On NPR they were interviewing a humanist rabbi from Harvard. He pointed out that, for most people and most aspects, Christmas has nothing to do with religion. Nothing in the bible talks about trees in the house and lights and presents and Santa Claus. Clearly much of this tradition has to do with Europe and not the Biblical settings.
Sure, some people go for the manger, but there is nothing in the bible that insinuates a December 25th birthday. Christmas traditions, are most of us know are have Pagan roots.
Although Christmas seems like a Christian tradition, there is another way to think about it. In the northern hemisphere, this is the time of year when the days are short and it’s cold. Cold and dark, these are the recipes for human depression. We have a very real reaction to such input.
So what would Darwinistic thinking say about this fact. We help ourselves survive by developing traditions that make us feel better and happier.
We put lights in the house, and evergreen trees (not the sleeping ones with no leaves outside). We exchange gifts and sing songs and make up stories. We do this as a group to remind ourselves that we are not alone.
This is the true meaning of Christmas. It’s dark and cold and we want to make ourselves feel better. You don’t need God or Jesus or anything to do this. You just need to make it a fun time.