Christmas Carols are Better

Bear in mind that holiday traditions, and even religious songs are often borrowed from older/other religions. Before someone reading this takes offense, bear in mind that many aspects of Christmas festivity where first borrowed from the pagans.

I can’t see any good reason for someone to take offense at “paganizing” Christmas carols. Of course, after I think about it for a bit, I can’t see the point in doing it at all . . .

Yes, a lot of Christmas, and Christian, practices come from Pagan and other traditions. Even a lot of the songs that are sung for Christmas are loosely adapted or unadapted Pagan songs. However, not only is borrowing okay, sometimes the borrower does it better.

I’m not ashamed to enjoy singing Christmas carols. Even the ones that are really Christian don’t offend me (although most of the ones that are just plain bad I avoid regardless of content, like “Jingle Bell Rock”). The majesty of the powerful chords, the magic of the swelling harmonies, I think it’s one of the best-honored forms of vocal music left in our society. There is not only not a need to “paganize” these songs, it’s a good idea not to do it, since changing the words often changes the quality of the entire piece.

In addition to monkeying with success, I don’t understand why any religion would want to have something like Christmas. Despite the fact that it has importance (although only importance) in the Christian faith, it is completely embattled by secular forces that seek to make it into a day that is marketed by way of various live-action and animated specials that preach the importance of giving while pushing the importance of getting. “Keep Christ in Christmas” is not a fight I think would be easy to wage over Yule or Hanukkah; for one thing, I don’t know what catchphrase we could use for either of those faiths in order to defend the sanctity of our holy days in the darkness. Christianity has a pretty good marketing department, so let them take one for the team.

We Pagans know where Christmas trees came from (yes, for some reason we like to lay claim to the tradition of killing trees solely to watch them wither in our homes), and like to point out that most, if not all, Christian holy days were deliberately overlaid on various ancient festivals. That’s fine. But let Christmas carols stay Christmas carols. They sound really good, have a great message, and are better than they would be if we tried to “reclaim” them.


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