Christmas – The Holiday Trade Built

Santa - Classic Coca-Cola styleThe American Christmas we celebrate today was dreamed up in New York City – the city that trade built. New York is the city of money-makers. It’s the city of commerce. The city itself was founded as a trading post on the periphery of a Dutch mercantile empire.[11] The Dutch were a trading people; and their town will ever bear the imprint of its creators.[12] Since its inception New York City has been a vital conduit of people, money, commodities, cultures, and information essential to the world’s economy.[13]

Even though it wasn’t until the aftermath of World War One that New York began to vie with London as a hinge of the global economy, its “land of merchants” (Ezek. 16:29) roots were established from the city’s beginning. Once the United States emerged as a superpower after World War II, New York became the capital of a new multi-national economy. The arrival of the United Nations served to make it a global political capital as well. Sound a little like religious and political Babylon? Especially when we consider that many people believe that religiously Mammon not God rules, despite the formidable number of churches established in the city.[14] Personally, I am a fan of New York City. I enjoy visiting the city and everyone I have met who hails from there. I especially enjoy much of the culture the city promotes, but I do not want to be ignorant to any form of deception, especially if it defiles anything that the Lord considers holy.

Washington Irving - 1809New York City’s origins is encapsulated in a myth that ratifies the popular conviction that deal driving, moneymaking, and real estate lie somewhere near core of New York’s genetic make-up.[15] Washington Irving, the same inventor of Santa Claus myth, created a foundation story for New York City. He regretted that his town was bereft of imaginative associations “which live like charms and spells about the cities of the old world, binding the hearts of the native inhabitant to his home.”[16]

We need to be aware that the title of Washington Irving’s book – Knickerbocker’s History of New York – is a misnomer. Although Irving’s account is interesting, and some say hilarious, it is not based solely on the evidence of history. It is actually a potpourri of fact and fiction that plays knowingly and ironically with make-believe events and bona fide history. Its fingerprint of confusion coincides with Babylon’s name and we already know that mixture is her game.

Washington Irving -Diedrich KinckerbockHistory’s invented narrator, the pompous Diedrich Knickerbocker, envies his predecessors for being able to summon up “waggish deities” to descend to earth and “play their pranks upon its wondering inhabitants.” This “history” was simply some sort of knock-off of Virgil’s Aeneid where Irving tried to cast an image for New York City like Virgil had done for Rome.[17] With tongue in cheek, Knickerbocker/Irving explained the story of New York’s origins.[18] The invented narrator, Diedrich Knickerbocker, told how an “adroit bargain” was struck with the local Indians where they received just enough land as a man could cover with his under garments. Knickerbocker introduced Mynheer Ten Broeck (Mr. Ten Breeches), the man who would produce breeches after breeches until the land of the city was covered.

Night Before ChirstmasJust as Irving’s form of Santa Claus didn’t take, so his pseudo-classical foundation story never passed into popular lore. Just as a simpler, kinder version of Santa Claus took, so did New York City’s foundation story; and they both played to the notion of New York as a city of tricksters. Basically, the accepted form of the foundation myth asserts that the Dutch bought Manhattan from the Indians for twenty-four dollars.[19] Like all proper myths, this story has been passed down from generation to generation. Mere facts are beside the point for any myth.

One of America’s most exported commodities is our image of the festival of laughter called Christmas. Ninety-seven to ninety-eight percent of Americans celebrate it as well as ninety-five percent of the world.  Wealthy New Yorkers, called Patricians, didn’t invent the new cult of domesticity in the 1820s, but they did give it Christmas.[20]

Nostalgia-Xmas - Christmas CoachPrior to the invention of the American Christmas, the favorite winter holiday of the city’s propertied classes was New Year’s Day. Families commonly exchanged gifts on New Year’s Day, and gentlemen called on family and friends.[21] This contrasted dramatically from the previous eve’s revelry and mischief. Let’s not forget that both of these rituals have been brought over from Babylon.

In ancient Babylon the greatest agricultural holiday was called the Akiti (in the Sumerian language). Get this! The Akiti[22] lasted for twelve days and it was called a New Year festival – albeit it was a springtime celebration.

Babylonian Archers Thumb6 via flashofsteelcomBy the way, prior to England adopting the Gregorian calendar in the middle of the eighteenth century, they were still connected to the Babylonian New Year’s marked in the spring, i.e. March 25.[23]Babylon’s high priest had the king of Babylon bowed before Marduk’s first-born son Nabu’s “holy” image. Note that Marduk is synonymous to Nimrod and Nabu is synonymous with Tammuz. Prior to this the Nabu shrine was covered with a golden canopy in anticipation of Babylon’s great god’s (i.e. Marduk) arrival.

