5 Christmas Lies You Probably Believe

What these myths mean for the holidays — and for you.


Christmas means something different to everyone; that’s not what I’m talking about. The Christmas myths I mean are more concrete than mere holiday spirit.

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

Christmas has been celebrated for hundreds of years in a myriad of cultures. The more the merrier, right?

Still, as more people around the world pick up this increasingly Americanized holiday, so too do the historical inaccuracies about the holiday spread.

Now, I know I sound like a total Scrooge by thinking about “historical accuracy” when folks just want to have fun and relax.

However, objective truth matters — especially when so many people look to Christmas as a religious holiday, even if they are non-religious themselves.

So, here are five Christmas lies (or six, if you count the bonus Hannukah myth) which you might have unknowingly fallen for. Some are merely “mostly harmless” myths, but others have distinct implications for the season and its reason.

Myth #1: Christmas is Pagan

I hear this one a lot.

In fact, I used to be part of this crowd.

However, facts are stubborn things. Christmas is not really related to Roman festivals like Sol Invictus or Saturnalia, regardless of what Wikipedia or Adam Conover may have told us.

Once you dig beneath the surface-level arguments for pagan origins of Christmas, they fall apart:

For the non-religious crowd, this won’t matter much. For me, it was a fascinating discovery. I’m still not much of a Christmas person, but as a history nerd, I dig it.