The True Christmas

Although the twenty-fifth day of December is now annually celebrated by Christian nations the world over as the birthday of Christ Jesus, there is in reality no authentic information as to the precise date of his earthly advent. As a matter of fact it was not until several centuries had elapsed that, as a compromise to the diversity of opinion and custom which hitherto had assigned various dates between Nov. 17 and May 20 as the day of Jesus' nativity, what we know as Christmas day was finally agreed upon by the church authorities as the day to be celebrated.

All this goes to prove that what the world from year to year is celebrating as a religious festival is simply Christendom's own concept of that for which the Founder of Christianity stands in the history of the world. Dating from that first Christmas day, when the three wise men came with joy and thanksgiving to offer their treasures of "gold, and frankincense, and myrrh" to the babe so humbly cradled, Christmas, irrespective of any Christian or religious sense, is at least theoretically associated with ideals of kindness, affection, charity, hospitality, and good cheer. These are Christian virtues, and to the extent to which they are practised at this or any other season the world is helped and made better; but even these do not represent all that Christmas means, nor are they the sum total of Christianity.

Mother and Child
December 23, 1916

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