to safety experts

‘Devastated’ mom says 14-year-old Surrey overdose victim loved being with friends

Video of Heaven Donnelly’s overdose was circulating on Instagram, according to mother

Raymond Lee Caissie gets life in prison for murdering Surrey teen in 2014

Judge numbers Caissie among ‘violent merciless men without a conscience’

VIDEO: ‘Lyle the singing pig’ searching for home

SPCA say the pig is ‘not opera-ready’

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

VIDEO: Body discovered at scene of dumpster fire behind Langley City mall

Area behind furniture store taped off after firefighters find deceased woman while battling blaze

5 to start your day

Sentencing in murder of Surrey teen expected, Maple Ridge mayor to step away from politics and more

B.C. woman plagued by bedbugs on airplane not surprising, says expert

Heather Szilagyi was on a British Airways flight when she noticed bedbugs crawling out of the seat

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Most Read