DO.g's, your Handel is too funny!
It is indeed refreshing to see that TVNL members are aware of the "pagan" elements in Christmas. The Christians simply imposed their mythology on top of those old pagan practices. It was a smart move on their part. Look at how long their version has lasted!
No, Christians do not own December and I don't get all teary-eyed at the sight of a nativity scene. But I enjoy seeing them as well as the different Santas.
Another thing that I enjoy about Christmas that I forgot to mention before is Christmas art, from those marvelous Madonna and Child paintings down to the more secular works of art that come out on Christmas cards.
AGAIN we celebrate the victory of Light over Darkness, of the God of day over the hosts of night. Again Samson is victorious over Delilah, and Hercules triumphs once more over Omphale. In the embrace of Isis, Osiris rises from the dead, and the scowling Typhon is defeated once more. Again Apollo, with unerring aim, with his arrow from the quiver of light, destroys the serpent of shadow. This is the festival of Thor, of Baldur and of Prometheus. Again Buddha by a miracle escapes from the tyrant of Madura, Zoroaster foils the King, Bacchus laughs at the rage of Cadmus, and Chrishna eludes the tyrant.
This is the festival of the sun-god, and as such let its observance be universal.
This is the great day of the first religion, the mother of all religions -- the worship of the sun.
Sun worship is not only the first, but the most natural and most reasonable of all. And not only the most natural and the most reasonable, but by far the most poetic, the most beautiful.
The sun is the god of benefits, of growth, of life, of warmth, of happiness, of joy. The sun is the all-seeing, the all-pitying, the all-loving.
This bright God knew no hatred, no malice, never sought for revenge.
All evil qualities were in the breast of the God of darkness, of shadow, of night. And so I say again, this is the festival of Light. This is the anniversary of the triumph of the Sun over the hosts of Darkness.
Let us all hope for the triumph of Light -- of Right and Reason -- for the victory of Fact over Falsehood, of Science over Superstition.
And so hoping, let us celebrate the venerable festival of the Sun. --
___Robert Green Ingersoll from The Journal, New York, December 25, 1892