This appears to be a similar ancient golden canopy tradition that was mentioned in my article “North Pole Going South?http://wp.me/p158HG-kH  where the live Apis calf was transported to his sanctuary in a gold cabin, which gives us a little more insight about the golden calf Christmas that’s an idol. Remember that the Apis bull was widely known as the incarnation of the sun god, so was Marduk (i.e., deified Nimrod) and Tammuz. Midway through this most ancient twelve-day festival a great public banquet was held in the Akiti building after the Babylonian king took the image of Marduk by the hand and led him out of his temple into Nabu’s sanctuary. Significantly, a couple Sumerian documents speak of a symbolic ritual where the Babylonian king made love to the goddess Ishtar, which took place in his palace on New Year’s Eve.[24]

Semiramis PalaceIshtar is just another name for the Babylonian Queen of Heaven. She goes by hundreds of names, but most primordially her name is Semiramis. Please refer back to “YULE LOVE – Repeating Childhood” http://wp.me/p158HG-iX . Although there is quite a bit of confusion, the Akiti celebrated during Babylon’s New Year and the birth day celebration for Tammuz on December 25 appears to have merged and morphed into our modern-day Christmas Season via the Roman Saturnalia. It was jumbled together. Listen to how Jeremiah laments over this practice: “Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The sons gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women kneed dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out libations to other gods in order to spite Me” (Jeremiah 7:17-18NASB).

Let us return to our fairly succinct study on how our American Christmas came to be. A prominent New York City merchant and civic leader named John Pintard saw that the city’s expansion after 1800 rendered this “joyous older fashion” of New Year’s so impractical that it was rapidly dying out. To Pintard’s dissatisfaction, his family knew that New Year’s Eve marked the peak of the carnival revels in New York. He preferred the quiet day-time, domesticated winter holiday with the laughter of families drowning out the nocturnal hoodlum’s merriment, debauchery, and folly.[25]

John Pintard - Print of St Nicholas by Alexander AndersonAlthough John Pintard appears to have been a near perfect gentleman, businessman, and reformer, his closet seems to have plenty of clattering bones. First of all, like many wealthy merchants of his day, he considers himself much better than the “swinish multitude.”[26] Pintard helped the poor, but he admitted that this mass of humanity – immigrants, working poor, the aged and infirm, blacks, widows, orphans – seemed hardly worth the trouble.[27]

Although his charitable actions lined up with the first half of James 1:27’s definition of pure and undefiled religion,[28] it seems that his heart did not. The second half of “keeping oneself unspotted from the world” appears to be a wash too, for most significantly in regards to the origins of Christmas in America, Pintard was active in Freemasonry.[29] In fact, he was a master of New York City’s Holland Lodge.[30] The Holland Lodge website states that it is: “recognized as one of the country’s foremost Masonic Lodges.”[31] Significantly, they conferred honorary membership on our first President George Washington in 1789 when our nation’s capital was in New York City.[32] In “Christmas Kiss of Deathhttp://wp.me/p158HG-pV , we went over a brief synopsis on how all “Mysteries” come from the idolatrous fountain of Babylon. The institution of Freemasonry is “ like … all the Mysteries, [it]…CONCEALS its secrets from all except …the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be mislead.”[33]

John PintardTruth be told, Albert G. Mackey wrote in An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences: “NIMROD. The legend of the craft in the old constitutions refer to Nimrod as one of the founders of Masonry.”[34] Without going into detail, let’s additionally note that the sun god Osiris is predominantly featured in Freemasonry. Osiris’ birth date, along with all the other infamous sun gods, is celebrated on the ancient winter solstice of December 25. Pintard was in active agreement with the Masonic illumination that everyone’s religion is universal. This means that a Mason worships at every shrine,[35] which is contrary to the Biblical standard. This worldly universality is spoken of in scripture:

Golden Streaming Light - The-word-of-God“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one… Dear children, keep yourself from idols.”  (1 John 5:18-19, 21)

“The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him.” (Revelation  12:9)

“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ’Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ” (Matthew 4:8-10)

Christmas Altar at Our Lady of Mt CarmelAll faiths bow at the altar of Masonry, and like Christmas, the followers of Buddha, Mohammad, Zoroaster, Brahmin, Confucius, and even unfortunately Jesus assemble and unite in their homage. Christians need to examine how ninety-seven to ninety-eight percent of Americans and at least two billion people worldwide can celebrate Christmas if it truly is a Christian holiday, especially since many, who celebrate Christmas, are vehemently opposed to Jesus Christ.

