Wednesday, December 03, 2008

First Ever Christmas Trivia Contest!

The Holy Family, Giorgione, probably 1500, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
This past Sunday I ushered in Advent by worshiping at a church that is not my home church. I was there to hear a candidacy sermon and observe the congregation calling a new associate pastor. It was joy filled and if you have time to pause and listen to the 11/30 sermon you may do so here.

Digesting the sermon prompted the topic of Carrot Top Studio's first ever trivia contest. Comment on the trivia question on this blog post and you will be entered to win a 50% off coupon for any stole on our website excluding the Haiti stole series (because we don't want to take away from the profits that go to this mission). The coupon may be used anytime in the next six month. If you don't need a stole and you win the 50% off coupon you may let us know that you are gifting the certificate to someone that might enjoy it. If you're not a "blogger" emails us at jenny.gallo@CarrotTopStudio.com and we'll make the entry for you.

What's the trivia question? .... Why do we celebrate Christmas in December?

All commenters will be entered to win and one name will be drawn to be the winner.Contest closes at midnight, December 7, EST. Winner will be notified on 12/8/08.

6 comments:

T. Glenn Bosley-Mitchell said...

December 21 is the shortest time of daylight in the northern hemisphere and it was celebrated as the beginning of more sunlight (each day after had about one extra minute of sunlight). This became a holiday celebration in Britain and transformed into the celebration of Christmas in December with special foods and with evergreens and candles and yule logs.

Roy said...

Rome celebrated the Saturnalia and the festival of Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun around the time of the winter solstice. The Saturnalia was a 'feel good' holiday that eventually became a week long celebration. It was a time of visiting friends and family, game playing, feasting, and gift giving. Sol Invictus celebrated the return of longer days of sunshine.
When Christianity spread, the celebration of the birth of Christ was placed at the time of the winter solstice replacing the pagan celebrations.
Personally, I think Christ was born in the late winter or early spring when sheep were lambing and shepherds would have reason to be watching their sheep by night protecting the new born lambs from wolves.

Carrot Top Studio: said...

On behalf of S.H. in Iowa, a Presbyterian lay pastor, "Christmas is celebrated in December because there were several pagan celebration rituals at that time of year centered around the winter solstice. Christmas provided a Christian alternative to the pagan rituals."

Carrot Top Studio: said...

On behalf of Rev. Dr. R.K...."We celebrate Christmas, in December, because centuries ago, the pagans celebrated a successful harvest, and worshipped their various "gods, at this same time of year. The King of England, at the time, found some of the pagan celebrations to be, somewhat, raucos, and causing conflict, with his Christian subjects. So, the early Anglican Church started celebrating Dec. 25th as the birthday of Jesus Christ, to counteract the pagan celebration. As always, the non-believers went away and celebrating Jesus won out."

Anonymous said...

In AD 350, Bishop Liberia of Rome declared that the celebration occur on Dec. 25th. By declaring a Christian clebration to occur during the period that the pagans held their celebrations, it would not be such a jump for them to move towards Christianity.

Carrot Top Studio: said...

Chiming in for G.S. from VA...The decision to celebrate Christmas on December 25th was made sometime during the fourth century by church bishops in Rome. They had a specific reason for doing so.
Having turned long ago from worshiping the one true God and creator of all things, many early cultures in the Roman empire had fallen into sun worship. Recognizing their dependence on the sun's yearly course in the heavens, they held feasts around the winter solstice in December when the days are shortest. As part of their festivals, they built bonfires to give the sun god strength and bring him back to life again. When it became apparent that the days were growing longer, there would be great rejoicing.
The church leaders in Rome decided to celebrate Christ's birth during the winter solstice in an attempt to Christianize these popular pagan celebrations. For the most part their efforts failed to make the people conform, and the heathen festivities continued. Today we find ourselves left with a bizarre marriage of pagan and Christian elements that characterizes our modern celebration of Christmas.