How the “War on Christmas” Made Me a Pagan

I’m going to share something personal with you guys. Maybe you’ve heard Christians give their “testimony” about how they “came to The Lord.” Well this is my story about how I came to discover my own ancestral indigenous religion.

Unlike some of the pagan stereotypes out there, I was never a goth chick, never obsessed with magic or “playing witch.” What I was, simply, was a deep thinker, inquisitive, curious, an avid reader, a history nerd, an animal lover, nature lover, and passionate about the things I care about.

Being raised in the church from birth, I was naturally very gung-ho about it up through my teenage years, and my thirst for knowledge lead me to learn a lot about the Bible and church history. But, there was always a frustration because it was clear from childhood that my Christian peers tended to be very shallow thinkers and I butted heads with them on their hypocrisy and sheer lack of logic. By my late teens and early twenties Christian dogma was just no longer jiving with my own ability to process information and what I knew to be true about the world at large. So I entered a period of what I might call “agnostic spirituality.”

As someone who avidly absorbed myself in history since I was a kid, I always knew about old Yule, and always had an interest in world cultures in general, but also my own cultural heritage which is generally British and Northern/Central European. So one year during the Christmas season, when I heard Bill O’Reilly launch into his “War on Christmas” tirade, something inside of me just snapped!

Now, this was nothing new. I was raised with this rhetoric. But after having been released from the brainwashing for a few years, it just really irritated me to hear this complete and utter bull. I sat there thinking “what about when Christmas warred on Yule?!” How ridiculous and hypocritical to bang on about your holiday being attacked, when your holiday attacked and hijacked another!

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It led me to thinking on how much of Old Yule is still present in our current Christmas traditions. This spawned more and more research, and something inside me just clicked. To get to the truth, you must scratch away the facade. Christianity has been a veneer painted over Europe (and European descendants in the New World) which has separated and hidden us from our roots.

I don’t mean to leave out other ethnic groups because the same is true for many. Other ethnic groups experienced this assimilation and erosion of culture more recently so it is more well known. The attack on indigenous European culture is further back in time and very well hidden. By the time Christianity began assimilating other cultures, it had become ubiquitous with Europeans, so people saw it as “white man’s religion.” We had lost our own tribal and indigenous identities by then.

By emphasizing my ancestral roots, I make no claim on any kind of superiority what so ever. Every person should connect to their ancestral roots, and to all aspects of it if you are of mixed heritage. I do not mean to exclude anyone. But the fact of the matter is that American and European “Christmas” was stolen largely from Germanic Yule. There are many other winter solstice traditions all around the world, and I urge everyone to research solstice traditions from your own heritage, or simply embrace what speaks to you.

Yule has a special place in my heart because it was the moment I had an epiphany. It was my rational and knowledgable side that thought “um, no. Screw you and your fake war on Christmas! And screw your lack of knowledge of history. Screw your hypocrisy. Screw your idiotic lack of conceptual understanding that there was, indeed, a religious holiday preceding yours that your religion usurped and waged war on!” From that moment on I became a shield maiden. No, actually I always was a shield maiden, it’s in my blood! But it activated my inner warrior to stand up for what is good and right, for the truth, and for my heritage. It spurred my entire “Heathen awakening” if you will.

I hope to have the time to post more on Yuletide traditions and history this season, but life has been busy and I have been dealing with serious illness. The Northern Grove FB page will be sure to share informative posts in the upcoming weeks.

~ Aelfwynne ~

PS – UPDATE:

People have been asking where to find info on Yule, and Yule’s influence on Christmas. I’ve added some great books on this to our Amazon shop and created a new section for Heathen/Pagan holidays ! 🙂

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22 thoughts on “How the “War on Christmas” Made Me a Pagan

  1. Cate Hudak

    My only argument against this is the fact that the co-opting has been well hidden. They just yell really loudly and the elephant in the room is wearing tinsel.
    Other than that, amazing well turned argument. 12 points! (out of 10)

    Reply
  2. Nadia

    All “christians” holidays or most of them has been assimilated by the old pagan and in my case norse celebration. If you look deep enough reaerching the old folk lore how they shaped up against the years until now there is some sort of connection. The peasents had their own folk lore that was handed down to them for generations and thus gave birth to numorous stories about yuletide that the church could not apolish. Here in Scandinavia the folklore is that nisser in english elfs where the keepers of the peasents farms and by being friends with them you will put out a bowl of porridge (risengrød) every year. If you did not do that the elf will take revenge so and so on your livestock by making the cows milk go bad by example.

    This is just one of many known yuletide folklore in Denmark that every child know about, but I have experince adults and facobook hugging teenager have no clue what christmas/yuletide is really about. It disgusts me in this day and age we do have access to so much information they just dont care.

    But how I celebrate yuletide is 2 times, one is the ritual one with my asatru friends and other that is the “christian” with family presents mostly for the kids.

    Reply
  3. Jim Westcott

    You don’t have to put much effort into researching our history before your perceptions begin to change. Its just sad that so many are so comfortable in ignorance. They would rather squawk “War” on the religion that indiscriminately slaughtered their ancestors for failure to convert… because people are inclusive to others during a holiday season… If I wish someone “Happy Holidays” to include more than the newest religion on the block, they arrogantly want me silenced because they stole it fair and square.

    Reply
  4. Jason Dragun

    Your story on how you came to find such revaluations and your inner warrior spirit to find such fire puts me at ease to know there truly is hope for humanity to reclaim its true freedom and individuality as well as a enlightened state and drive to hunt for truths stolen by those who seek to control all masses so I wish to say thank for finding your inner light and putting out high as a beacon for others to find their light and illuminate the darkness that trys to veil us.
    I also wish the best for you in you fight against what ails you in seeing I’m animistic and wiccan I wish to send healing to you at my next circle meeting if you may alloy me to ? I would love to stay in further contact just search my name on face book if wish. Sincerely. Jason R Dragun

    Reply
  5. Pingback: On a woman in America, who just wants to celebrate YULE and not “christ”mas… | Hedniska Tankar

    1. itsclearlypastmattshelbysbedtime

      i think you mean “praise,” sweetcheeks. “appraise” is a different word. don’t worry, though; your meager attempt at sarcasm made it clear you weren’t terribly clever from the get-go.

      *head pat* here’s five dollars. go buy yourself a coloring book.

      Reply

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