Christmas is a holiday where the world unites at its own table. For example: “Although India is primarily Hindu and Muslim, they nevertheless plunge into the Christmas season with the same fervor as their Western neighbors. In Delhi, Santa can be spotted in shopping areas, while in other areas, mango and banana trees are decked out in holiday ornaments.”[36] Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world, which currently decimates entire villages of Christians. Lily Yulianti reports, “In my home country, Indonesia, a country nearly 90 percent Muslim with a population of 220 million, Christian people are a minority. However, Christmas is always celebrated full of joy.” In big cities such as Jakarta or Surabaya, shopping centers display Christmas ornaments such as Christmas trees, Santa Claus with his eight reindeers, and artificial snow made from cotton and foam. In Muslim “Beirut, Lebanon’s tallest Christmas tree is adorned with shiny shooting stars and red and silver ornaments.”[37] In predominantly Buddhist Japan, “Christmas is not a national holiday, but you’d never know it by looking at the retail stores, which are decked out with almost as many decorations as the average North American mall.”[38] You get the world universality idea. Getting along is a good thing. Compromised faith is not.

China - Christmas Decoratons adorn Xidan Commercial Street in Bejing 12-18-12John Pintard endeavored to cast the New Year’s celebration into a new image. He proposed an alternative – St. Nicholas Day on December 6 as a home and hearth winter holiday for polite society.[39] His good friend, Washington Irving, was the first to brand Saint Nicholas as the patron saint of New Amsterdam in his book Knickerbocker’s History of New York in spite of the fact that the earliest evidence of anyone celebrating St. Nicholas Day in Manhattan dated back only thirty-three-years to 1773.[40] Irving described Saint Nicholas as a jolly old Dutchman named Sancte Claus, who slid down chimneys giving gifts to sleeping children on his feast day. On December 6, 1810, one year after Irving published Knickerbocker’s History, Pintard launched what he called a revival of St. Nicholas Day at City Hall for members of the New York Historical Society.[41] Mr. Pintard did his research and tapped into the original man-made tradition of Saint Nicholas, which proclaimed his feast day as a kind of Judgment Day where good children got rewarded and bad ones got punishment. His motive was to manipulate the spoilt dispositions of children. Unfortunately being spoilt was, and still is, one of the fruits of our cozy domesticated Christmas.

Pintard’s St. Nicholas Day never caught on like he’d hoped, but Irving’s Sancte Claus did with the help of another friend Clement Clarke Moore. I will publish another article soon about how our modern-day Santa Claus came to be and how he reached superstar status. In 1831, John Pintard forgot his earlier promotion of St. Nicholas Day. He asserted that the new rituals of Christmas were of “ancient usage,” and “St. Claas is too firmly riveted in this city ever to be forgotten.”[42]

Santa Climbing Down Chimnet with toysOnce well-bred New Yorkers of the early nineteenth century substituted Christmas for New Year’s Day, they brought into their homes the pouring out of libations tradition newly renamed “Christmas logs.” [43] The festive firewood, or as the ancients called it – the Yule Log – is a stark indication to the Babylonian roots of our America Christmas. The holiday that brings laughter, which is an idol in so many American’s hearts, was, and still is, represented by its primordial pagan images: a mere log and an evergreen tree. As discussed in “YULE LOVE – Repeating Childhood” http://wp.me/p158HG-iX , the Yule Log is not so prevalent today; but its ancient calling card – the Yuletide Season—still sticks.

Just as New Year’s Day shifted the focus from the problematic revelry associations of New Year’s Eve, so Christmas Eve deftly shift the focus away from the problematic religious associations of Christmas Day. Nineteenth century New York remembered that December 25 coincided with the ancient calendar’s winter solstice. They knew that the Catholic Church mixed Christ’s birthday celebration with the pagan sun gods’, because the Protestant Reformation had brought these particulars to light. Additionally, some New England churches had tried to counteract the spread of gluttony, drunkenness, and misrule on December 25 with public worship services. Like the proverbial frog being slowly cooked in a kettle of water, the entire American Christian Church – Protestant and Catholic alike – has succeeded in bringing mixture into her religious celebrations. In particular, the golden snare of Christmas, which is America’s golden calf, has become entrenched.

Card - Victorian Yule Log—————–

Copyright Dec. 26, 2012 – Author: Robin Main.

