Our Christmas holiday, or feast day, or Holy Day, is a stew of thousands of years of solstice festivals with plenty of ancient gods in the mix.
Indeed, Christmas' pagan ancestry is just one reason Puritan (Congregationalist) Protestants made it a crime to celebrate it. (Another was that it was a Roman Catholic feast day.)
Here's the history of Christmas tree ornaments.
Here's Is Christmas a pagan holiday?
This Christmas Tree History site recalls:
The Puritans banned Christmas in New England. Even as late as 1851, a Cleveland minister nearly lost his job because he allowed a tree in his church. Schools in Boston stayed open on Christmas Day through 1870, and sometimes expelled students who stayed home.
The Christmas tree market was born in 1851 when Catskill farmer Mark Carr hauled two ox sleds of evergreens into New York City and sold them all. By 1900, one in five American families had a Christmas tree, and 20 years later, the custom was nearly universal.
That is good marketing.
Readers know that I love Christmas for all of its historical and current pagan, secular, and religious meanings.
I spent Christmas Eve, as usual, with dear friends and family - and candlelight at church. That is all magical for me and my family. We try not to over-spend.
May yours be merry and bright.