Twitter: @SANTATIZING, Facebook: http://facebook.com/santatizing, Website: www.santa-tizing.com, Email: santatizing@gmail.com

BookCoverFrontThe information in this article and more details can be found in Chapter 9 “The One To Be Sacrificed” in my book: SANTA-TIZING: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up (available on amazon http://www.amazon.com/SANTA-TIZING-Whats-wrong-Christmas-clean/dp/1607911159/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353692179&sr=1-1&keywords=SANTA_TIZING).


[1] Christmas in America: A History by Penne L. Restad, chapter 2, p. 17

[2] Ibid., chapter 2, p. 18

[3] Gotham, A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows & Mike Wallace, chapter 5, p. 71

[4] Christmas in America: A History by Penne L. Restad, chapter 2, p. 20

[5] Ibid., p. 21

[6] Ibid., chapter 1, p. 13

[7]Ibid., chapter 2, p. 19

[8] Ibid., chapter 3, p. 38

[9] Ibid., chapter 2, p. 19

[9] Ibid., Forward p. viii

[10] Ibid., chapter 2, p. 27

[11] Gotham, A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows & Mike Wallace, Introduction, p. xvii

[12] Ibid., p. xvi

[13] Ibid., p. xviii

[14] Ibid., p. xvi

[15] Ibid., p. xv

[16] Ibid., p. xii

[17] Ibid., p. xii

[18] Ibid, chapter 26, p. 417

[19] Ibid., p. xiv

[20] Ibid., chapter 28, p. 462

[21] Ibid.

[22] Achtemeier, Harper’s Bible Dictionary. “Another issue concerns the relation of the biblical New Year Festival to the Babylonian New Year or akitu festival. This festival, held in the spring from the first to the eleventh of Nisan, emphasized the renewal of creation and kingship. The celebration featured a liturgical recitation and reenactment of the Babylonian creation epic in which Marduk, the city god of Babylon, defeated the chaos monster Tiamat and set the cosmos in order. The festivities also included a ritual procession around the city, a ritual humiliation of the king, and a ritual marriage of Marduk atop the ziggurat of Babylon. At the end of the festival, the king received the tablets of destiny that assured his rule for another year. Some scholars have attempted to argue that a similar New Year Festival was observed in Jerusalem during the monarchical period, but the evidence does not support such a claim. It is more likely that the biblical New Year Festival was a harvest celebration associated with the Day of Atonement (Lev. 23:26-32; Num. 29:7-11) and the Festival of Booths (Lev. 23:33-43; Num. 29:12-38; Deut. 16:13-15; cf. Exod. 23:16; 34:22). See also Babylon; Nisan; Tiamat; Time; Tishri. M.A.S.”

[23] Christmas Customs & Traditions by Frank Muir, Chapter XI: Old Christmas Eve and Twelfth Night, p.97

[24] Handbook of Life in Ancient Mesopotamia by Stephen Bertman, Holy Days And Festivals, p. 130-132

[25] The Battle for Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum, chapter 2, p. 50

[26] Gotham, A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows & Mike Wallace, chapter 26, p. 418

[27] Ibid., chapter 24, p. 381

[28] “to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

[29] Gotham, A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows & Mike Wallace, chapter 24, p. 379

[30] Ibid., p. 380

[33] The Question of Freemasonry by J. Edward Decker Jr., p. 8

[34] An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its kindred Sciences by Albert G. Mackey, Vol. 2, p. 518

[35] Ibid., p. 9

[36] Christmas Around the World by Victoria Westlane, Tidbits of Fort Collins, December 21, 2005, p.4

[37] Ibid., p.4

[38] Ibid., p.2

[39] Gotham, A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows & Mike Wallace, chapter 28, p. 462

[40] Ibid.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

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About Robin Main

Robin's premier quest is to love people and love God with all her heart, soul & strength, because without love we all are nothing. After making a vow to Jesus's face during a personal epiphaneous appearance, she wrote a book -- SANTA-TIZING: What's wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up" to share the mysteries she discovered while searching for where Christmas comes from. There are revelations in SANTATIZING that you will not find anywhere else. So throw away the template for Christmas books and come walk on the kingdom side in an examination of America's most loved holiday. Critical thinking is a must while looking through this lens of history and Scripture. You'll be intrigued and enlightened. What's wrong with Christmas? Plenty. This book shines light on various troubling issues in celebrating a Christian Christmas. How to clean it up? This will be determined by you and your family. Since we have an abundance of traditions, memories, and reasons to stay just the way we are (and possibly miss out on becoming part of His Pure & Spotless Bride), SANTA-TIZING primarily explores the valley of the shadows. Please know that in God's Kingdom no person is forced to do anything against their will. Give em heaven!!!
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